CULTURE

Volos festival celebrates music and Christmas

The popular International Festival of Music Theater in Volos, which starts on Saturday and will run to January 4, has prepared yet another full program for this Christmas season to celebrate its 10th anniversary. Events of what is the ninth music theater festival to be organized by the city will range from passionate and colorful flamenco dancing by the Ballet Flamenco Antonio Canales, to pantomime, gags, music and dance by music theater group Floz and from enhanced folk dances by Russia’s Moiseyev Ballet to Charles Dickens’s classic «A Christmas Carol» by the TNT Music Theater and a dazzling show by French juggler Philippe Menard and the Compagnie Non Nova. Famous Spanish dancer Antonio Canales and his Ballet Flamenco will open the festival with «Bailaor,» a lively and powerful flamenco show accompanied by live music and singing. Canales himself describes flamenco as «nothing more but a very deep feeling, a way of life.» Seville-born Canales started his career as a ballet dancer and has danced alongside acclaimed ballet personalities including Rudolf Nureyev, Sylvie Guillem and Julio Bocca, but his keen interest in flamenco resulted in the foundation of his Ballet Flamenco in 1992. «Bailaor,» first performed in 2001 at Seville’s Bienal Flamenco Festival, will be staged on Saturday and Sunday. Talented performers Floz will ingeniously combine pantomime with the use of theater masks in «Teatro Delusio» (Theater of Delusions), December 21 to 23. The troupe consists of skilled actors, mimes, clowns, musicians, mask-makers, dancers, set designers and lighting experts, all of whom join forces for an original performance full of gags and unexpected happenings. Russia’s renowned Moiseyev Ballet will next take the stage with a varied program of dances from different countries, on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Founded by Igor Moiseyev, who has dedicated his life to the development of folk dances through the use of more traditional ballet techniques, the company’s repertoire currently includes more than 300 dances from all over the world, from Siberia and the Caucasus to Mexico and Argentina. The American Drama Group Europe and Britain’s TNT Music Theater will present their version of Charles Dickens’s classic tale, «A Christmas Carol,» the story of miser Ebenezer Scrooge who develops into a kind soul, on December 29 and 30. Adapted by Paul Stebbings and Paul Smith, the show features live music written especially for the production by Thomas Johnson. Top French juggler Philippe Menard will close the festival with two shows on January 3 and 4, by taking the audience to a restless, imaginary world. Menard and the Compagnie Non Nova will defy the laws of gravity in «Ascenseur,» a performance where skill is combined with technology. Four different workshops will be held throughout the festival, addressed to both amateurs and professionals. Antonio Canales’s group will provide an insight into Spanish flamenco, while members of the Floz group will hold a workshop on the use of theater masks and on clowning; the TNT Theater and Paul Stebbings’s group will elaborate on contemporary views on music theater and Philippe Menard with Non Nova will shed some light on juggling techniques. All performances will start at 9 p.m. and will take place at Volos’s Municipal Theater, except for «Teatro Delusio,» which will be performed at the Palaia Ilektriki Theater. Tickets cost 25 euros (15 euros with a student discount) and are available at Volos’s Municipal Theater, tel 24210.32818, open 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. For credit card bookings, you may call 24210.78074. For further information, log on to www.volosfestival.gr.