Scholars' Association News
Issue 44
November 2017


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At the Center of strong emotions - The programme for the 2017/2018 season

Emotions hold the leading role in the programme announced by the Cultural Center of the Onassis Foundation for the 2017/2018 season. Each month of this new art season is brimming with creativity and imagination, in pursuit of the surprise, the unexpected, intellectual vigour and emotion. On the premise that emotions are the catalyst that turns information into experience, that makes the moment last, that turns existence into life, the Cultural Center is staging plays and concerts, organising discussions, narrating stories, linking the new reality of the digital world with the arts, and invites its audience to be part of its journey.


Science Fiction: A Journey into the Unknown: From Jules Verne and Jonathan Swift to Star Wars and Ex Machina. The Onassis Cultural Center joins forces once again with London's Barbican Centre for a new show that spotlights the long-standing influence of science fiction on the full range of contemporary culture. It involves discussions, screenings, workshops, live cinema performances and educational programmes. Curator: Patrick Gyger. (9 OCT 2017 ‒ 14 JAN 2018)

Geometries: Have you ever looked over the vast gardens of Athens' Agricultural University as you go along Iera Odos? Have you ever imagined Athens as a green city, full of plants and trees? locus athens explores a number of different and parallel scenarios on the ways in which man tackles the land ‒ a large visual art exhibition and a parallel public programme about food, the environment, the land, the economy. (27 MAR ‒ 16 MAY 2018)


‒ Jo Nesbo: One of the most read crime writers in the world, Norwegian Jo Nesbo, father of one of the most popular literary anti-heroes of our time (Harry Hole) comes to the OCC to celebrate the twenty-year anniversary of the publication of his first novel. (17 OCT 2017)

A few days earlier (11 OCT), the film adaptation of his novel The Snowman by Universal will receive its international premiere at the OCC, starring Michael Fassbender and directed by Thomas Alfredson.

Detritus: New music from degraded media. Music from the imperfections and unwanted noises from obsolete devices. Tape recorders, turntables, gramophones, cd players and walkmans become the ground for intense sonic experimentation A liminal glance at sound art and electroacoustic composition, through concerts, installations and discussions (26‒28 JAN 2018)

Shadow Libraries: UbuWeb in Athens. UbuWeb, a web-based audiovisual educational archive, proposes a different sort of art history. It provides free and unrestricted access to a remarkable, idiosyncratic collection of film and video art, critical documents and essays, visual poetry and sound art, among many other unclassifiable strands of the 20th century. Through talks and workshops, Ubuweb in Athens suggests that we explore the uses of the archive in regards to artistic production. (16‒18 MAR 2018)

‒ Hanya Yanagihara: Hanya Yanagihara is celebrated by American critics, and has received numerous nominations for the most prestigious awards (National Book Award, Man Booker Prize). The new star of American novels (The people in the Trees and A little life), Yanagihara has been invited to Athens by the Onassis Cultural Center. (4 JUN 2018)


Ça ira (1) / Fin de Louis by Joël Pommerat: The OCC is transformed into the French National Assembly. Joël Pommerat and his magnificent company draw the audience into the vortex of history and the French Revolution, showing everyone just how contemporary everything the pioneers and opponents of European democracy said and did 228 years ago really is. (4‒8 OCT 2017)

- Hugo: A Utopia: Taking Victor Hugo's Hymn to a United Europe as her starting point, Sophia Marathaki and the ATONAλ company create a performance about utopia and the reality of Europe in the era of humanism. (13‒22 OCT 2017)

887: Robert Lepage returns to the OCC, in person, with his most autobiographical one-man show. What are the mechanisms of individual and collective memory? How is identity – personal and national - constructed and deconstructed? 887 is an existential scenic journey that seems to draw on the famous line by French philosopher Roland Barthes: “The only country we truly know is our childhood”. (24‒27 OCT 2017)

Summerfolk: A work with numerous characters that has rarely been performed in Greece, Summerfolk will be presented at our Youth Stage, with Maria Maganari’s production transporting the work from pre-revolutionary Russia to contemporary Greek summertime. (18 NOV 2017 – 15 APR 2018)

Demons: Dostoyefsky lands in Athens, and the vast fictional material of the Demons is brought to life against a modern Greek backdrop. This is the first time that the OCC invites a foreign director, the innovative Russian director Konstantin Bogomolov, to work with Greek actors. (22 NOV – 10 DEC 2017)

Antigone: Sophocles' tragedy staged as a comedy. Can it be done? Lena Kitsopoulou, the larger-than-life anti-persona of the Greek stage, attempts to turn ancient tragedy on its head grafting moments of a satirical and desperate here and now onto the Sophoclean myth. "I don't force the comedy", she says. "It's a form of despair and a way of not feeling guilty about my baser side." (14‒30 DEC 2017)

Rob: This is the first collaboration between author and award-winning scriptwriter Efthymis Filippou and Dimitris Karantzas, the critically acclaimed director coming from the younger generation of Greek directors. Spectators are called upon to be both witnesses of and accomplices in a mysterious ceremony about a dead serial killer, who is reborn through the narrations and testimonies of his victims and his followers. He comes back to life to be glorified and eventually devoured by a society that always needs to create leaders and scapegoats. (17–28 JAN 2018)

The incredible journey: Angelos Frantzis introduces us to the concept of sci-fi theatre. With the OCC's Upper Stage transformed into a film set, this production for the whole family will transport us back through time to the silent movie era. The invisible protagonist of this magical show is French pioneer film-maker and conjurer, Georges Méliès, who made the first sci-fi flim A trip to the Moon (1902). (2‒4 FEB 2018)

- Penthesilea (1808) by Heinrich von Kleist: A triumph of romantic theatre, directed by Pantelis Dentakis, in a production that talks with vigour and lyricism about war and being in love, passion, and the merciless games of power in the perpetual battle of the sexes. (14‒23 FEB 2018)

The Bacchae: When rock music electrifies Euripides' words, when punk plugs the myth of the Bacchae into the mains, then Dionysus the great, the divine, will sing. Aris Biniaris turns the clash between Pentheus the king and Dionysus the god into an angry hymn to the division of the human soul into logic and instinct. (21 MAR ‒ 01 APR 2018)

‒ Onassis Youth Festival 2018: A festival for teenagers, the most dynamic generation, giving ancient texts a new life, inviting a host of directors and companies to a collaboration with high-school and lyceum students. (13‒15 APR 2018)


Kalakuta Republik: A whirlwind of music, dance, politics and worship for life, a solid African piece without the usual clichés. The explosive production of Serge Aimé Coulibaly from Burkina Faso draws inspiration from Fela Kuti, the charismatic musician and political activist. (25‒27 OCT 2017)

‒ iDance: The OCC is staging a colloquium addressing access to contemporary dance education and professional development opportunities for dancers with disabilities with the participation of speakers from Greece and abroad. Parallel open dance workshops will be held, giving attendees an opportunity to experience the educational tools and methods of the iDance programme for themselves in mixed groups of people both with and without disabilities. (03 DEC 2017)

Risk: Happiness in life presupposes a risk. But do we take the risk in order to be happy? Ioanna Portolou’s new work focuses on this subject. Six performers take the stage, chasing the fleeting aspect of happiness, carefree fun, and the sense of sharing with others this unexpected joy without censorship. (15‒18 JAN 2018)

Ion: Christos Papadopoulos and his company have set out to explore the invisible laws that govern nature and the chemical bonds between ions, examining the countless forces, as well as the relationships that identify us, as citizens of this world, and the dancers, as interpreters of a work. (1‒4 FEB 2018)

Xenos: The world première of Akram Khan’s latest work at the OCC is an event of international significance and the culmination of many years of successful collaboration. In his new production, the celebrated dancer will be dancing alone but accompanied on stage by five distinguished musicians. (21‒27 FEB 2018)

Rasp Your Soul: The world, from the vantage point of Kat Válastur, can only be perceived through and via the body. The stage is metaphorically conceived as an oral cavity in which the dancer’s body takes on all the functions and features of the tongue. The choreographer uses this mechanism to attempt to understand how the “body as a tongue” can articulate speech. (MAR 2018)

Requiem pour L.: Mozart's Requiem serves as the stimulus for a surprising encounter between music and dance by the Belgian C de la B collective and the artistic duo, Alain Platel (direction) and Fabrizio Cassol (music). With 14 musicians from Europe and Africa, Requiem pour L. confirms something we already knew about the Belgian collective: les Ballets C de la B have placed multiculturalism at the epicentre of every new work they have ever created (12‒15 APR 2018).

‒ 5th Young Choreographers Festival: Apart from being consistently focused on the work of up-and-coming choreographers, this year the Cultural Center attempts to open to the public various spaces of the building, on and off stage. Its aim is to always bring out the particularities of the Greek choreographic scene, as well as the artists’ thoughts and reflections on our times. (28‒29 APR 2018)

Anonymo: Choreographer Tzeni Argyriou turns to an era when the work of the artist was not eponymous, but a practice that brought people together and served to reinforce the cohesion of communities. Anonymo takes a plunge into the expression of these societies and their dances, based on human touch, holding, the group’s cohesion, the shared joy. The research for this production was carried out in the framework of Tzeni Argyriou’s residence at the OCC in 2016-17. The research material has already been presented at international meetings. (24‒27 MAY 2018)


Dribbles and Triplets: The OCC heads out to the basketball courts and covered sports halls of schools and municipalities in Athens and the Greek provinces. The performance by choreographer Menti Mega initiates schoolchildren into art's big questions in an original and ground-breaking way: by bringing them face to face with the exciting world of sport. (30 OCT 2017 – 15 MAY 2018)

‒ Dancing to Connect: Creativity, self-confidence, collaboration and communication for school children through the art of dance. The OCC is taking contemporary dance to teenagers in their schools, in Chania and in five schools of Athens. Once the programme is complete, the teenagers will perform their choreographies in their home towns first and then in a show featuring all the participating schools on the Main Stage of the OCC. (11 MAR 2018)


‒ Marc Ribot & The Young Philadelphians: Guitarist Marc Ripot, with roots in alternative avant-garde, hard-core post-rock and experimental no wave/punk/noise, comes on stage with the Young Philadelphians, with a musical proposition that is unclassified, aggressive, improvisation-based, with a dynamic complexity that will often urge you to start dancing. (20 OCT 2017)

‒ The Hellenic Project: Transformations Cycle - A different winter journey. Franz Schubert's emblematic song cycle, Winterreise, a musical setting for poems by Wilhelm Müller, became the subject of an experiment. The lieder cycle was translated into Greek by Dionysis Kapsalis, set to music by Nikos Xydakis, Dimitris Papadimitriou and Tasos Rossopoulos, and performed under the title A Winter Journey: Three routes. This series of "Transformations" will now be brought to a close with an experiment in the opposite direction. In A Different Winter Journey, the Greek composers' songs, ‘transformed’ for piano and voice along with several of Schubert's own lieder, will be performed by Myrsini Margariti (soprano) and Dionysios Sourbis (baritone), accompanied by Dimitris Giakas on piano. (03 NOV 2017)

‒ Sun Ra Arkestra: With their motto "Space is the Place" and their trademark space tunics, the legendary Sun Ra's band is celebrating 60 years of absolute musical freedom on stage with sounds from the jazz of yesterday, today and tomorrow. (09 NOV 2017)

Tourbillons: Georges Aperghis’ Tourbillons is a play-portrait of an actress-singer, that transcends language. The work has an unusual form, consisting of unexpected alterations between song, speech and text. (24‒25 NOV 2017)

‒ 7th Greek Jazz Panorama: Four outstanding percussionists will get proceedings underway. Then, before the Nana Simopoulos Quintet brings the curtain down on this year’s event, we will be treated to avant-garde improvisations, echoes of Coltrane, and that side of the mainstream which experiments with and fuses disparate musical elements. (7‒9 DEC 2017)

The Book of Disquiet: Fernando Pessoa's magnum opus is brought to life through the music-theatre performance of the same name by the celebrated Dutch composer and director, Michel van der Aa. Miltiadis Fiorentzis in the leading role and the Greek contemporary music group, Ergon Ensemble, under the baton of the experienced Kasper de Roo. (15‒16 DEC 2017)

‒ Gareth Davis (clarinet) and Frances-Marie Uitti (cello): The cutting-edge duo is coming to the Onassis Cultural Centre offering to the public a musical experience that knows no borders or limits. Taking as their starting point works of two great Italian composers of the twentieth century, namely Giacinto Scelsi and Salvatore Sciarrino, the soloists transform the original works through new approaches to interpretation. (11 JAN 2018)

‒ The Hellenic Project: Transformations Cycle: Having decided to pursue this concept of a meeting between the musical timbres and techniques of Eastern and Western music further, we have now placed improvisation—taksim—centre-stage. We have invited Panos Dimitrakopoulos on kanonaki, Thomas Konstantinou on outi, and Dimitris Tsakas on the saxyphone back to perform. (24 JAN 2018)

‒ “Music Connects the OCC and the Panteion University, Vol: 3”: The concerts in this year's season focus on unusual combinations of instruments and contemporary Greek composition. They feature: a double bass centre stage in an international compositional panorama; a violin-cello-bayan trio which will transport us into uniquely Slavic territory, and four musicians "from the edge of the world" performing works for saxophone quartet. (24, 31 JAN & 13 FEB 2018)

Staged Night: What would it sound like if older musical works were adapted to modern-day musical sensibilities? Danish composer Simon Steen-Andersen redefines the content of historic works of famous composers, from Bach to Ravel, by breathing new life and meaning into them. (10 FEB 2018)

‒ Open Day: May ‘68, in all venues of the Cultural Center. On the occasion of the fifty-year anniversary of May ‘68, we trace the complex and charming routes and cross-fertilization between avant-garde art and new social and cultural ideas of a definitive period of modern history, which transcends, from a chronological and geographical aspect, the event itself. (04 MAR 2018)

‒ Dimitris Papadimitriou, Musical Soundtracks: In the history of cultures, music and the visual arts move together, inspiring each other, collaborating, competing, and from time to time, complementing each other. In this concert, the composer will present the première of his new symphonic work with more Musical Soundtracks from his journeys into the different eras of the history of painting. (6‒7 MAR 2018)

‒ Dans Les Arbres: This exceptional ensemble will be performing in Greece for the first time, and invites us to listen to the clarinet, the piano, the guitar and even the drums with new ears, during a mystical concert. (15 MAR 2018)

‒ Borderline Festival 2018, inside and outside the OCC (19‒22 APR 2018)

Echo and Narcissus: Ovid's myth of Narcissus, enchanted by his reflection, and of Echo, in her eternal bodiless wandering, is adapted by Medea Electronique through live coding and code poetry. (19 APR 2018)

‒ Big Bang Festival 4: A music festival for kids. (18‒20 MAY 2018)

‒ The Brad Mehldau Trio: A performance by the trio of the charismatic pianist, Brad Mehldau, who since 2000 has been perhaps the most discussed pianist. (19 MAY 2018)

‒ The 6th Tinos World Music Festival, organized by the Cultural Foundation of Tinos in collaboration with OCC, presents a tribute to bowed string instruments from the Hellenic world. One day before the beginning of the Festival on Tinos island, a pre-festival concert will be held at the Upper Stage of the OCC. (24 MAY 2018)

‒ tuned city: Ancient Messene: A research art project and a festival that seeks to interpret the city through sound. After Berlin (2008), Talin (2011) and Brussels (2013), this time Ancient Messene becomes the ideal place for one to ponder and explore the phenomenological aspects of space, as well as the social and political dimensions of the city. (1‒3 JUN 2018)

‒ Greek Jazz Panorama: New Generation 5: Three new ensembles, led by musicians under 30, unfold their admirable composition proposals. Important veterans of the jazz scene come to play with them. Three evenings with the Panagiotis Kostopoulos Quintet, Arionas Gyftakis Quartet, and Ntinos Manos Quartet. (7‒9 JUN 2018)

‒ Ears Project: Two Athenian music ensembles, the ARTéfacts ensemble and the Ventus ensemble, invite composers who live in other capital cities to carefully listen together to the sounds of Athens and its historic centre. Works by composers Manos Venturas and Kostas Tzekos (who are also members of the ensembles) will be performed inside the OCC, along with pieces by guest composers. (Spring ‒ Summer 2018)

Music for the whole family

‒ Shall we sing: Big and small children, performers, five composers, a writer, a director, and a narrator will sing old and new Christmas and New Year’s carols. Composers will write new carols and will ‘play’ with old ones. They will sing about Christmas and the New Year, reflecting on the past but also putting forth the way they view this particular genre at present. (22‒23 DEC 2017)

Musical theatre

‒ Wael Shawky, Roland’s Song: Colors, music, and song. A big, political fairy tale of the East and the West through the eyes of one of the most important visual artists of Egypt. (28‒30 DEC 2017)

Music Festival / Talks and Thoughts

‒ Enter Afrofuturism: A festival that maps the cultural and political perspective of afrofuturism, which was created by linking the black experience and the techno-culture of the 20th and 21st century in America, the Caribbean, England and Africa. (7‒12 NOV 2017)


‒ Flix it: It returns for eight special events, from October 2017 to May 2018. It starts on October 13th with “The Autumn of Yasujirō Ozu”, a small tribute to one of the most significant auteurs of the Golden Age of Japanese cinema. An Autumn Afternoon and Late Autumn will be screened, preceded by a presentation on the filmmaker’s oeuvre. (13 OCT 2017)

‒ In-Edit: The largest music documentary festival in the world returns to the OCC, to record moments of glory, as well as conflicts, failures and emotions. It embodies the global nature of music, as well as the change in tone depending on the country, city or language. (4‒7 NOV 2017)

‒ Animasyros: Animasyros returns for a second year to the Onassis Cultural Centre in Athens and welcomes 2018 with a three-day marathon featuring screenings of a selection of the best and most powerful animation films of the Animasyros 10th anniversary edition, which took place in Syros from September 27th to October 1st, 2017. There will be a parallel three-day educational workshop under the title “Make your own science fiction film”, for children aged 8-12 years old. (04 JAN 2018)


‒ Soundscapes Landscapes 2 | Extended Reality Tour: In parallel to the sound tours of Gazi, Kerameikos and Metaxourgeio, the Soundscapes Landscapes / City Above ‒ Life Below installation will be on display at the OCC. During the sound tour, the neighbourhood serves as the canvas of the experience, whereas in the installation it is simulated through VR stations, videos, photographs, texts, sounds, compositions. (1‒11 FEB 2018)


How do we produce art during a time when we create, flirt, communicate and in general live in an environment of continuous and diffuse networking? What is the position of art on the important social and economic issues and how can it help us critically address technology and science? The Digital Programmes of the Onassis Cultural Center will be exploring these subjects through three series of activities (OCT 2017 ‒ JUN 2018):

‒ Critical Thinking: Distinguished speakers from Greece and abroad will be speaking about art, science, technology and society.

‒ Critical Engineering: Hands-on workshops for adults on various current technologies.

‒ Critical Entrepreneurship: Seminars for young creators with the purpose of understanding fundamental professional skills and familiarisation with those tools that will put their work on the digital value chain.


‒ Interfaces/ new models and practices to expand the audience for modern music in Europe: Eight countries join forces in this innovative interdisciplinary project which seeks to introduce audiences to cutting-edge work by musicians and sound artists. A large volume of original work, concerts, compositions, talks, research, educational proposals, is created through the collaboration of musicians, artists, teachers and cultural organisations, and is presented to the Greek and foreign audience at live events and via the website:

‒ iDance / Providing access to contemporary dance education for people with disabilities: The OCC joins creative forces with the Holland Dance Festival, the Skånes Dansteater from Sweden, and the Stopgap Dance Company from the UK, organising educational dance workshops for people both with and without disabilities. The programme’s objective is to bolster skills and to develop, convey and implement innovative practices that ensure open access to culture through dance.

‒ The European Media Art Platform (EMAP): The OCC continues to support artistic practices positioned between art, science and technology through its participation, along with ten other partners, in The European Media Art Platform - EMAP which provides up-and-coming media artists working in the visual arts, design, film, music and sound with the chance to participate in residencies and to create new works to be presented at festivals and other events in partner-countries.

‒ Europe Jazz Network: Seeking to promote the Greek jazz scene and an outward-looking viewpoint, the OCC is launching its participation in the European Jazz Network, the largest European network of musical producers, artists and organisations specialising in modern music creation and the art of improvisation. There are 118 participants in the network (festivals, venues, cultural organisations, independent musical producers) in 35 countries.

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