Scholars' Association News
Issue 28
November 2013

01/04


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The Programme of the Onassis Cultural Centre, 2013–2014
 

Monday 23 September 2013 saw the presentation of the new season’s programme at the Onassis Cultural Centre before a crowded hall charged with a festive atmosphere. The simple yet highly impressive ceremony included short speeches and presentations of this year’s events, productions, festivals and educational programmes according to theme, as well as imaginative videos and modern graphics by Beetroot, with simultaneous sign language interpretation by Sofia Roboli, live streaming for those not able to attend, with the opportunity to participate and comment through posts and photos on social networks.

The President of the Onassis Foundation, Anthony Papadimitriou, welcomed the audience of artists, journalists and art-lovers, presenting a brief review of the OCC’s successful three-year course. He added that its goal continues to be the production and promotion of modern Greek culture. The OCC is open to all people of all ages, while it is accessible to all types of spectators, thanks to its infrastructure, topics and ticket pricing policy. And of course it remains open to intellectual currents and artistic trends that are bold enough to break with the past and are related to democracy and progress.

Radical changes are underway in visual actions, with contemporary forms of expression, that have the ability to attract and excite young people and the general public, through their active participation in the Art adventure. Extroversion is not simply an intention. It is put into action, outside the OCC, outside the capital, and beyond the Greek borders. Anthony Papadimitriou also referred to the novel activities surrounding the Cavafy Archive and "Re-think Athens", on which separate presentations will be held. Handing over the floor to the other presenters, he spoke of the OCC’s even greater success, which is none other than the creation of a tireless group of young and experienced people, who work hard and imaginatively to earn the admiration of visitors/spectators.

The OCC in figures, based on last season:

  • – Average occupancy of halls: 87%
  • – 19 sold-out events
  • – Several spectators visited the OCC more than 12 times in 8 months
  • – At least 22,000 people worldwide watched the "Talks and Thoughts" cycle online.
  • – The registered Friends of the OCC numbered about 3,000.
  • – The OCC had over 100,000 friends on Facebook.

The Programme

The event continued with the floor being taken by the people of the OCC themselves, the "true stars of the evening", to present its ambitious, innovative and multi-inclusive programme, which covers a wide range of domestic and international artistic activities. Not confining itself to OCC premises, the programme reaches out into the neighbourhoods of Athens and the regions of Greece. The OCC’s Executive Director, Christos Karras, and the Vice - Executive Director, Afroditi Panagiotakou, pointed out that last year the strengthening of the relationship between the OCC and the public, as well as with the city, became all too apparent, whilst the OCC, they said, "became the haunt of children and teenagers". Beyond the enthusiastic response from the audience of all ages, the OCC’s people and visitors feel proud of the "Remarkable Greeks" who also excel abroad.

Special mention was made of the invaluable financial support from the Onassis Foundation, the foreign educational institutes in Athens and naturally from the commercial sponsors – strategic partners.

The themes in the new programme were presented by the artistic director in the Music Department, Christos Karras, the artistic director of Theatre-Dance, Katia Arfara, and the artistic director of Visual Arts, Marilena Karra. The educational programmes and the "Talks & Thoughts" cycle were presented by the executive Vice Director, Afroditi Panagiotakou.

The presentation was broadcast live on the official website.

Visual Arts

The internationally renowned French artist Christian Boltanski creates exclusively for the OCC a new, participatory project focusing on the people of Athens’ looks and heartbeats. The exhibition, entitled "Eyes", will run from 8 October 2013 to 12 January 2014.

In addition, within the context of Visual Dialogues 2013, the Recreation Park at Plato’s Academy and the National Gardens are transformed into exhibition spaces for works inspired by Constantine Cavafy.

Theatre

More political and sensitive than ever before are the theatrical performances presented by the OCC this year. Bookings of outstanding international performances, which each seem to promise a unique and unrivalled experience; the best of modern Greek creation; the theatre steps outside the confines of the OCC for the first time and is presented using the most modern technologies; lastly, modern Balkan creation, so near yet so unfamiliar, is revealed to us.

  • The theatrical season at the OCC begins with a tribute to Dimitris Dimitriadis. Apart from the performance of the play The Circle of the Square, directed by Dimitris Karantzas, on the Main Stage (16–27/10), three more plays by Dimitris Dimitriadis are performed for the first time in Greece in the form of readings, directed by Yiannis Kokkos, Argyro Chioti (Vasistas) and Elli Papageorgakopoulou.
  • "After Fukushima, what?" wonders the 40-year-old Japanese avant-garde writer, director and visual artist, Toshiki Okada, who returns to the Upper Stage after two years, with the allegorical performance Ground and Floor (30/10–2/11).
  • The Train by Lenos Christidis is the OCC’s production this year intended for teenagers, directed by Sophia Vgenopoulou and the Grasshopper theatre company (7/11–13/4).
  • From Great Britain comes Before Υour Very Eyes (8–10/11).
  • The End by Elena Mavridou is performed on the Upper Stage (13–24/11), directed by Simos Kakalas.
  • James Thiérrée, popular both abroad and in Greece, returns with a performance combining circus, dance and music, that plunges the spectator into a dream world: Tabac Rouge (22– 24/11).
  • Ektoras Lygizos stages a frenetic farce about the financial crisis, Room Service (18/12–5/1), on the Upper Stage.
  • An adventure – descent into the abyss of desire is staged by Michael Marmarinos with Faust by Goethe (15/1–2/2, Main Stage), starring among others Akyllas Karazissis, Evi Saoulidou, Theodora Tzimou.
  • Based on texts by the Nobel laureate Elias Canetti, the musical Eraritjaritjaka: The Museum of Phrases by the groundbreaking director and composer Heiner Goebbels is performed on the Main Stage (26–28/2).
  • The work by the Austrian Nobel laureate Elfriede Jelinek Die Kontrakte des Kaufmanns, subtitled Eine wirtschaftskomödie, is adapted to the conditions of the Greek economic crisis and is staged as a crazy musical happening (27–29/3).
  • The imaginary encounter between the Indian elephant-headed god Ganesh and Hitler is the subject of the play Ganesh versus the Τhird Reich, which presents a troupe of intellectually disabled professional actors of international repute (27–29/3).
  • The "Youth Theatre Festival" returns from 11 to 13 April for the fourth consecutive year.
  • This is followed by the "Fast Forward Festival", which takes upon itself to introduce us to the theatre of the future, with site-specific performances, such as the very popular Rimini Protokoll (28/4–3/5).
  • A revelatory journey in the city through the eyes of an immigrant is staged on the streets of Athens by the distinguished Dutch director and visual artist Dries Verhoeven, entitled No Μan’s Land, within the context of the "Theatre outside the OCC" (9–18/5).
  • A frightening performance exclusively for adults is staged by Lena Kitsopoulou on the Upper Stage (19-25/5) entitled Little Red Riding Hood: The first blood. She herself takes part, along with Yiannos Perlengas, Emily Koliandri, and others.

Music

Jazz and rock from around the world, as well as from Greece, classical music, sometimes with a refreshing air, unexpected encounters, new works by Dimitris Papadimitriou and numerous appearances by the Camerata, make up the new, musical programme at the Onassis Cultural Centre.

  • In Mute Festival: Contemporary music – silent films. Electronic sounds, acoustic instruments, on classical images. The Australian composer Lawrence English presents music written for Strike by Sergei Eisenstein; the Greek duo Silent Move will accompany Jean Epstein’s film The Fall of the House of Usher; the German artist Thomas Köner performs the soundtrack for the documentary Nanook of the North by Robert J. Flaherty, while Michalis Moschoutis provides the musical backdrop for the play The Wind by Victor Sjöström (12–13/10).
  • Rob Mazurek & São Paulo Underground: An explosive mixture of electroacoustic music, jazz, post-rock, avant-garde and tropicalia from the American cornetist Rob Mazurek and the percussionist Mauricio Takara, together with the multi-instrumentalist Guilherme Granado (23–24/10).
  • Secret Gig I – Chapter 24 | Mechanimal: The first OCC secret gig will present two Greek ensembles; Chapter 24, who have been on the scene for three decades, and Yiannis Papaioannou’s Mechanimal (8/11).
  • Camerata – Rock Goes Baroque: The Beatles meet Vivaldi and Elvis Presley "listens" to his hits played on instruments from the Baroque era, all thanks to Camerata soloists, and with the signature of Slovakian composer Peter Breiner (14/11).
  • Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin: Zen and funk, avant-garde and Japanese traditions in a concert by Swiss pianist, composer and producer Nik Bärtsch (16/11).
  • Remember Shakti: Jazz meets the sounds of Indian tradition played by the historic ensemble Shakti, which celebrates its 40th anniversary. It is made up of legendary figures from the jazz-rock and ethnic scene, who converge between East and West (26/11).
  • Medea Electronique – Soundscapes/Landscapes: Sound and image artists research and create a new form of artistic digital mapping of the Athenian quarter of Neos Kosmos and invite us on a real-time tour (December 2013 – June 2014).
  • Tribute to Luciano Berio: To mark the 10th anniversary of his death, tribute will be paid to the Italian composer Luciano Berio, whose music stars the human voice, in particular, that of females. Artistic design – organization: Katrin Zenz. Music editor: Anagyros Deniozos. Featuring the ensemble TORA (1/12).
  • "Aesop’s Fables" by Dimitris Papadimitriou: The OCC commissioned the composer to write a modular piece of music based on Aesop’s Fables. The work is orchestral with soloist singers / narrator, with a view to creating a repertoire in the genre by Greek composers, on themes taken from the Greek tradition. The heroes of the Fables are brought to life by a Shadow Theatre akin to the Karagiozis tradition, but not confined to this (4 –8/12).
  • 3rd Greek Jazz Panorama: A unique experience of the musical coexistence of East and West, with the Takis Barberis Group, pianist Sami Amiris and the highly-acclaimed musicians in his group, Kostas Theodorou and friends, who will meet up with top musicians from abroad (6–8/12).
  • Kyriakos Kalaitzidis | En Chordais: The music journeys of Marco Polo: What would we hear today if Marco Polo had had a sound recording machine with him on his travels? And how would he have used all that wealth of sound if he himself had been a composer? Sounds that can be traced back to the 13th and 14th centuries, classical Chinese music, Uzbek songs, Indian traditions, learned Persian music, Byzantine chants, Medieval music from Venice (10/12).
  • Camerata – Christmas with Mozart: The Camerata celebrates Christmas 2013 with two of Mozart’s best-loved masterpieces, the Symphony in C Major, no. 41 and the Mass in C Minor (27/12).
  • Tribute to the composer Mauricio Kagel, founder of the New Music Theatre. Based around the magnus opus of the music theatre Staatstheater (1971), singers, musicians, actors and technicians will present an amalgam of representative works by the German-Argentine artist. Concept, musical and theatrical editing, realisations: Anargyros Deniozos (11-12/1).
  • Greek Song Competition / 3 Composition + Lyrics = Song: The Greek Song Competition that promotes young composers, lyric-writers and trends in Greek entekhno song, is being held for the third year running and focuses on song as the integrated result of musical and lyric composition (21/12).
  • Stavros Gasparatos – Seven Deadly Sins: Lust, sloth, pride, gluttony, greed, wrath, envy: seven deadly sins in one concert through the eyes of Stavros Gasparatos (22/12).
  • Louis Sclavis/Atlas Trio: The clarinetist and composer Louis Sclavis combines jazz with French folk music. Louis Sclavis: clarinet, Benjamin Moussay: piano and keyboard, Gilles Coronado: guitar (18/1).
  • Music Village at the OCC: The musical community of Mount Pelion travels down to the capital for a three-day festival of sounds and idioms (24–26/1).
  • Secret Gig IΙ – Last Drive/Illegal Operation: Garage and blues through the filters of two leading Greek ensembles, Last Drive and Illegal Operation, which apart from having high artistic value, both attract large audiences (8/2).
  • Workshop "The Greek Song: Interpretation", a workshop that aims to shed light on the interpretation of song as a means of conveying the contents of the music and lyrics (11/2).
  • String Quartet Tetraktys: Two important works from the 20th and 21st centuries by the talented musicians of the Greek quartet Tetraktys (14/2).
  • The Athens State Orchestra will present works by Ravel and Stravinsky, along with works by a young Greek composer, Nicolas Tzortzis, as well as the work of the young French composer Raphaël Cendo (17/2).
  • Yannis Kyriakides/Maze Ensemble – The ephemeral voice: A young composer of contemporary music in works that bridge tradition and new technologies, as well as composition and improvisation (20/2).
  • In Luna Park the composer Georges Aperghis places four performers side by side, their only contact being through microphones, cameras, screens, hidden loudspeakers (21/2).
  • Borderline Festival ’14: An international festival in its fourth appearance invites us to a searching game with changing parameters, seeking surprise, the imperfect, the revelation of gaps in personal language and interpretation (4–9/3).
  • Cycle "Unknown Hellenism and Young Creators": Children and teenagers, aged between 10 and 14, are invited to write a story or a fairytale (23/3).
  • Maya Homburger & Barry Guy: A double bass and a violin, Barry Guy and Maya Homburger, urge each other towards new areas of musical expression (28/3).
  • Short Movies Competition – Topic: "The Greek Song – Music by Greek composers": In an effort towards primary creation and interaction between two different arts, music and the cinema (30/3).
  • Typana Percussion Ensemble: The ensemble will present a comprehensive tribute to Japanese composition for percussion, with emphasis on great Japanese composers of the second half of the 20th century (31/3).
  • Ryoji Ikeda – superposition: The leading Japanese visual artist and composer comes to the OCC with two performers and tears apart material, image, sound and human behaviour with vitality and strength that shock the audience (8–9/4).
  • Jack DeJohnette, Joe Lovano, Esperanza Spalding, Leo Genovese – The Spring Quartet: Four major figures of jazz come together: drummer DeJohnette, saxophonist Lovano, bass player Spalding and pianist Genovese (11–12/4).
  • Secular Oratorio for Greek Easter: The new opus by Dimitris Papadimitriou for soloist, orchestra and choir (16/4).
  • At the second concert given by the Athens State Orchestra at the OCC we will hear alongside famous works by Debussy and Stravinsky, a work by Christina Athinodorou from Cyprus, as well as works by modern French composers. Conducted by Pierre-André Valade (9/5).
  • Anthony Braxton – Diamond Curtain Wall Quartet: Between sheet music and improvisation, innovation and jazz, tradition and the future, Anthony Braxton presents "ghost-trance music", inspired by Schönberg, Stockhausen, Boulez, Xenakis, etc., as well as free-jazz (10/5).
  • Manos Tsangaris/dissonArt Ensemble – Love & Diversity: The composer Manos Tsangaris joins forces with the contemporary music ensemble, the dissonArt Εnsemble (19–20/5).
  • Secret Gig IΙΙ – Baby Guru | Tango with Lions: Two of the most talked-about names on the new alternative rock scene come together in the third "secret gig" at the OCC: Baby Guru, with guitar-based sound, strong elements of African percussion, psychedelia, electronica and krautrock, and Katerina Papachristou’s Tango with Lions, combining electricity and dark outbursts with Neil Sedaka and Mozart (12/6).

Dance

Dance in the new season at the OCC is an ongoing pursuit of beauty, harmony, the fulfilment of man through deep internal processes. The public is invited to take part in an extensive and original programme, which places reflection adjacent to entertainment, reality next to the dream, without overlooking the fact that in art everything is ultimately magic!

  • In recalculate, the new work from the Klokworks company, four dancers seek their way, which constantly changes as their actions create new destinations (19/10).
  • Dance pioneer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and the leading light of the younger generation Boris Charmatz interpret in their own way Bach’s Partita 2 (12/12).
  • Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s Rosas meet the ensemble Ictus and invite us to a spin along the endless paths of the spiral of time (16/12).
  • 1st New Choreographers Festival (1/2) presents four new productions by five up-and-coming, talented artists. The Australian Paul Blackman and the Greeks Christina Gouzeli, Lenio Kaklea, Elpida Orfanidou and Panagiota Kallimani explore the boundaries of dance research and creation.
  • For the second consecutive year the OCC welcomes "Dancing to connect", an educational programme designed to give students the opportunity to discover collaboration and communication codes through dance. By the Chapter Two company (23/2).
  • The performance by the 65+ group, The body can dance forever, is intended for those who believe that dance has no age limit. The dancers taking part are all over 65 years of age, yet they are determined to convince us that creativity and love for life knows no age limits. Artistic conception and choreographic creation, Patricia Aperghi and Hara Kotsali (21/3).
  • Lo Real: The famous Spanish dancer and choreographer Israel Galván dances the "impossible" and the stage erupts (23/4).
  • Dimitris Papaioannou makes his OCC debut with new, long-awaited work (23/5–8/6).

Festivals

  • The Contemporary Art Festival of the Independent Balkan Scene (5–16/3) will host performances by artists from Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro, FYROM, Albania, Bulgaria, Rumania and Moldova, who over the past few years have revolutionized the international scene. The festival welcomes Marina Abramović who comes to discuss her work (7/3).
  • FFF – Fast Forward Festival: New technologies, new media, new forms: the theatre of the future unfolds in unexpected places and on the streets of Athens. Bringing into play digital cameras, iPods, mobile phones, the Internet, documentary and editing techniques… (28/4).

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