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Noise blights Cypriot cities February 1, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus News, Environment.
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Large portions of the urban population in Cyprus are exposed to excessive levels of traffic-generated noise, experts said yesterday.

On an island that shuns public transport, almost two-thirds of inhabitants along the most frequented avenues in the capital Nicosia are exposed to noise levels above 55 decibels.

In the port city of Limassol, that figure surges to 87.8 percent, the survey commissioned by the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment said.

“Estimates show that more than 27,000 of Limassol’s inhabitants are affected by noise (exceeding 45 decibels). But in Nicosia, the number of those affected is 36,000,” said Constantinos Vogiatzis of the University of Thessaly in Greece.

The World Health Organization (WHO) does not consider noise an agent for pathological diseases, but it is considered a source of neuro-psychological and cardiological disorders, Vogiatzis said.

Noise levels of 30 decibels can disturb sleep, and 35 decibels can disturb classroom communication, according to WHO.

Vogiatzis said simple measures, such as reducing speed could cut down the noise. “Decreasing speed limits from 55 kilometers per hour to 50 kmph and banning heavy trucks at night may result in a 25 percent to 40 percent reduction in noise,” he said.

Tango’s eternal embrace November 1, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Cyprus, Ballet Dance Opera, Stage & Theater.
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Internationally renowned dancers will perform in a special production of the world’s most passionate dance

When tango first evolved in Buenos Aires in the late 1800s, it was seen as a terribly scandalous new dance. At the time, the waltz and the polka were the only other dances requiring a man and woman to hold each other, but the embrace was staid in comparison to the shocking closeness of the partners dancing the tango.

A world away from the posh ballrooms of Europe however, tango was born in bars, gambling houses and brothels. As lonely men looked for a little entertainment, they fell into the arms of women who were willing to dance cheek to cheek, chests together, their legs intertwined.

The middle and upper classes frowned upon this kind of activity, and ‘decent’ families or women of good reputation did not want to have anything to do with this dangerous new behaviour. But this sensational dance was unstoppable and orchestras and dancers from Buenos Aires began to travel to Europe to show the world their moves. The first European tango craze took place in Paris in the early years of the twentieth century, where it became the dance of the moment and rapidly migrated to London, Rome, Berlin and finally New York. Back in Buenos Aires, no longer was tango a dance to be frowned upon, on the contrary, it became the most fashionable dance at all grand social events and parties.

Today, tango is one of the most popular dances in the world, seen as sensual and romantic by millions around the world who enrol in classes to learn the intricate moves. All lovers of the dance in Cyprus can look forward to something really special at the start of November, as a very glitzy and passionate Argentine Tango performance will be staged in Nicosia and Limassol.

Named ‘The Eternal Embrace’, the show will include the participation of three of the most famous Argentine tango couples from Buenos Aires, world-class musicians, special effects and projections, all under the artistic direction of Julia Gorina. Brought to Cyprus by JG Productions, the show will be staged for two nights at the Nicosia Municipal Theatre on November 8 and 9, and at the Rialto Theatre in Limassol on November 10.

As a real affair of the heart, the name ‘Eternal Embrace’ was aptly chosen, as all net profit sales will be given to the medical fund of the charity Adult Congenital Heart Defects Association. “Tango starts from an embrace and all the rest just builds from that touch. It’s a strong and supportive gesture, but also one of kindness and softness,” says Gorina.

The show is a brand new tango production, best described as a fascinating fiesta of dance and music that brings together top grade performers who are currently touring around the world, Gabriel Misse and Alejandra Mantinian, Omar Ocampo and Monica Romero and Fernando Serrano and Bibliana Reynoso.

The dancers and musicians bring alive a story of a man and woman in love, complete with seduction, passion, love and hate, and friendships destroyed by rivalry.

The show will take you on a journey through all tango styles and rhythms. Omar and Monica were the stars of the most famous tango show in the history of Argentine tango, ‘Tango Passion’ and toured the world. Monica has studied and performed with some of the most prestigious choreographers and Argentine tango teachers, while Omar has performed as the lead dancer in some of the most important masterpieces of national Argentine folkloric dance productions. Alexandra and Gabriel are another famous duo, and for the past five years they have been performing in shows such as the famous ‘Una Noche de tango’.

Fernando and Bibliana make an interesting partnership between a male dancer who is renowned around the world as a real ‘tango showman’, and a new generation female dancer who combines classical tango with contemporary moves.

The renowned Austrian violinist Dora Schwarzberg will be performing the music, accompanied by Jorge Bosso, the talented composer and virtuoso cello player from Argentina, and Ludmila Pischik on the piano.

Tango – The Eternal Embrace > An Argentine tango performance with three of the most famous Argentine tango couples from Buenos Aires, world-class musicians, special effects and projections. November 8 and 9, Nicosia Municipal Theatre, 8.30pm, tel 77772717. November 10, Rialto Theatre, Limassol, 8.30pm, tel 77777745. Tickets at Cy£15. For general information call 25 822842 and 25 578220.

Production of Cabaret in Cyprus November 1, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Cyprus, Stage & Theater.
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Memories of Liza Minelli’s performance in the film version, and the sheer quality of the songs have made Cabaret one of those musical ‘must sees’.

If you have never had the opportunity to see it on Broadway or the West End, then you’ll be happy to know that Theatro Ena has brought the play to Cyprus. It premiered on October 19 with regular shows continuing until December.

The original 1966 Broadway production became a hit and spawned an acclaimed 1972 film as well as numerous subsequent productions. Originally entitled “Welcome to Berlin”, Cabaret is based on John Van Druten’s play “I Am a Camera”, which in turn was adapted from the novel “Mr Norris Changes Trains and a collection of short stories, Goodbye to Berlin”, by Christopher Isherwood.

Set in 1929-1930, Berlin, on the eve of the Nazis’ rise to power, it focuses on nightlife at the seedy Kit Kat Klub and mostly revolves around 19-year-old English cabaret performer, Sally Bowles and her relationship with young American writer, Cliff Bradshaw. A subplot involves the doomed romance between German boarding house owner Froulein Schneider and her elderly suitor Herr Schultz, a Jewish fruit vendor. Overseeing the action is the Emcee, who presides as master of ceremonies at the Kit Kat Klub and serves as a constant metaphor for the current state of society in Weimar Germany.

The performance in Cyprus is an adaptation by Andreas Christodoulides with a cast of actors including Alexia Paraskeva, Athena Christodoulou, Andreas Araouzos and Constantinos Tsiolis. Ten actors, dancers and singers are taking part in the production along with five musicians, who accompany the cast on stage with live music. Although the dialogue is in Greek, the English songs have remained untouched. 

Cabaret > Every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Theatro Ena, 4 Athinas Street, Famagusta Gate, Nicosia. Until December 30. 8:30 pm. Cy£10 including one drink. From January 2008 > Performance at Theatro Ena Limassol. For information call 22 348203.

Sporting Limassol > Cyprus’ biggest festival of sport October 11, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Athletics, Cycling, Martial Arts, Sports & Games.
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Cyprus’ biggest festival of sport kicks off next weekend in Limassol. Whether you watch or take active part is up to you

With so much attention given to the Cyprus Rally, it comes as great relief to the non-petrol heads among us to have an entire festival devoted to human sporting endeavours to look forward to, particularly now that summer is almost over and the beach is beginning to lose its appeal.

Now in its 8th year,Lemesia” is the largest celebration of sport in Cyprus and, while focusing on professional athleticism, it also aims to encourage citizens to haul themselves off their couches to enjoy some exercise and try something new. Athos Xenofontos is responsible for putting the whole thing together and is the man who first planted the seeds of the festival back in 1998. Since then, Lemesia has experienced an explosion of growth, attracting more sports events and international athletes every year.

Among the events is an exhibition of photographs depicting Cyprus’ sporting history and a ceremony to honour Cypriot sportsmen and women of the past, with special recognition to be given to the tremendous achievements of 2007’s heroes: Volvo World Youth Sailing champion Pavlos Kontides, World Championship high jump bronze medallist Kyriakos Ioannou and World Champion shooters George Achilleos and Antonis Nicolaides who train locally.

The nine-day free sporting smorgasbord will kick-off with fireworks, a band competition and dancing to ‘Street Beats’. Here are some of the highlights; whether you want to get active or simply watch is entirely up to you.

10th Marios Agathaggelou international race > The oldest and the catalyst event for the entire Lemesia Festival is the 10km run held in honour of Cypriot athlete and coach, Marios Agathaggelou. “We started in 1998 with the first race. He was a big sportsman, a man ahead of his time. We held the race for two years and afterwards the municipality asked me to make a tournament with other sports so in 2000 we started Lemesia,” explains Athos. Up to 500 athletes will compete in three different races starting from the Municipal Gardens; the main race will take in two and a half laps to the Old Port while a 3km fun style event will run alongside a 1km race for children under the age of twelve. €1,000 is the top prize in the main event in which international runners will compete against teams from the National Guard and United Nations. Registration begins one hour before the runners set-off, entry is free.
Date: Saturday October 20, Time: 4pm, Location: Main entrance of the Municipal Gardens.

Amateur boxing > To encourage more spectators, this year’s boxing championships are going alfresco at the Enaerios parking area, convenient if the early evening fights get a bit dull with numerous nearby cafes or bars nearby to take a break from the pummelling. Contestants from around 15 countries will take part in the Olympic standard competition culminating in a grand final on October 14. Contestants can register for the event by contacting Cyprus.box@cytanet.com.cy
Date: October 12 to 14, Time: 5pm, Location: Enaerios parking area, corner of Archbishop Makariou III and the beach road.

Triathlon > Triathletes tempted by a €500 cash prize for the race winner with €200 and €100 on offer to the runners up, will be competing for what is probably the most challenging Lemesia competition, a ‘full’ triathlon race. Consisting of a 1,500m swim followed by 40km cycle and 10km run on a circuit from the Old to the New Port along the beach road. “We’ve made a special effort to make it a spectator event including changing the course to do several laps instead of a single one,” says Triathlon Federation President Pambos Spanoudes. The best spot to watch from is opposite the Catholic Church on the beach road or along the route through the sculpture park.
Date: Sunday October 14, Time: 9am, Location: route from the old to the new port along the beach road and sculpture park.

Shooting > Undoubtedly one of the most popular activities given the country’s status in world competitive shooting. Around 100 shooters are expected to take part in the Sport discipline competition, each with 30 clay targets to blast into oblivion. With world champion George Achilleos away from the range competing in Belgrade, there’s a sporting chance for anyone who wants to have a go. Entry is free but competitors must register before 12pm on the day.
Date: Sunday October 14, Time: 8am to 1pm, Location: The Limassol Shooting Club, outskirts of Armenochori village.

Veteran Athletics > For ladies over the age of 35 it’s depressing to hear that in sports terms at least, we fall into the ‘veterans’ category. The good news is that the oldies (aged over 40 for men) are still going strong and can show Cyprus’ cafe obsessed younger generation a thing or two about sport. 1980s champion sprinter Angelos Angelides is organising the athletics event consisting of javelin, long jump, shot put and running among others. “Everyone who is coming is not in the best shape but it’s to demonstrate how older athletes still have the courage to compete. It’s a good message to the people of Limassol that they can be involved in sport forever, for their health and to live a better life,” he says. 100 athletes from all over Cyprus will compete against teams from Greece and Romania. All competitors will be awarded a medal.
Date: Sunday October 21, Time: 4pm, Location: Lanitium High School (near McDonalds), Contact for entrants: Angelos Angelides 99324263.

Rhythm Gymnastics > If you want to feel really old then pop along to this event where a host of nubile athletes will be springing, twisting, somersaulting and bending themselves into impossible positions while creating clever displays with balls, ribbon and rope. Organisers were not able to confirm if Cyprus’ most promising gymnast, Raissa Panagioutou, will be demonstrating the talents that took her to the finals of this year’s Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
Date and Time: Saturday October 20, 10am to 1pm and 4pm to 8pm, Sunday October 21, 3.30pm to 8.30pm, Location: Spyros Kyprianou Lemesos Stadium off the B8 from Limassol to Troodos road.

Karate > Fluid movement of a more combative nature will be one of the disciplines of the 4th International Traditional Karate Festival organised by president of the federation, Vaso Vassiliou. ‘Kata,’ a set sequence of Karate techniques based on the principles of physical combat, will sit alongside the real ring fights called ‘Kumite,’ meaning ‘a meeting of hands,’ on the Karate festival programme.
Date: Saturday October 20, 4pm to 7pm / Sunday October 21, 10am to 1pm, Location: Ag. Neophitos School, near Orphanides supermarket.

Limassol Cycling Tour > A relatively sedate 20km two wheeled tour of the city, guided by members of the Limassol Cycling Club, will set off from the Enaerios parking area on a circuit to Omonia and back along Makarios Avenue and Molus, taking in a little of the beachfront scenery. Around 400 cyclists are expected at this free to enter event which Club Secretary Christos Geros describes as “purely fun and recreational.” If you want to take part get there early to register and don’t forget to bring a helmet.
Date: Sunday October 21, Time: 10am, Location: Enaerios parking area.

It’s that time of year again > get ready for the Cyprus Rally 2007 October 11, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Racing & Motors.
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The annual highlight on the motorsport calendar, the 2007 Cyprus Rally, kicks off next weekend with a ceremonial start in the coastal town of Limassol.

The rally, that is part of the FIA Middle East Rally Championship (MERC) will cover nine gravel stages on Saturday and Sunday before finishing in Limassol on Sunday afternoon.

Rally teams have entered from Qatar, the UAE, Jordan, Greece, the UK, Lebanon and Cyprus heading for four special stages on Saturday, beginning with the Xyliatos test and five on Sunday, culminating with the Panagia stage and the ceremonial finish.

In a total route of 878.72 km, there will be 239.66 km of special stages, mostly gravel and narrow dirt roads. The longest special stage will be the 32.42 km of the Anadiou stage, which will run twice on Sunday. The shortest is the fifth 11.87 km Kato Amaiantos special stage on Sunday morning.

This year’s Cyprus Rally will also include an official round of the 2007 FIA Historic Rally Championship.

The Historic Cyprus Rally will run first in the day, ahead of the Cyprus Rally, and competitors will tackle a total of five Special Stages (3 on Day 1 and 2 on Day 2), as opposed to the nine stages of the Cyprus Rally. Historic Rally entrants will also compete under older regulations, which allow for greater flexibility in servicing, for example.

Cyprus is hosting two rounds of the FIA Middle East Rally Championship in 2007. The Troodos Rally, round 3 of this year’s MERC, was held earlier this year and ended with a clear victory for Qatar’s Nasser Al Attiyah, the defending FIA Middle East and PWRC Champion, and co-driver Chris Patterson.

The Londa voted Cyprus’ leading hotel October 11, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Hotels Cyprus.
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The Londa, the new upscale contemporary boutique hotel in Cyprus on the shores of the Mediterranean has been recognised by the World Travel Awards, winning the award for Cyprus’ Leading Hotel.

londa_hotel.jpg  World Travel Awards (WTA) aims to promote excellence in the travel and tourism industry. The Londa will receive the award at the European ceremony in Newcastle this October in the north east of England. The Londa, along with other winners from the four regional awards, will be put forward for their respective global categories, to be announced towards the end of this year. The final event will take place on the Turks and Caicos Islands.

“We are delighted that the Londa Hotel has been recognised by the WTA”, comments General Manager Mr Jochen Niemann. “The Londa is independently owned and recently benefited from a multi-million pound refurbishment, re-opening in the summer of 2005. This is an acknowledgement of the efforts of all the team here in Cyprus over the past two years. We have built a regular clientele who enjoy our unique mixture of contemporary design, Mediterranean atmosphere and sincere service. The response from both Cyprus and international guests has been exceptional.”

Designed by Italian design team Caruzzo Rancati from Milan, the Londa is a modern and elegant hotel where sleek white marble has been used throughout the entrance and lobby, accented with black wood pathways leading down to the sea. The highly unique style of the Londa shows influences from the heritage of the island and from the Mediterranean including Cypriot lace, antique filigree silver and local wood. The mix of styles and lighting in the lobby are all designed to highlight the view, emphasised by the huge glass panels that maximise light into the building.

This discreet and refined designer hotel is quietly setting a new fashionable standard for Limassol. In the past dismissed as just an expanded bustling fishing port, the changing face of Cyprus’s second city with its exclusive shopping, vibrant nightlife and wealth of culture in an agreeable climate is now attracting tourists from all over Europe and the Middle East.

The Londa is described as a ‘couture’ property to reflect the exceptional design qualities and illustrates a level of service offered at the hotel, meaning bespoke or tailored. The service and experience is customised to each individual, not ‘off the peg’.

The World Travel Awards were established in 1993 to acknowledge and celebrate excellence in the world’s travel and tourism industry. With thousands of votes cast by travel professionals from 160,000 travel agencies in over 200 countries across the globe, winning a World Travel Award has become a very desirable endorsement of the success of a travel brand. The Londa is a member of Great Hotels of the World.

For more information, visit www.londahotel.com

Limassol’s options for a conference centre October 11, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Architecture Cyprus.
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Seven earlier sites for a 2,000-capacity conference centre in Limassol have been turned down by the public and private sector stakeholders in favour of seven new potential sites where the CyPounds 15-30 million [25.6-51.3 million euros] multi-purpose venue will be built.

The proposed sites are in the Enaerios area, the new marina (old port) and in Yermasogia. The initial sites had been selected through a consultation between the Cyprus Tourism Organisation [CTO], Limassol City Councils and the town’s Chamber of Commerce.

However, the project consultants from Greece found all of the criteria for the site selection, such as central location, easy access, services, parking, to be unsuitable in terms of planning and logistics. The study is now expected to complete by the end of the year while the CTO hopes that construction work on conference centre will start in 2009 or 2010.