By Christina Sanoudou
French philosopher Alain Badiou will give a lecture on Plato, the Athens State Orchestra will perform works by contemporary French composers, Comedie-Francaise, France's national theater, will visit to Athens for the first time in half a century to stage Jean Anouilh's “Antigone” and internationally renowned director Ludovic Lagarde will work together with Greece's National Theater.
These are some of the events listed under the Greece-France Alliance 2014, a bilateral cultural and educational program organized by the French Institute and the country's embassy in Athens on the occasion of Greece's six-month presidency of the European Union, which started on January 1.
About 100 shows, exhibitions, concerns, discussions, conferences and festivals will be held in cities across Greece and France over the next six months. The aim is to highlight the ties between the two countries and promote Greek contemporary art to the world. The program is being held under the aegis of the two countries' foreign ministries and with the support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.
The opening concert, a tribute to artists Seraphine Louis and Camille Claude by Magda Maurogianni, Christina Giannakopoulou and Charles Zouganelis, will take place at the Theocharakis Foundation (9 Vassilissis Sofias & Merlin) on Thursday, January 16. The same section includes tributes to Jean Cocteau (January 30), Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel (February 6) and concerts by Quatuor Tana (February 13) and the Paxos Ensemble (February 20). For Friday, organizers have prepared an event titled “Translating Greek Poetry into French” while on Saturday, the Louis Sclavis Atlas Trio, a jazz trio comprising clarinetist and saxophonist Louis Sclavis, guitarist Gilles Coronado and pianist Benjamin Moussay, will play at the Onassis Cultural Center in Athens.
Future of Europe
Politicians and academics will discuss the future of Europe at the Athens Concert Hall on February 6 and 7 in an event organized by Le Nouvel Observateur and Kathimerini newspaper. A conference on media and power in the work of French sociologist Louis-Vincent Thomas will be held on January 22-23. The same section includes lectures by Alain Badiou (January 23) and Jacques Ranciere (January 30) as well as a series of lectures organized by College de France (as of February 4). Renowned astrophysicist Hubert Reeves will participate in “geo-meetings” (February 27) while Louvre director Jean-Luc Martinez will deliver a lecture on the Nike of Samothrace, under conservation treatment until summer 2014, at the auditorium of the French Institute (June 3).
A number of plays will be staged in Greece and France through June 2014. Comedie Francaise will stage “Antigone” directed by Marc Paquien at the Athens Concert Hall (April 26-27) while Jean-Rene Lemoine will stage his “Iphigenie” (Iphigenia), starring Lena Papaligoura with the Theater Apo Michanis. The National Theater will cooperate with Ludovic Lagarde on Bernard-Marie Koltes's “Quay West,” which will be staged in Greece and France (as of June 5), and Paul Claudel's “Le Soulier de Satin” (The Satin Slipper), directed by Efi Theodorou. Both of these have been included in the program of the Athens Festival. In addition, the state orchestras of Athens and Thessaloniki have prepared collaborations and tributes to French directors.
“Werther,” an opera written by Jules Massenet conducted by Ilias Voudouris and directed by Spyros Evangelatos, will return to the Greek National Opera at the Olympion Theater (April 11). Yannick Boquin's ballet “Chopin in Love” will be presented at the same venue (May 10). A tribute to Melina Mercouri will be presented at the Tainiothiki (Greek Film Archive) from March 1 to 9).
The full program can be found at www.gfa.gr.