Scholars' Association News
Issue 40
November 2016


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The Onassis Cultural Centre’s programme for the 2016-2017 artistic period

The Onassis Cultural Centre is launching the new artistic period inspired by its role as a venue where daring ideas, arts and individuals can come together. Keywords in this year’s programme are: City, Women, Middle East, United States of America.

Visual Arts

- British artist Time Etchells is creating a neon letter installation on the front facade of the Onassis Cultural Centre as well as other phrases indoors to shed light on the self-evident: All we have is words, All we have is worlds (October 2016 ‒ July 2017).

- Hybrids: on the borderline between art and technology. Science meets art. Technology, activism and pop culture go hand-in-hand in this new exhibition being staged by the Onassis Cultural Centre in partnership with Ars Electronica Linz, an innovative new media research and cultural centre. ‘Hybrids’ explores the concept of hybridism, the mixing of different media and idioms leading to new forms of artistic expression. The future of digital art, now at the Onassis Cultural Centre (7/11/2016 ‒ 15/1/2017).

‒ ‘Tomorrows’: Urban myths in the future at the Diplarion School. How will daily life be in the cities of the future? What protocols will determine relations between residents in the future urban and natural environment? What role will the local features of different geographical areas and cities, like those of the Mediterranean, and Athens, have in the future? Answers will be provided in this exhibition through utopian –but also dystopian– scenarios devised by visual artists, architects and designers who use the future as a tool for comprehending the present (May – June 2017).


- The theatre season at the Onassis Cultural Centre kicks off with While I was waiting exploring the war in Syria by the Syrian director Omar Abusaada (26 and 27/10/2016).

‒ The Shakespeare season includes the Sonnets/Hamlet by Boris Nikitin along with the performer and singer Julian Meding (a subversive performance for one night only dedicated to the body and love) and By Heart by Tiago Rodrigues, a show based on how ten individuals try to learn a single Shakespearian sonnet (16-18/12/2016).

‒ Isabelle Huppert, the unconventional high priestess of French cinema, brings Phaedra(s) by Krzysztof Warlikowski to the Onassis Cultural Centre, playing much more than the role of the tragic queen who fell in love with her husband’s son, in this playful and grandiose on-stage epxloration of love, inspired by Euripides, Seneca and three modern writers (20‒22/12/2016).

‒ Syllas Tzoumerkas and Yula Boudali have adapted Ed McBain's pulp novel King’s Ransom, in a hybrid performance that will transform the Onassis Cultural Centre’s premises, entitled High to Low – A killer in Tokyo (25‒30/12/2016 and 2‒8/1/2017).

‒ A modern staging of Moliere’s Don Juan, that masterpiece of the classical repertoire, directed by Michail Marmarinos, incorporates aspects of other Don Juan’s from world literature and dangles on the borders of two languages: that of cinema and theatre. Produced by: Onassis Cultural Centre (25/1‒12/2/2017).

‒ Based on the ‘Age of Innocence’ chapter of Doukas Kapantais’ novel The Empress, a triumph of vice, lust and the excesses of power, the play of the same name breaks every taboo. The Nova Melancholia company returns to the Onassis Cultural Centre to put the boundaries of moral and aesthetic propriety to the test, through this visual performance. Production: Onassis Cultural Centre (11/1‒26/3/2017).

‒ The Vasistas Company and Argyro Hioti tackle Dante’s Divine Comedy, one of medieval Europe’s most important works. Markellos Chrysikopoulos and Jan Van de Engel combine classical music and electronic compositions creating a live soundscape for the show. Production: Onassis Cultural Centre. Co-production: Les théâtres (France) (22/4‒6/5/2017).

Hearing by Amir Reza Koohestani: The multi-award-winning young Iranian director and playwright returns to the Onassis Cultural Centre with a sparse yet epic work which explores his homeland’s Kafkaesque reality (28‒30/4/2017).

‒ Euripides Hippolytus: A tale of hatred and beauty, with sound masks. The composer – sound researcher Dimitris Kamarotos and Amalia Moutousi have an unusual take on this ancient drama in terms of sight and sound, an unpredictable site-specific performance which isn’t being held at the Onassis Cultural Centre but at the Parnassus Literary Society (7‒11/6/2017).

‒ These two productions are primarily aimed at the Onassis Cultural Centre’s teenage audience: Moskov-Selim by Georgios Vizyinos, a work in praise of friendship and humanity, directed by Dimitris Xanthopoulos (12/11/2016‒9/4/2017), and Athens, Letter 2, a work based on Linie 1 by Volker Ludwig, directed by Sofia Vgenopoulou and performed by the Grasshopper Youth company (15‒19/2/2017).

‒ Finally, the theatrical production of The Call of the Wild directed by Eleni Efthymiou, based on the allegorical novel of that name by Jack London, will be performed away from the Onassis Cultural Centre in remote areas, in various schools and institutions (31/10/2016‒31/5/2017).


Displacement by Mithkal Alzghair on the Onassis Cultural Centre’s Upper Stage is a work dedicated to Syria. Through music and dance motifs taken from traditional dances it explores the dynamic and tradition of Syrian culture and grapples issues of displacement and exile (26‒27/10/2016).

Sweet Mambo by Pina Bausch: In her penultimate work the legendary choreographer masterfully combined movement, dialogue, music and video to showcase the charm and complexity of human relations (3‒6/11/2016).

Khaos: An artistic experiment by Laurent Chétouane which attempts to explore chaos, placing it in the role of a creative force. Thanks to a specially designed system of speakers the work creates ‘musical chaos’ for the spectators and performers: 5 dancers and 3 musicians. Utilising the artistic process, Chétouane offers a unique experience enabling us to take a fresh look at overturning order, and the chance for new worlds to emerge (9‒11/12/2016).

‒ Jérôme Bel returns to the Onassis Cultural Centre with his new work, Gala. The subversive choreographer uses the gala, that commonplace theatrical form, to highlight something less commonplace: a dance devised by the residents of Athens; an experiment about the potential way and place in which we can co-exist with the other (9‒10/1/2017).

Ottof (meaning ‘ant’ in the Bedouin language) is a performance by Bouchra Ouizguen for 5 women who spent their entire life working hard. Their Mediterranean bodies walk the tightrope between tradition and the modern world. Gradually peeling away the veils that cover them, they dance with refreshing liberty in a work about life itself and women who love life (21‒23/2/2017).

Cementary: Patricia Apergi returns to the Onassis Cultural Centre with a work that puts dance at the heart of urban daily life. The city as a nexus of creativity and dancers as members of a community who envisage a ‘street fantasy’. The work’s ambiguous title, which suggests a cement cemetery, condenses the contradictions which society is currently experiencing. An international co-production of the Onassis Cultural Centre featuring a team of select dancers from the next generation (1‒3/3/2017).

‒ ‘Dancing to Connect’: The Onassis Cultural Centre brings modern dance into school for the fifth year in a row. The educational programme brings dance to 5 schools in Komotini and another 5 in Athens. At the end of the programme the schools will present their choreographies in their home town and then at the Onassis Cultural Centre in a performance featuring all the schools (12/3/2017).

STAGED: Maria Hassabi, of Cypriot descent, partners with 4 of the most interesting dancers from New York, turning the gaze back on the body as a work of art and mingling their parallel solos into a single composition that resembles as moving sculpture. The work focuses on expanding time, and the movements which occur in the intervening gaps become the centrepiece of the choreography (7‒9/4/2017).

- Dimitris Papaioannou, painter, performer, comic writer, choreographer, director and curator of art exhibitions, has been working behind the scenes to take his audience by surprise in his second production for the Onassis Cultural Centre (24/5‒11/6/2017).

Festival of Theatre and Dance

‒ Made in USA: innovative artists and companies which have been causing waves on the US scene since the end of the 1990s will take over all Onassis Cultural Centre premises in November. Just some of the choreographers and directors involved are Trajal Harrell, Annie Dorsen, Daniel Fish, Michelle Ellsworth, Heather Kravas, Miguel Gutierrez, Richard Maxwell, Zachary Oberzan, Faye Driscoll, and the 600 Highwaymen (13‒29/11/2016).

‒ Young Choreographers Festival: As an organisation committed to providing a forum for young choreographers, for the fourth consecutive year the Onassis Cultural Centre is supporting and showcasing rising stars from the world of modern dance from both Greece and abroad (1‒2/4/2017).

- 2017 Youth Theatre Festival: Modern Greek writers (Ioli Andreadi, Glykeria Basdeki, Vangelis Kyriakou, Thanasis Triaridis, Giannis Tsirbas) have written new plays for the occasion, while acclaimed modern plays from abroad now feature in the festival’s repertoire. Coordinator and curator: Grasshopper Youth ‒ Sofia Vgenopoulou, Vangelis Kyriakou, Katerina Skourli (7‒9/4/2017).

‒ Fast Forward Festival 4: The 4th Fast Forward Festival is focusing on the concept of ‘home’. International and Greek artists will explore current questions of social uncertainty and involuntary nomadism, the lack of housing and a sense of neighbourhood within the social and political realm (1‒15/5/2017).


‒ Brian Eno, The Ship: Inspired by the sinking of the Titanic, WWI and mankind’s constant teetering between hubris and paranoia, Brian Eno has brought together key features of his work: music, installations and song writing (3‒23/10/2016).

‒ ‘Diasporas in Dialogue’, in conjunction with the conference on ‘Diasporas in Dialogue Multiculturalism, migration and improvisatory imagination’, artists from around the world present a wide range of hybrid art forms: performances, site-specific installations, dance, sound art, videos and other visual arts at the Onassis Cultural Centre as a corollary to the research workshop Κοumaria Residency which was held in the area of Koumaria near Sparta (7‒9/10/2016).

‒ Dimitrios Papadimitriou, Erotikos Logos: starting from the work of the same name by the poet Giorgos Seferis, the composer attempts to convey the poetic form in music. Featuring the ERT National Symphonic Orchestra (18‒19/10/2016).

- The Hellenic Project: Transformations 1 Cycle / Bach, Mozart, Satie... Journey to the East (2/11/2016).

‒ Matana Roberts, Coin Coin ‒ Chapter Three: electronic sounds and primal song (4/11/2016).

‒ AZIZA: Dave Holland, Chris Potter, Lionel Loueke and Eric Harland (10/11/2016).

‒ 6th Panorama of Greek Jazz (2‒4/12/2016).

- The Hellenic Project: ‘The Greek Song’ Cycle / Turning the world’s myths into children’s songs (3‒4/12/2016).

‒ Ergon Ensemble, In Vain (6/12/2016).

‒ Klangforum Wien (12/1/2017).

- The Hellenic Project: Transformations 2 Cycle / Dichterliebe: The poet’s love (22/1/2017).

‒ A musical bridge over Syngrou Ave. / Panteion University (25/1/2017, 8/2/2017, 15/2/2017).

‒ Jaimeo Brown Transcendence, with Chris Sholar and Jaleel Shaw (27/1/2017).

‒ Harris Lambrakis Quartet (11/2/2017).

‒ Ensemble Musikfabrik: Harry Partch (23/2/2017).

- The Hellenic Project: Transformations 3 Cycle / The poet’s loves (24/2/2017).

‒ Open Day (5/3/2017): Tribute to the avant-garde musical school of New York from the second half of the 20th century.

‒ Arditti Quartet, Everything is important by Jennifer Walshe (14/03/2017).

- The Hellenic Project: Repertoire Development cycle / Music in the eyes (18‒19/3/2017): selected paintings from the National Art Gallery’s collection will inspire the composition of new musical works.

‒ Manos Tsangaris, Home / Living Spaces (30/3‒2/4/2017).

‒ Borderline Festival ’17 (19‒23/4/2017).

‒ Big Bang Festival 3 (18‒21/5/2017): A music festival for kids.

‒ ARTéfacts ensemble and UrbanDig Project, Music for the New World (26‒27/5/2017).

- Greek Jazz Panorama: New Generation 4 (9‒11/6/2017).

‒ Ilan Volkov and the Athens State Orchestra: Tectonics Athens Festival (16‒18/6/2017).

‒ Appalachian Cobra Worshippers, The Onassis Cultural Centre in your home: the group brings folk americana to the Onassis Cultural Centre and shares its experience via live performances in the most unexpected of places.


‒ Ιn-Εdit: The world’s largest soundtrack festival comes to the Onassis Cultural Centre (20‒23/10/2016).

‒ Flixit at the Onassis Cultural Centre: Premiers, screenings, seminars, exhibitions, concerts, interactive games and events for all, all year long. Opening with the premier of the movies The Great Eastern by The Callas and a live performance with The Callas and Lee Ranaldo from Sonic Youth (16/12/2016).

Words and Thoughts

‒Conference: ‘Multiculturalism, migration and improvisatory imagination’, as part of the Diasporas in Dialogue season. Speakers: Amalia Zepou, Nelli Kambouri, Thomas Maloutas, Valerie Amiraux, Ajay Heble, George Lipsitz, Christine Straehle, Daniel Weinstock, Deborah Wong, and participants from the Koumaria Residency (8‒9/10/2016).

‒ A spot of gossip with Marjane Satrapi: the author of the international best-seller Perseopolis which she herself adapted for cinema, is visiting the Onassis Cultural Centre for an on-stage chat (30/11/2016).

– ‘Hack the Camp’: A marathon of creative technologies for refugees. ‘Hack the Camp’ is being organised to help address the challenges in the refugee question and the integration issues this has posed, by holding a marathon session to develop innovative apps and services, and develop cultural and educational content (2‒4/12/2016).

‒ Famed Arabic poet Adunis at the Onassis Cultural Centre (10/1/2017).

‒ ‘The Death of Recorded Music’: A 3-day event with lectures, talks and open music studio about the ‘death’ of recorded music and its future, featuring academics, theoreticians, musicians and owners of indie labels (Spring 2017).

‒ Guerrilla Girls: A group set up to condemn the male-dominated world of art. Wearing their instantly-recognisable gorilla masks, these oft-belligerent, unnamed feminists continue to target sexism, racism and corruption in politics, art and pop culture (9/3/2017).

‒ ‘Who’s afraid of Pussy Riot?’: The world’s most famous women’s collective. Punk rock feminists and activists from Russia. Two of the members are visiting Athens to present their work and talk to the public at the Onassis Cultural Centre (24/3/2017).

- ‘Headscarves, hymens and sexual revolution’: the award-winning American-Egyptian journalist Mona Elthahawy talks about women’s lives in the Middle East (23/5/2017).

- Digital Wednesdays 2016-2017: Inspired by the article by Hito Steyerl, Too Much World: Is the Internet Dead?, Digital Wednesdays will explore the answers art provides to the question of our constant interconnection via the internet and the creation of hybrid reality between the physical and digital world (October 2016 – June 2017).


‒ Greece in the 80s at the Onassis Cultural Centre: As part of the exhibition ‘GR80s: Greece in the 80s at Technopolis’ the Onassis Cultural Centre has put together a programme of parallel actions designed to lay bare the myth of the 1980s in Greece. Featuring talks, parties, master classes, screenings of films, TV series and video clips from the period, we can recall a much misunderstood decade or get to know it for the first time (January – March 2017).

International collaborations

‒ ‘Interfaces’: new models and practices to expand the audience for modern music in Europe. The Onassis Cultural Centre is coordinating an international, interdisciplinary project to bring new music to a wider audience. The network will feature a very extensive range of activities such as new types of performances at innovative venues employing new media, training activities, a study of audience animators as well as conferences and artist residencies. The project will generate a large volume of original work which will then be presented to the public at live events or online at

‒ ‘iDance’: developing innovative practices to provide the disabled with access to modern dance training. The programme’s objective is to bolster skills and to develop, convey and implement innovative practices that ensure open access to culture through dance.

‒ ‘Private Matter’: A partnership with the 2018 Munich Biennial for New Musical Theatre. The Onassis Cultural Centre launches its partnership with the 2018 Munich Biennial which focuses exclusively on new musical theatre works. Over the course of December 2016 and March 2017 the Onassis Cultural Centre will host a platform in Athens. Several works in progress will be produced and one of those will be chosen for performance at the Munich Biennial in 2018.

Design at the Onassis Cultural Centre

‒ ‘Digitized 2016’: 10 speakers from every corner of the world will meet in Athens on the Onassis Cultural Centre’s Main Stage at SE Europe’s most important get-together on digital creativity (24/9/2016).

‒ ‘Industrial Design Colloquium’: The one-day event’s aim is to provide a forum for designers to showcase their ideas and concerns, and for the public to get to know their modus operandi and the results of their endeavours (10/1/2016).

‒ ‘ESO Interior Design & Architecture’: Leading lights from the world of interior design and architecture present their work, methodology and ideas, in conversation with colleagues and the general public (8/3/2017).

‒ EBGE 2017: The Greek Graphic Design and Illustration Awards (3/4/2017)

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