Long-running and efficient

The Dimitria Festival in Thessaloniki, one of the country’s longest-running cultural events, still going strong at 39 years old, and has proven to be overwhelmingly dependable. It is efficiently run, too. This year’s program of events, numbering 99 productions, is budgeted at 1.1 million euros, which equals the cost of Pavarotti’s recent single performance in Athens. The festival is primarily funded by the Culture Ministry and the Macedonia Thrace Ministry. The Thessaloniki Municipality, utilizing the Balkan Cities Network which it helped form, intends to highlight, through this year’s series of shows, both the common cultural traits and unique characteristics of Balkan cities. The agenda, announced by Thessaloniki Municipality officials on Wednesday, promises a diverse range of events. They begin on August 31 with a performance by STOMP, the world-renowned dance troupe which uses everyday objects in unconventional fashion. The festival ends on November 7 with a performance by the Thessaloniki University Symphony Orchestra at the city’s concert hall. Shows in between include a performance by rock legends Jethro Tull with the Thessaloniki Municipality’s Symphony Orchestra. Also on the agenda is a double-bill featuring Greek performers Giorgos Dalaras and Glykeria, who will share with the stage with the Estudiantina Orchestra. The talented Spanish Latin-pop artist Luz Casal, who gained fame through the films of celebrated compatriot director Pedro Almodovar, has also been booked. Composer Mikis Theodorakis’s «Zorba the Greek» will be presented by the Sofia State Radio Symphony Orchestra with Greek-American singer Elli Paspala as the soloist. An international dance month series, an ethnic-jazz festival and drama have been integrated into the program. The ethnic-jazz festival will be launched by the famed guitarist Al Di Meola at Dasos Theater on September 20. A tribute night marking the centennial birth anniversary of the late composer Nikos Skalkottas has also been included.