Two Emmys go to Greek artists

Lighting designer Eleftheria Deko and lighting director Theodoros Tsevas, two of the main players of the creative team of the Athens 2004 Olympics Opening Ceremony, were honored by the American Academy of Television Arts & Sciences with two Emmy awards for Outstanding Lighting Direction (Electronic, Multi-Camera) for VMC Programming at the prestigious organization’s 57th annual awards ceremony last Sunday, held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. What makes this distinction especially exciting is not just the weighty awards, but also the fact that such an often-overlooked art, especially in Greece, received international recognition. It is no easy task to «direct» 2,000 lights controlled from six different panels, 26 searchlights and 180 moving lights; a total of 216,000 sources that turned night into day at the Olympic Stadium on August 13, 2004. Eleftheria Deko has already distinguished herself in Greece with a run of successful productions for which she has designed the lighting since 1992, when she moved back to Greece from New York. After graduating from New York University, where she took a postgraduate degree in lighting design, performance and choreography on a scholarship, the young artist went on to work with numerous New York theaters before returning to Greece. To date, she has created the lighting for 300 performances of theater, music, dance, opera and visual arts installations. She has worked with almost every Greek theatrical company and has been invited abroad to light dance performances at international festivals. In 1997 she opened, and now heads, the commercial company Lights International, while also holding exclusive representation in Greece of leading lighting companies from around the world. Deko has also been teaching theater lighting at Thessaloniki University’s drama department since January of this year. Theodoros Tsevas, who was part of the team of artists who designed and directed the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Athens Games, is a composer and designer of sound and multimedia, specialized in show control and entertainment technology. Following his studies at the Berklee College of Music, he did his postgraduate degree at the University of Miami, Florida. Since 1993 he has worked with numerous Greek and international productions in theater, television, new media and other productions. Some of his career highlights include a tribute to Maria Callas, a production of «Prometheus Bound» and «The Sound of Music,» as well as the show «Rhythm Nation.» Tsevas has also created music therapy software called «IMAGINE: Interactive Music and Graphic Images Nurturing Education.» «It is such a great recognition, not just personally, but for all of us who worked on the Opening Ceremony. It is an international distinction,» said Eleftheria Deko from Los Angeles last Sunday. She was not expecting the award, she said, but «the nomination itself is award enough as it is.»