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Masks οn for Athens Carnival 2008!

 (CITY OF ATHENS) High spirits, creative expression, wild colours and fantasy to spare are the driving forces behind this year’s Athens Carnival, which kicks off on Tsiknopempti (Smoke Thursday), February 28.  Organised by the City of Athens Cultural Organisation (PODA), the Athens Carnival 2008 10-day programme of events was announced today during a press conference.  Excerpts of PODA chairman Sophia Daskalaki-Mytilineou’s address follow: “The aim of this year’s Athens Carnival is to encourage all citizens and visitors to be a part of a lively, fun-filled celebration that will take place at the usual venues but also in city neighbourhoods.  We endeavoured to create a celebration for people of all ages and varying tastes, combining our customs with modern ideas.  While keeping in spirit with Greek carnival customs, this year we have added elements of carnivals as celebrated abroad, thereby embracing Athens’ multiculturalism.  Theatrical performances, creative activities, street parties, Latin rhythms and DJ sets meet kite-flying, maypole dancing, Lenten foods and traditional Greek carnival songs in the city’s historic centre, around the Acropolis. Nostalgic tunes of old Athens meet the sounds of new, young bands.  With a special programme just for kids and a series of exciting attractions for individuals of all ages, we are certain that this year’s Athens Carnival – whose motto is “We’re Flying High” – will prove unforgettable for all of us. We invite everyone to be a part of carnival season in Athens.  Our symbol for 2008 is the kite, a much-loved item which brings to mind cherished memories and images. This year, traditional kites are linked with the art of engraving through an exhibition organised by PODA and the Greek Engravers Association, which begins tomorrow at the City of Athens Melina Cultural Centre. Four of the works to appear in the exhibition, entitled “Kites Flying High in the Attica Sky”, have been imprinted on kites which will decorate the city throughout carnival season. These unique kites will fill Athens’ skies on Clean Monday as they will be handed out to youngsters at Filopappou Hill. As we have said on many occasions, PODA aims to bring all of us, particularly children, into contact with art and culture on a daily basis.” 
ATHENS CARNIVAL 2008
♦ PROGRAMME OF EVENTS 
Tsiknopempti (Smoke Thursday), February 28 ·       
Varvakios Market  
11:00-11:45 – The City of Athens Philharmonic Orchestra performs well-known jazz and Latin tunes, as well as music from Greek cinema 
12:00-14:00 – Laiko (popular song) celebration with Lambros Karellas, Giouli Tsirou and Dimitra Kostaki accompanied by musicians Yiorgos Tokatlidis on bouzouki, Kostas Papageorgiou on guitar, Panagiotis Sardelis on drums, Stergios Mitrousis on bass and Michalis Kouloumis on violin. Traditional tidbits and wine will be served courtesy of the Varvakios Market meat-vendors 
·       
Adrianou Street pedestrian walkway (opposite the railway station), Thissio 
20:00 – PODA and the Athenaeum present the programme “The Dance of the Masqueraders – The Athens of Old and Today” 
Saturday, March 1 ·       
Iraklidon and Apostolou Pavlou streets, Thissio 
11:30-13:00 – the City of Athens Philharmonic Orchestra performs well-known jazz and Latin tunes, as well as music from Greek cinema 
18:00-20:00 – The group Local Latina perform authentic carnival tunes from Latin America, featuring Cuban dancers.  
20:00-22:00 – The youthful group 48 Hours entertain Athenians with dance music, funk, soul and disco 
Sunday, March 2 ·       
Iraklidon and Apostolou Pavlou streets, Thissio 
11:30-13:00 – The Municipal Mandolinata & Neapolis-Exarchia Dionysios Lavragas Choir perform beloved Athenian mid-war songs and excerpts of operettas  
18:00-20:00 – Argyro Kaparou and her orchestra perform art songs by renowned composers including Hadjidakis, Theodorakis, Xarhakou and Kraounakis 
20:00-22:00 – Kostas Matzios and Angela Orfanou perform an authentic laiko (popular song) programme featuring songs by major composers including Tsitsanis, Zabetas and Vamvakaris  
Saturday, March 8  ·       
Iraklidon and Apostolou Pavlou streets, Thissio 
11:30-13:00 – the City of Athens Philharmonic Orchestra performs well-known jazz and Latin tunes, as well as music from Greek cinema 
18:00-20:00 – A Theatrical Dream, based on an idea of Douli Dimitropoulou and directed by Miltos Nikas. An innovative musical theatre performance in which the carnival spirit and much-loved songs from musicals come to life via giant dolls which dance and sing 
20:00-22:00 – Martha Moreleon and Band perform samba and bossa nova from Brazil, cumbia from Colombia, salsa and cha-cha-cha from Cuba and bolero from Mexico. Martha Moreleon – song, percussionAlejandro Diaz – song, guitar, percussionLuis Carrera Zapata – song, Indian wind instruments, percussionDimitris Sevdalis – pianoDimitris Christopoulos – bassVangelis Katsarelis – trumpet 
Sunday, March 9 
·        Iraklidon and Apostolou Pavlou streets, Thissio 
11:30-13:00 – The Municipal Mandolinata & Neapolis-Exarchia Dionysios Lavragas Choir perform beloved Athenian mid-war songs and excerpts of operettas  
18:00-20:00 – A Theatrical Dream, based on an idea of Douli Dimitropoulou and directed by Miltos Nikas. An innovative musical theatre performance in which the carnival spirit and much-loved songs from musicals come to life via giant dolls which dance and sing 
20:00-22:00 – Yvette Jarvis and the band Black Jack perform soul, jazz, blues and disco tracks   
Carnival for Kids 
Sunday, March 2 – Zappeion   —
Sunday, March 9 – Dionysiou Areopagitou pedestrian walkway  
11:00-15:00 – The City of Athens hosts a major Carnival celebration for children with various activities taking place on a train that doubles as a stage. Magicians, theatrical performances, story-telling, maypole dancing, dance and karaoke competitions, clowns, stilt-walkers, quiz games and funny photo opportunities count among the attractions. 
Sunday, March 9 
· Dionysiou Areopagitou pedestrian walkway  
11:00-12:00 – the City of Athens Philharmonic Orchestra performs well-known jazz and Latin tunes, as well as music from Greek cinema  
Carnival in Plaka 
Saturday-Sunday, March 1-2
Saturday-Sunday, March 8-9 
18:00-22:00 – DJs, stilt-walkers, jugglers and masqueraders entertain at an Athens Carnival party in the streets of Plaka  
Kathara Deftera (Clean Monday) – March 10 
·   Filopappou Hill 
11:00-14:00 – Traditional celebration featuring Manos Achalinotopoulos with music and songs from throughout Greece, along with Eleni Kapilidi, Spyros Siolos, Xenia Verra and five musicians.  Kite-flying and customary Lenten delicacies to be served                             
Athens Carnival events featuring
City of Athens Music Ensembles
Tsiknopempti (Smoke Thursday) – February 28
·        Greek Music WorkshopFeaturing Panagiotis Lalezas and Areti Ketime Conductor: Christos HalkiasPlaka – 19:00 
·        Mixed Municipal ChoirChoir leader: Stavros BerisThissio-Aerides – 19:00 
·        Brass Quartet Stoa Vivliou – 19:00 
·        Music group De StijlDimitris Andreadis, Ilias Paraskevopoulos, Spyros KontakisPiraeus Municipal Theatre – 19:00 
Saturday, March 1 
·        Music group De Stijl7th State School – 7th City District – 19:00 
·        City of Athens Big BandFeaturing Thanos Kalliris and Antigoni KyriakopoulouConductor: Yiannis TerezakisVoukourestiou pedestrian walkway – 19:00 
Sunday, March 2 
·        City of Athens Children’s ChoirChoir leader: Rosie MastrosavvaZappeion – 12:00 
Monday, March 3
·        City of Athens Symphonic Orchestra and Mixed Municipal ChoirFeaturing Yiannis Voyiatzis and Cleo DenardouConductor: Eleftherios KalkanisChoir leader: Stavros BerisGazi – 19:00 
Tuesday, March 4
·        Music group De StijlThissio – 19:00 
Thursday, March 6
·        City of Athens Big BandFeaturing Thanos Kalliris and Antigoni KyriakopoulouConductor: Yiannis TerezakisPiraeus Municipal Theatre – 19:00 
Saturday, March 8
·        Greek Music WorkshopFeaturing Panagiotis Lalezas and Areti KetimeConductor: Christos HalkiasVarvakios Market – 19:00 
Sunday, March 9
·        City of Athens Big BandFeaturing Thanos Kalliris and Antigoni KyriakopoulouConductor: Yiannis TerezakisPsyrri Square – 11:30