Scholars' Association News
Issue 19
August 2011


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Release of the 2011-2012 programme of the Onassis Cultural Centre

On May 30th, the Onassis Cultural Centre released the 2011-2012 programme of artistic events. The events revolve round the same thematic axes as the first session and always intend to support modern Greek and international creations.

In the words of Anthony Papadimitriou, during the presentation of the new programme, the main axes stand for the quest for Greek character in art, the positioning of the country on the international cultural scene, and the approach of the young. This year, special emphasis will be placed on educational programmes for people of all ages.

Commencing from the sphere of music, composer Dimitris Papadimitriou and his partners are in charge of the Hellenic Plan which will lead them to the lesser known aspects of Greek culture, accompanied by exquisite singers and musicians. The Greek Song Contest will also be held this year, as will the successful Jazz, Improvisation and New Media cycle. Two tributes will present the work of Iannis Xenakis and Georgios Koumentakis. The Music of Our Times cycle will include outstanding concerts by the Quartets of both Diotima and Artis Quartets, the latter of which will collaborate with Janis Vakarelis.

The members of the Scholars Association should note that on October 20th 2011, a group of musicians, all scholars of the Foundation, will present Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale with conductor Nikos Christodoulou, scholar himself of the Onassis Foundation. Additionally, in the "Tradition and Modern Scripts" cycle, scholar Constantia Gourzi will present her compositions on April 3rd and 4th, 2012. Pianist and composer Vasilis Tsabropoulos, soprano Irini Karayianni, conductor Giorgos Petrou, pianist Thanasis Apostolopoulos, and composer Periklis Koukos are also scholars of the Foundation who will collaborate with the Camerata. Also worthy of note is the presence of Istanbul Modern Music Ensemble from the Istanbul Technical University's Center for Advanced Studies in Music. Finally, the Orchestra of Colours, with the support of the Onassis Foundation, will give an assortment of concerts at the Cultural Centre.

The Canadian master of stage, Robert Lepage, visits Greece for the first time next October to direct The Far Side of the Moon with Laurie Anderson’s original music, in a landmark worldwide theatre performance. In November, Japanese director Tosiki Okada will stage three everyday stories, transferring the anxieties and the loneliness of a society that collapses on stage.

Greek literature serves as a starting point for scholar Thodoris Abatzis, who directs and writes the music for the staging of Alexandros Papadiamantis’s Merchants of Nations, for Angela Brouskou, whose work Mom – Life is Wildly Improbable is inspired by Margarita Karapanou’s diaries, and for the Pequod theatre company adapting The Double Book by Dimitris Chatzis for stage.

A spectacular show by the Vietnam New Circus is to be performed for children at the Cultural Centre at Christmas, and the Schaubühne ensemble from Berlin combines theatre and dance in the performance Protect Me. Can We Talk About This? wonder DV8 Physical Theatre, a company of international repute, and award-winning Lloyd Newson in a performance that combines dance, motion, speech and new technologies. The Rosas from Belgium bring one of their most poetic works to Athens.

The performance premiered in Avignon last summer. Among the Greek dancing companies, Zoi Dimitriou and her team with their performance You May! stand out. Other Greek appearances include Maria Koliopoulou and modern dance company Proschima, Mendi Mega with Φora etc company, and Patricia Apergi with Aerites dance company.

As for the visual arts, the Cultural Centre will be hosting in Greece, from November 1st, the first solo exhibition of the American photographer - leading figure in his field- Robert Mapplethorpe, which includes more than 100 works indicative of the artist’s unique aesthetic.

Also, from March 5th to 11th 2012, the Onassis Cultural Centre will be participating in Meeting Points 6 - an international festival dedicated to Arabian culture, which takes place biannually in capital cities of the Middle East and North Africa – in Brussels and Berlin, under the auspices of the Young Arab Theatre Fund (YATF).

Theatrical performances, music concerts, visual art shows and discussions will transform the Cultural Centre into a platform of artistic creation and political contemplation for one week. In light of this festival, Mona Hatoum, a globally renowned visual artist will be visiting Greece.

The especially successful Talks & Thoughts programme will be run again for 2011-2012, and will revolve around four thematic axes. The cycle "Literature: The Stories of People" will attempt to explore the idiom of biographies and autobiographies. The teaching of History at school and the conflict it creates between media and society are the subject of the second cycle entitled "History as a historical phenomenon and its teaching".

Another important discussion cycle, "Ourselves and others - Ourselves as others", concerns the burning issue of immigration. Finally, the cycle entitled "Private and public Internet" will explore various issues, from anonymity to political action.

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