The greatest living stars from the world of Russian ballet, representing the Bolshoi and Mariinsky (Kirov) theaters, will give a spellbinding demonstration of technical and artistic prowess at the Athens Concert Hall in excerpts from timeless masterpieces of classical ballet: Swan Lake, Giselle, Le Corsaire, Spartacus, Sleeping Beauty and Romeo and Juliet.
Lead dancer – Ivan Vasiliev
Since bursting onto the scene a decade ago, Ivan Vladimirovitch Vasiliev has had no peer in classical dance, garnering an astounding number of honors and prizes: First prizes in the Arabesque-96 Ballet and Moscow International Ballet competitions, special distinction at the Varna International Ballet Competition, acclaimed as “one of 25 to watch” by Dance Magazine in 2008, the Benois Prix de la Danse in 2009, Virtuosity Prize of International Dance Open in St. Petersburg in 2010, declared the ”best dancer in Great Britain” in 2011 and “Honoured Artist of Russia” in 2014…. Vasiliev is today considered the finest dancer in the world, and even if he were not joined for this gala performance by some of the most talented ballet artists alive, he would still, by virtue of his brilliance, be able to fill the Christos Lambrakis Hall on his own.
The stars of the gala
Dancing beside Vasiliev will be: his partner Kristina Kretova; first ballerina of the Bolshoi Nina Kaptsova; Bolshoi’s first soloist Mikhail Lobukhin – famed for his performance as Spartacus in the opera of that name; lead dancers of the Mariinsky Theater Yevgeny Ivanchenko and Leonid Sarafanor; and the troupe’s three prima ballerinas: Oxana Skorik, Elena Yevseyeva and Yekaterina Osmolkina. At the Athens Concert Hall on the 20th and 21st of May for two much-awaited performances.
On April 5, the Museum of Cycladic Art launched a new exhibition entitled “The DESTE Prize: An Anniversary Exhibition, 1999-2015”. The showcasing of 9 works by recipients of the DESTE Prize over the course of its 18-year history gives the public an opportunity to get to know, or see again, key works by these artists, works which express their perspective on: thought, memory, time, space, events and life - by way of painting, engraving, installations, video and performances.
The DESTE Prizes were established in 1999 and every two years are awarded to a Greek or Cypriot artist. From 1999 to 2015, a total of 9 DESTE Prizes have been awarded for exceptional contemporary work by creative Greek and Cypriot artists living and working either at home or abroad. With these prizes, the DESTE Foundation hopes to promote and support contemporary art and a new generation of up-and-coming young Greek and Cypriot artists.
For the fifth year, The Museum of Cycladic Art is hosting the DESTE Prize as part of its “Young Views” program. This program gives the Museum a dynamic platform for exchanging ideas with a younger audience on the meaning and significance of contemporary creativity. The exhibition will run until 17 September 2017.
The setting alone is reason enough for attending this powerful production of Verdi’s opera “Macbeth” – which is the first work to be staged by the Greek National Opera at the Main Stage – Stavros Niarchos Hall – of the Foundation’s Cultural Center.
The opera, libretto and exciting music
The opera is based on the play of the same name by William Shakespeare – a thrilling psychological portrait of Macbeth and his wife, who plunge into a violent and dramatic sequence of bloody events in order to maintain their grip on power and ascend to the Scottish throne. The distinguished director Lorenzo Mariano eloquently manipulates the sensations of dread and fear, while the set design of Maurizio Balò artfully suspends us between two worlds – while the action takes place in neither. Macbeth, among Verdi’s most celebrated works, succeeded, with its revolutionary ideas and brilliant music, in capturing audiences in a time when high art was also immensely popular.
The work, first presented in 1847 in Florence, will be performed five times in Athens – featuring the Greek National Opera’s Orchestra, Chorus and Ballet members and with exceptional performances by Tassis Christoyiannis and Dimitra Theodosiou in the roles of Lord and Lady Macbeth.
The interpretation and “decoding” of Bach’s music has long been considered essential for its understanding and appreciation. For instance: in the Passion, rising chromatic scales signify the road to the Crucifixion, while the descending stepwise motion leads to death - according to the work’s introduction by the harpsichordist/conductor Markellos Chryssikopoulos, who provides the work’s authentic interpretation and musical direction. This outstanding musician moreover emphasizes that: “The St. John Passion is an especially timely work since it offers the audience, in addition to incredible music and rich symbolism, a true hero – in a time brimming with idols but lacking in heroes.”
A recreation of the atmosphere of 1724, when the work was first presented
Participating in the performance of the St. John Passion is The Friends of Music Camerata Orchestra with: soprano Myrsini Margariti, mezzo-soprano Mary-Ellen Nesi, tenor Vassilis Kavayas and bass Petros Magoulas, while the Evangelist is performed by tenor Jason Darnell. Conductor Markellos Chryssikopoulos interprets this important work with unique authenticity, directing the Camerata Orchestra using period instruments and an eight-person chamber choir.
Info: This work is presented within the framework of the series “Adagio – Music for Easter” in the Christos Lambrakis Hall for a single performance only, on the 14th of April, 8:30 p.m.