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Athens & Epidaurus Festival 2010

It seems that ages have gone by since Maria Callas stunned the audience by performing ‘Norma’ at the Epidaurus theatre as part of events celebrating the Greek festival in 1960. The 2010 Greek Festival, which opens today, encompasses a variety of artistic expressions.  

Its aim is to present contemporary artists from around the globe and acquaint the world public with both innovative and pervasive trends of modern artistic creations. 
The festival spans from June to mid –August with old and new venues hosting the events, such as the Herodus Attikus theatre, the Benaki Museum, and the Building H at the Peiraios 260 complex.
This year music lovers will have the opportunity to enjoy Rufus Wainwright in a one-man-show on June 5 at the Lycabettus Hill Theatre.
In the first half, he will present his newly- released album, while in the second, he will play major hits from his entire career. 
Greek Festival: Programme & Greek News Agenda: Athens Festival 2009
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

Tsarouchis`exhibition at the Benaki Museum

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  EXHIBITION: A Tsarouchis Retrospective @ Benaki Museum
A major exhibition focusing on the work of Yannis Tsarouchis is being staged at the Benaki Museum, until March 14, to celebrate the centenary of the artist’s birth.
This is the first retrospective of Yannis Tsarouchis works in Athens aiming to showcase representative works from all the periods of the artist’s output.

“Upside Down” AFI at the Benaki Museum

afi(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   An exhibition by the group AFI at the Benaki Museum showcases creations inspired by objects from the museum’s permanent collections, under the title Upside Down. Their works can stand on their own as exemplary artistic entities, as they project their aesthetic integrity publicly and provocatively. The show runs through to June 7, in the form of ad hoc displays throughout the exhibition areas of the permanent collection. Athens Plus: AFI’s contemporary art objects on display at the Benaki  (8.5.2009, p. 27)

Nikos Skalkotas: A Greek European

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    Vrontos Haris (ed.), Nikos Skalkotas: A Greek European“, Benaki Museum, 2009.  The book was published to mark the sixtieth anniversary since the death of major Greek composer Nikos Skalkotas (1904-1949).  A group of fourteen musicologists, composers, conductors, historians, critics and translators collaborated on this volume, under the supervision of composer Haris Vrontos, who also served as its artistic director. Nikos Skalkotas was one of the most important Greek composers of 20th-century music. A member of the Second Viennese School, he drew his influences from both the classical repertoire and Greek tradition. More Info: Wikipedia- Nikolaos Skalkotas; The Friends of Nikos Skalkottas`s Music Society & Feinberg-Skalkottas Society; Youtube: Skalkotas- Greek Dances “Epirot Dance” &”Kleftikos Dance (Photo:Skalkotas as a young violinist)

Lost for the Greek Shadow Theater

Shadow puppet theatre master, Evgenios Spatharis passed away on May 9, at the age of 85.

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Spatharis was taught the art of shadow theatre by his father Sotiris and began his career during the German occupation. Since then, he gave numerous performances in Greece and abroad, participating in international festivals and conferences on shadow theatre. He was member of the Artistic Chamber of Greece, of the Institute of World Theatre (Unesco). In 1991 his Shadow Theatre Museum (“Spathario”) was established. Spatharis was well-known throughout Greece for his puppet theatre stories revolving around the hunchbacked character “Karaghiozis,” who came to represent the virtues and vices of the average Greek. Shadow theatre is thought to be from China or India and arrived in Greece in the mid-15th century. The “In praise of shadows” exhibition at the Benaki Museum (23/05/2009 – 26/06/2009) focuses on shadows, based on old and contemporary folk tales and on simple narratives expressed with economy of means.  This exhibition brings together key works by 8 contemporary artists from seven different countries, and two master filmmakers from the first half of the twentieth century.  The Washington Post – Greek puppet master Evgenios Spatharis dies at 85; Greek News Agenda – Karagiozis Shadow – Theatre

Kifissia at Benaki Museum

kifisia-1(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   An exhibition based on photographs, book275thirio-kifisias, documents and archival material revealing the architectural splendour of Kifissia suburb, north east of Athens, runs until March 31, at the Benaki Museum, Delta House, in Kifissia.  Benaki Museum – Flashback to Kifissia 

Children’s Corners in Greek Museums

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  In a growing, worldwide trend aimed at making museums more interesting for children, Athenian museums are beginning to attract the Lilliputian crowd by making exhibits fun and friendly.
Museum of Greek Children’s Art
The Museum of Greek Children’s Art is located in a building which displays paintings as well as artwork created by children aged 4 to 14, and it offers many exciting workshops for the holiday season. Santa’s elves and tradition legends provide the inspiration for painting workshops for various age groups, and there are also theatre games to entertain the younger set. For more information, please visit: www.childrensartmuseum.gr  
Ilias Lalaounis Jewellery Museum
The Ilias Lalaounis Jewellery Museum has one of the most exciting programmes for children. There are apprenticeships open to high school students who are interested in learning the trade while rubbing shoulders with professional jewellers in the museum’s workshop. On December 27 and 28, the museum has prepared a festive programme for 6-to-12 year olds. Activities range from a guided tour through the colourful “Frivolous Fashion, Fabulous Faux: A Century of costume Jewellery” exhibition – with 500 items that cover styles from the Victorian era to the showy 1980’s – to a treasure hunt. 
Museum of Cycladic Art
From fascinating storytelling to art workshops and theatre games, the Museum of Cycladic Art (MCA) has plenty of interesting activities planned to keep children creatively occupied, namely through its programme “Saturdays…are fun at the MCA.”
Benaki Museum
The Benaki Museum offers educational programmes for children through its “Christmas at the Benaki Museum” initiative, for youngsters between the ages of 8 and 12.

Honour to the Greek Drama Master Karolos Koun

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    A century has elapsed since the birth of Karolos Koun (1908-1987) and the Benaki Museum is hosting an exhibition in honour of the emblematic figure of the Greek theatre. The exhibition aims at highlighting the charismatic personality of Koun and presenting his creative progression, his aesthetic choices, as well as his influences by Greek and foreign artists. The exhibition traces a career spanning 45 years, starting from his performances at his experimental “Theatro Technis” (Art Theatre), until his last performance in 1987. Benaki Museum: Karolos Koun- The Greek Art Theater (25.09-16.11); New York Times: Karolos Koun’s obituary; Secretariat General of Information: About Greece-Greek Theatre Tradition

Greek Museums Online

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  As Kathimerini daily reports, more and more Greek museums are grabbing the opportunity to get active on the Internet. Well-known museums as well as some of the smaller ones abroad offer digital exhibitions especially curated for the Internet, overflowing with plenty of detailed information. Examples include the National Museum of Contemporary Art (www.emst.gr )  blog, which is celebrating its first birthday (http://fixit-emst.blogspot.com); the Benaki Museum (www.benaki.gr) is fluent in Spanish; the Museum of Cycladic Art (www.cycladic.gr) has gone on Facebook and the National Gallery (www.nationalgallery.gr) has redesigned its website, with information now available in Greek, English, French and German.

Athens / Photo Exhibition: The Modern Arab World

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  The Modern Arab World” photographers exhibition at the Benaki Museum, Athens, records the rise and catalytic effect of ever increasing information media in the Islamic world, the Western influence on the lifestyle of the local communities, as well as everyday life experiences in the Middle East. The exhibition, designed the Beetroot Design Group,  is taking place within the framework of anniversary events to celebrate twenty years of operation for Apeiron Photos.  The Benaki Museum collection of Islamic art, includes examples of all Islamic art local variations from as far as India, Persia, Mesopotamia, Asia Minor, the Middle East, Arabia, Egypt, North Africa, Sicily and Spain, and ranks among the most important in the world.

Modern Greek Culture

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  The Hellenic Foundation for Culture (www.hfc.gr) promotes Greek culture and language throughout the world carrying out its activities through its branches in various cities and countries. Forthcoming cultural events in Greece can be accessed at the new www.goculture.gr website along with interviews, critical comments and review articles on the Greek and European cultural scene.  The Benaki Museum (www.benaki.gr) ranks among the major cultural institutions in Greece. Its extensive collections (Greece at the Benaki Museum, Greek Artists of the 20th Century, Chinese Art, Pre-Columbian Art, Islamic Art) are now presented via a new state-of-the-art website.

Greek Bilbliography

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The current electronic catalogue of the Greek Bibliography of the 19th century constitutes the first overall “card classification repository” in electronic of a work-in-progress: the first codification and concise presentation of entries gathered by the “Philippos Iliou” Bibliology Workshop at the Benaki Museum concerning Greek pamphlets and books that have been recorded in the bibliographical sources. The retrospective Greek national bibliography of the 19th century is a collective work, as is every ambitious bibliography project, based on the long preparatory work undertaken by distinguished scholars and bibliographers. Its foundations were lain by the three-volume Greek Bibliography 1800-1863, by Dimitrios Ghinis and Valerios Mexas (Academy of Athens, 1939-1957), in combination with successive series of addenda over the same period, which were introduced by C. Th. Dimaras from the pages of the journal Eranistis (a periodical publication of the Society for the Study of the Greek Enlightenment). The work was later taken up mainly by the Institute for Neohellenic Research of the National Hellenic Research Foundation.

Archaeology & Hellenism

Damaskos, Dimitris, Dimitris Plantzos: A Singular Antiquity, Benaki Museum 2008.  This volume includes a large part of the proceedings of the conference entitled “Archaeology, Antiquity and Hellenicity in twentieth century Greece”, that took place in the Benaki Museum Piraios Street Annexe in January 2007. Archaeology was a backbone of the national strategy in modern Greece:  the book examines the manner in which positions were formulated and the epistemological programme of archaeological studies in Greece; its interaction with other sciences; and finally its involvement in the intellectual and political life of the land.