Metro gets into festive spirit

The capital’s metro stations will be dressing up for Christmas this year, bringing the holiday spirit to commuters throughout Athens. Concerts, exhibitions and screenings have been organized by the Organization for the Promotion of Greek Culture (OPEP) and Attiko Metro, comprising a festive program of events which combine the past with the contemporary. The program, titled «Journeys of Culture at the Metro,» covers seven metro stations with 80 live shows performed by 18 ensembles. «It is a program that is dynamic and jolly, which helps carry culture into everyday life,» said Deputy Culture Minister Petros Tatoulis, while OPEP President Stamatis Mavros noted, «During these festive days we are trying to put a smile on the faces of the people who rush through the station every day with anything that can help make them happy.» Shows at Syntagma include performances by Savina Yannatou, Mariella Sfakianaki, Antonis Kontogeorgiou and Spyros Sakkas in songs from the hugely popular Greek children’s show «Lillipoupolis,» as well as jazz numbers with the Piano Jazz Trio, Christmas carols and tunes from musicals. There will also be street performances with stilt walkers and jugglers, and concerts by the Echo string orchestra, the woodwind quintet of the Athens State Orchestra, the band of young musicians from the Philippos Nakas Conservatory and the Krotala group. The Kivotos Mython puppet theater will be giving performances, while there will also be screenings of films organized by the Greek Film Center. Events at Halandri are aimed at a younger audience, with highlights including screenings of films that were awarded in a recent competition held by OPEP for young filmmakers and Greek electronic music presented by DJs from Best radio station with the Marsheaux DJ set. Tradition is the focus of events at Aghios Antonios, as a group of Greeks from the Black Sea region presents folk songs and a variety of vocal ensembles and school choirs perform songs from all around Greece. The station will also host three exhibitions, curated by costume designer Yiannis Metsikoff: «Christmas in the City at the Turn of the 20th Century» will showcase old toys from the collection of Marianna Vildiridi, «Christmas in a Greek Village at the Turn of the 20th Century» will show objects from the collection of Christina Douvri-Xenou, and «Traditional Christmas Dinner» will present displays from the Research Center of Greek Folk Tradition of the Athens Academy. A more classic Christmas atmosphere is what’s on the menu for Doukissis Plakentias station, with music by the Piano Jazz Trio, Echo and the brass ensemble of the Athens State Orchestra, while the theme at Aghios Dimitrios is artistic, with a large installation by Christos Papanikolaou titled «Man – Angels – Birds.» At Attiki station, budding artists who participate in the Photography Workshop of the 18 Ano detoxification center will present a show titled «Christmas Moments at the Metro.» Finally, Monastiraki station will host a show by students of the Athens School of Fine Arts, in which they examine the relationship between culture and the metro. The communications sponsors for the entire program of events are Kathimerini and ERT state broadcasting.