CULTURE

American Ballet Theater in Athens and Thessaloniki

The American Ballet Theater comes to Greece this week and next, with performances scheduled to take place at the Herod Atticus Theater in Athens (Sunday and July 7) and the Gis Theater in Thessaloniki (July 10 and 11). Seventy dancers – including lead soloists Maxim Belotserkovsky, Angel Correla, Irina Dvorovenko, Jose Manuel Carrepo, Julie Kent, Marcelo Gomez and Paloma Herrera, among others – arrived in Athens yesterday and begin rehearsals today, accompanied by the Enarmonia symphony orchestra, conducted by David Lamars and Ormsby Wilkins. The dance company’s performances begin with «Artemis.» Choreographed by Lar Lubovitch with music by Chris Theofanidis, the «Artemis» production was commissioned by the Cultural Olympiad. It was performed for the first time at the Metropolitan Opera in New York on March 20, as part of «All Around is Light,» a performance dedicated to Greece and directed by Costa-Gavras. The ballet’s storyline unfolds as Artemis, goddess of the hunt, falls in love with Aktaion, a young hunter. The evening continues with Tchaikovsky’s pas de deux from the beloved «Swan Lake’s» third act – a signature American Ballet Theater piece, choreographed by George Balanchine, who, in turn, was influenced by Marius Petipa. Also on the schedule is «Clear,» choreographed by Stanton Welch and based on Bach’s Concerts for Violin and Oboe. The last piece on the dance company’s program is «Within You, Without You,» a tribute to George Harrison. Choreographed by Welch, David Parsons, Natalie Weir and Ann Reinking, this is a medley of Harrison songs (dancers perform to a soundtrack featuring the late Beatle’s own voice) woven together into a rock ballet. The American Ballet Theater in Athens at the Herod Atticus Theater on Sunday and July 7. For tickets, Athens Festival box office, 39 Panepistimiou, tel 210.322.1459, Herod Atticus Theater, Acropolis, tel 210.323.2771. For credit card reservations call 210.323.5582. Tickets for the Thessaloniki performances are sold at the city’s Aristotelous Square and Kamara box offices.