Scholars' Association News
Issue 24
November 2012


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The Onassis Cultural Centre : 2012-2013 Programme

An outstanding programme, including visual exhibitions, theatre and dance performances, debates, musical events and educational workshops, will be available to the public at the Onassis Cultural Centre during the new season. The programme for the 2012-2013 artistic period was outlined on September 27, 2012 in the Centre’s crowded main stage before journalists, associates, representatives of cultural bodies, friends of the Centre and artists. The event was attended by Deputy Minister of Education and Religious Affairs, Culture and Sports, Kostas Tzavaras.

In his brief address, the President of the Onassis Foundation, Anthony Papadimitriou, pointed out that during the 22 months of its operation, the Center has been involved with whatever is most modern and promising that our country has to offer: co-productions with significant Greek and foreign artists, integration into Greek and international networks, active participation in the life of our city and its speculation on how to solve the huge problems we are facing, training programmes in mainstream programming, as an essential part of its artistic productions, and not as an afterthought. "We believe", explained the President of the Foundation, "that we modern Greeks have the power to create remarkable things, provided of course that we overcome our inherent weaknesses. Provided that we set ourselves high goals. Provided we do not accept a fall in the quality of our work, in our diligence, the toil and anxiety that indispensably accompany all mental effort. Provided we do not stand for the conceited arrogance that society owes us as we are supposedly possessors of culture, but on the contrary provided we accept that we are in debt to society."

The programme was presented by the Centre’s organizing team: Christos Carras (Executive Director/Head of Music), Afroditi Panagiotakou (Executive Deputy Director/Director of Communication and Marketing), Katia Arfara (Head of Theatre and Dance) and Marilena V. Karra (Head of Visual Arts).

Visual Arts

The audience at the Onassis Cultural Centre will have the opportunity to enjoy a major retrospective exhibition by enterprising photographer Helmut Newton, which will open its doors on November 12th. At the end of March, the Visual Arts Department has organized a show of video-portraits by artist-director-set designer Robert Wilson.


The Centre’s theatrical performances programme includes, alongside pieces from the classical and modern repertoire, works for teenagers, with their substantial cooperation, and a platform of young artists as part of the three-day Stage. The Good Person of Szechwan by Brecht will premiere in January, directed by Katerina Evangelatou. In October, Blitz will stage their new production about the current crisis and the decadence of everyday life, entitled Late Night, which will then tour France. Immigration prevails in the theatrical documentary Telemachus by Anestis Azas, Prodromos Tsinikoris and Jens Hillje. In the spring, the Centre, in collaboration with the French Institute, suggests a tribute to director and political writer Joël Pommerat, with the works The Big, Fabulous History of Trade and Circles/Fictions by the Kanigunda team. The less well-known work by Maxim Gorky Summerfolk will be staged by tgSTAN from Antwerp, while Declan Donnellan’s British theatre company Cheek by Jowl is appearing in December in one of the most daring erotic tragedies from the Renaissance, ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore by John Ford. Finally, the internationally renowned visual artist, director and performer William Kentridge is visiting Greece for the first time, with Refuse the Hour, an eccentric chamber opera co-produced with the Centre.


This year too in the field of dance, the Centre is supporting young artists and highly professional companies, with a personal touch and consistent work. Rootlessroot launch the season with the international production Kireru, which brings British rock musician John Parish live onto the stage. Xenia Themeli and the default group will present the Weather Tales. The Centre welcomes from the former Belgian Congo Faustin Linyekula, dancer, choreographer, musician, visual artist and performer, well-known for the political and social dimension of his art. The renowned dancer and choreographer Akram Khan will dance the epic solo entitled Desh, an eighty-minute, imaginary trip through his homeland, Bangladesh. Lemi Ponifasio and his troupe MAU, composed of Maori dancers from New Zealand, will make their first trip to Greece to perform the work Birds with Skymirrors, which deals with environmental destruction.


Modern music remains at the heart of the Centre’s programme, whilst at the same time the Centre continues its cooperation with the Camerata orchestra in a programme curated by conductor-scholar Giorgos Petrou, and the third cycle of Dimitris Papadimitriou’s Hellenic Plan. Monica will present her new album. The Update! three-day festival will follow Jazz Panorama and Borderline. Together with the French Institute, the Centre will host great pianist Wilhem Latchoumia, while it will honour the John Cage year with a recital by Nikos Laaris and a lengthy tribute directed by Loretta Ramou and Anargyros Deniozos. The Centre will also honour Glenn Gould and scientist Alan Turing in a tribute that will explore the relations between human and artificial intelligence in the field of music improvisation. The musicians from the Pelion Music Village will present a full programme of tropical, baroque and experimental music. Lastly, as part of the Jazz Panorama, jazz and world music will introduce sounds from India, Africa and also Scandinavia.

Words and Thoughts

The section "Talks & Thoughts" will this year revolve around two thematic axes: the cycle "Re-Think Athens" on the occasion of the competition for redeveloping the centre of Athens, and the cycle on future education, e-learning and digital games. Other events include themes of wider interest, from Romani to football, and copyright to cultural policy. Furthermore, a series of seminal personalities have been invited to testify their own experience of writing and its relationship with their world and ours: Yasmina Reza, Pascal Bruckner, Enki Bilal. Finally, four public debates will be held in collaboration with Intelligence2 and the Economist Conferences – Greece.


The Onassis Cultural Centre educational programmes deploy in parallel with its artistic schedule and appeal to all ages. They are designed for schools – mainly state schools in underprivileged areas - for teachers and educators themselves, children with autism and limited mobility, adolescents, infants, as well as people over 65. "Besides, old or young, in the world of art we are all students forever."

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