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Greek myths in the stars October 31, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Americas.
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The University of Southern Maine Hellenic Initiatives program and the Hellenic Society of Maine, Portland, will present a planetarium show, “Greek and Roman Mythology in the Night Sky,” Sunday, November 4.

During the one-hour show, viewers will learn about the stories, legends and lore of the stars, planets and constellations as they relate to ancient Greek and Roman myths.

Did you know that when Perseus slew the gorgon Medusa, Pegasus arose from her blood? That Bellopheron tamed Pegasus and slew the Chimera? Why Queen Cassiopeia’s brag became adesperate problem for her daughter, Andromeda’s? Or that Orion pursued Atlas’s daughters, The Pleiades, The Seven Sisters, and still does?

The benefit show will begin at 4:15 p.m. in USM’s Southworth Planetarium. Located in the science building, the planetarium entrance is on Falmouth Street on the USM Portland campus. Admission is $4 for adults, $3 for seniors and children under 12. For reservations, call 780-5025.


“Anasa” means “breath” in Greek October 21, 2007

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“Anasa” means “breath” in Greek. It also is the title of choreographer Melissa Thodos’ new work for her company, Thodos Dance Chicago, which is performing its fall concert at 8 Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport.

Thodos herself is a first-generation Greek-American, the daughter of a father born in a small town south of Olympus and a mother who grew up not far from the Albanian border.

As she explained: “Among the mythic figures I’ve drawn on for this piece are Athena, originally goddess of heroic endeavors and later goddess of wisdom; Aphrodite, goddess of love; Metis, the titan goddess of good counsel, and an ocean nymph, and Atlanta, who was abandoned and saved. What intrigued me was both the community of these women and the individuality of women throughout Greek history. I was influenced by the wars of ancient times, and the fires of very recent times. I also studied the imagery on ancient Greek vases.”

Also on the program will be “Lullaby,” an enchanting new work by Lucas Crandall, associate director of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, that is set to Bach; Lar Lubovitch’s “Waiting for the Sunrise”; Shapiro & Smith’s “Dance with Two Army Blankets,” and works by Brock Clawson, Jessica Miller Tomlinson and Stephanie Hilton. Tickets: (312) 902-1500.

An Greek artist’s fascination with an ancient myth on display in Paris October 10, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Exhibitions Greece, Hellenic Light Europe.
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‘Gaia’ > a work by Vana Xenou, is on display at the Paris Palais Royal.

The myth of Demeter and Persephone and the Eleusinian Mysteries has been an ongoing subject of interest and research for artist Vana Xenou. For more than a decade, the painter has delved into the symbolism of the myth and has used it as a source of inspiration for some of her strongest and most ambitious artistic projects.

“Arrivee-Passage”, a sprawling installation that opens on October 18 at the gardens of the Palais Royal in Paris, is Xenou’s latest venture, a project that expresses her fascination with the ancient Greek myth. Running to December 25, the exhibition, held under the auspices of the Greek Ministry of Culture and curated by Solange Auzias de Turenne, an organizer of large, international exhibitions, includes 10 monumental installations of a total of 45 large sculptures.

As with other of her projects, Xenou’s Paris project employs a historical site for the display of her work. She brings references to antiquity into a building of French 17th and 18th century architecture, thus initiating a dialogue between two different cultures and historical periods.

Xenou’s work suggests that the myth of Demeter, like other Greek myths and archetypes, transcends time and cultural differences and harbors deep symbolisms that are still relevant.Another installation by the artist on the myth of Demeter was held in Paris seven years ago, at the Saint Louis Church of the Salpetriere Hospital. In 2004 and within the context of the Aeschylean festival, an exhibition with the same title as the Paris project was held at a venue of industrial architecture in Elefsina, the birthplace of the famed Eleusinian Mysteries of antiquity.

Vana Xenou has also produced impressive artist’s books with the themes of Demeter and Persephone. Drawings as well as a number of her one-of-a-kind artist’s books will be presented in the exhibition halls of the French Ministry of Culture, which is housed at the Palais Royal. The French Ministry is one of the exhibition’s organizers.

Jardin Du Palais Royal, Place du Palais Royal, Paris. Métro: Palais Royal Musée du Louvre

Related Links > http://www.paris.org/Monuments/Palais.Royal/

Homer’s Odyssey September 30, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Culture History Mythology.
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The Odyssey is well known to classical scholars all over the world as the epic poem by Homer, the Greek poet. It has as its central character, Odysseus the Greek hero of the Trojan war and chronicles his long and hazardous journey home to Ithaca after the fall of the legendary city of Troy.

Homer writes about the twists and turns in the tale of Odysseus ten year voyage to Ithaca. During this period, his faithful wife Penelope never gave up hope that he will return home despite the amorous advances of many suitors who constantly sought her hand in marriage on the assumption that her husband had died.

Homer also writes about the temptation faced by Odysseus himself when he sailed with his men past the island inhabitated by the beautiful Sirens who with their enchanting songs lured unsuspecting sailors to their deaths on the jagged and rocky coastline.

Fortunately for Odysseus, he had been forewarned about the danger posed by the femme fatales, and as such he took the precaution of asking his men to tie him to the mast of his ship. He also ordered the men to plug their ears with wax so that while he listened to the sweet melodies from his perch on the mast, his men would not hear any orders from him to sail the ship towards the Sirens island. In this way he and his crew sailed past the island without mishap.

The Odyssey ends with Odysseus, after many trials and close shaves, eventually reaching Ithaca from where he had departed 20 years before, to set out for the Trojan wars. The Odyssey is no doubt one of the greatest works of Greek and Western literature.

Noah uncovered in ancient Greek art September 30, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Books Life, Culture History Mythology.
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Solving Light Books announced today the publication to the Web of 37 images of Noah uncovered in ancient Greek art.

The surprising Web presentation includes commentary by Robert Bowie Johnson, Jr., author of “The Parthenon Code: Mankind’s History in Marble” and most recently, “Noah in Ancient Greek Art.”

According to Johnson, ancient Greek artists and poets called Noah “Nereus”, meaning the “Wet One”, and also referred to him as the “Salt Sea Old Man.” Greek artists depicted Noah/Nereus in black-figure vase-scenes, red-figure vase-scenes, and in sculpture.

The Web presentation shows that Greek artists depicted Noah/Nereus being threatened and pushed out of the way by the Greek hero and rebel, Herakles. Artists also portrayed Herakles as grabbing Noah/Nereus from behind, figuratively bringing him, and his rule, to a halt. Ancient vase-painters and sculptors also put Noah/Nereus into scenes as a solemn and dejected witness to key events heralding the takeover of Zeus-religion, including the defeat of his Yahweh-believing sons, and the birth of the serpent-friendly Athena.

“The prevailing notion in academic circles that Greek vase-artists and sculptors spent their lives depicting imaginary or “mythical” events is absurd on its face. The Greek “gods” look exactly like people, because that’s who they were, our ancestors,” Mr. Johnson said. “An enormous amount of information about mankind’s true origins hides in plain sight in the art of ancient Greece. These many images of the Greek version of Noah, now made available to the public on the Web, are just a small part of it,” he added.

Related Links > http://www.solvinglight.com/features/37NoahsPartI.htm

Greek hero Odysseus’ longest swim September 23, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Culture History Mythology.
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Good swimming summers are made of good swims, as Robert Frost wrote, “out far and in deep”, wherever the ocean is.

Frost claimed the record for the longest swim in literature belonged to the Greek hero Odysseus, who after shipwreck swam the sea for two days and two nights. The Greeks, who made the best poetry, had a wisdom about many things, not the least of which was their poetic contemplation of the wine-dark sea.

The British scholar M.A. Screech wrote that when the ancients “wished to accuse someone of extreme inadequacy they used the common proverb, “He can neither read nor swim”.

Musical based on Greek mythology September 23, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Asia.
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The newest junior college in Singapore celebrated its official opening recently with a musical inspired by Greek mythology.

Students of Innova JC shared the highlights in a clip that was submitted for MediaCorp News’ Roving DV competition, where students shoot, edit, script and narrate a news clip involving their school. Student reporters, Marvin Tang and Kong Jeng Huey, reported live at the musical performance that was put up by Innova students.

The musical was largely inspired by Greek mythology as the ancient Greece had significant accomplishments in producing thinkers, pioneering the study of science, developing the model of democracy, as well as cultivating the love of finer things like culture and literature.

During her opening address, Principal Yeo Hong Mui officially announced the new status of Innova Junior College as the Centre of Excellence for New Media and New Media Arts. Innova JC’s school song was penned by celebrated songwriter and performer Dick Lee, with added lyrics by Madam Citra.