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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 26 May 2018
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 26 MAY 2018 19 ARTS Poet Thodoris Gonis curates the guided tour around the National Garden of Athens. Kariofilia Karabeti stars in the Cyprus Theatre Organisation’s production of The Persians, by Aeschylus. PHOTO: STELIOS KALLINIKOU Bruno Beltrao and Grupo de Rua will present Inoah, a dance performance on the current political situation in Brazil. PHOTO: KERSTIN BEHRENDT Theatre has hosted some of the greatest music stars and celebrated orchestras in the world, from both classical and pop genres, and has staged countless opera performances. This year's edition is bookended by two seminal operas, Verdi's Nabucco and Bizet's Carmen, both produced by the Greek National Opera. The celebrated Greek baritone Dimitri Platanias will portray Nabucco in the first production (1, 3, 6, 8 June), having already received acclaim for this performance at prestigious venues around the world. The performance will be directed by Leo Muscato, a rising star of Italian opera, in his first ever collaboration with the Greek National Opera. As for Carmen, directed by the distinguished artistic director of the Göteborg Opera Stephen Langridge, it will close the musical events of the festival (27-29, 31 July). In the meantime, the Roman theatre will play host to international stars such as Sting (22 & 23 June), Tex- Mex rockers Calexico (3 & 4 July), Nana Mouskouri (5 July) and firebrand violinist Nigel Kennedy (17 July). But the most anticipated star to grace the theatre this year is actor Bill Murray, who will present ‘New Worlds’ (19 June), his collaboration with German cellist Jan Vogler, in which classical texts (by Walt Whitman, Mark Twain and Ernest Hemingway among others) are juxtaposed with music (by Gershwin, Bernstein, Bach, Saint-Saëns and more). As far as Greek stars are concerned, few can rival the world-renowned singer Eleftheria Arvanitaki, who will join forces with TAKIM, a band known for their playful take on traditional folk music, in a celebration of the singers' 30-year trajectory in music on 14 June. A few days earlier, 11 June, another great figure of Greek music will take the stage. Acclaimed composer and musician Nikos Kypourgos has prepared an ambitious program titled ‘The Secrets of Egnatia’, a tribute to the music of northern Greece. This musical 'road trip' will bring to the stage songs and languages from the fringes of the Egnatia Motorway; a musical babel weaving together Vlach, Arvanitika, Slavic, Turkish, Greek Pontiac, Cappadocian, Romani, Hebrew and Pomak songs, featuring musicians from various regions. Friends of classical music should make a note to see Il Pomo d'Oro on 12 June, performing arias and duets from Handel's 'mythical' operas (Arianna in Creta, Hercules, Il Pastor Fido, Imeneo, Apollo e Dafne, Giove in Argo), as well as the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra (27 June), performing the works of the great Russian composer. As for the Greek jazz community, it will be presented in its own festival-within-thefestival, Aqua Jazz Athens, in collaboration with the Jazz and Mediterranean Music Lab of the Ionian University at the Athens Conservatoire (9-12 July), and featuring lectures, workshops and performances from morning to nightfall. A HAVEN OF MODERN DANCE Once associated with ballet, nowadays the festival features some of the most groundbreaking dance companies in the world, alongside the vanguards of Greek dance, such as the Athens-based Jukstapoz, a group that has performed at festivals and theatres around the world, gaining acclaim for their cinematic style. They will present ‘The Art of Dying’, a solo piece inspired by Hieronymus Bosch's The Garden of Earthly Delights, at Peiraios 260 (11 & 12 June). Brazilian dance master Bruno Beltrão and his Grupo de Rua, will be making their first ever appearance in Greece, with Inoah, in which his signature hip-hop influenced choreographies, will address the contemporary political conditions in Brazil. (Peiraios 260, 13-15 June). The festival also features Marlene Monteiro Freitas, hailed as one of the greatest talents of her generation (24 & 25 June, Peiraios 260), but also local favourite Ioannis Mandafounis, in a duet with Manon Parent (Peiraios 260, 1-3 July). FREE EVENTS AROUND ATHENS Though not exactly dance, Chloé Moglia's ‘Horizon’ certainly has some of the traits of modern dance, relying on the performer's physical abilities, as well as her use of body to express emotions. Borrowing from her experiences with martial arts and the trapeze, the performance artist is going to hang in midair from a bending pole in two public performances, at Syntagma Square (7 June) and at Peiraios 260 (8 June). Hers are not the only free events happening around the city, as the festival has a special program using public spaces, from openair cinema screenings to an archaeological walk from the Temple of Olympian Zeus to the riverbed of Ilisos, guided by Dr Myrto Litsa (20 June). But as far as guided tours go, there's one that every visitor to Athens should consider. Back by popular demand, after last year's run, the tour to the National Garden, curated by poet Thodoris Gonis is a poetic journey drawing on texts and documents historically linked to the marble statues of poets, politicians and other historical figures that visitors come across while visiting the garden, including the agriculturalists and engineers that helped shape it; the tour also tells the charming story of the 20-yearold Queen Amalia (arguably the most popular royal in the 140 year history of Greek monarchy), who created the garden, leaving it as a legacy to the people of Athens. This tour is taking place on several nights (3-6, 11-13 and 17-19 June). For this and the other events, as well as for tickets, visit greekfestival.gr The New York-based Nature Theater of Oklahoma, will kickstart the festival with the Pursuit of Happiness, a surreal folk western. Eleftheria Arvanitaki will look back at her three decades in music, joined by modern folk group Takim. Ioannis Mandafounis and Manon Parent will present their energetic duet ‘Sing the Positions’.
19 May 2018
2 June 2018