CULTURE

The art of Greece’s youth now takes to the streets

The rendezvous has been set at Syntagma Square at the metro station. Starting today (and running to February 26) the Athens metro turns into a welcoming venue for young artists who are participating at the Ninth Dia-Roes Festival. Audiences are invited to join the events at the following metro stations: Syntagma Square, Halandri, and Aghios Antonios – with all performances free of charge. Each artist and troupe asks for 10 minutes of everybody’s precious time in order to present a series of projects ranging from music, painting, theater, dance, video art, photography and film. Dionyssis Savvopoulos is scheduled to close the opening day ceremonies at Syntagma Square station tonight at 8 p.m. The popular singer/songwriter will be accompanied on stage by Stavros Lantsias and Yiotis Kiourtsoglou. Sophia Spyratou, choreographer and creative director of the festival talks about a «mammoth organization.» What is different this year compared to previous festivals? «We are adding things, without taking anything out,» she said. «We are moving out of the Roes theater’s interiors and going out to Syntagma Square station, in the heart of the city. The main reason for doing this is to offer the public more access to the various events. In this way, even those in a hurry might be able to enter the hall for a few minutes and catch one or two performances. Another exciting development this year is that we have a number of celebrity guests on our side.» Besides Savvopoulos, participating in the festival are Giorgos Andreou, Christos Thivaios, Orpheas Peridis, Notis Mavroudis, Panayiotis Margaris, Morfo Tsaireli, Kitrina Podilata, Melina Tanagri and Marios Strofalis. During the festival, different artists will appear at Syntagma Square beginning at 8 p.m. every evening. How did organizers choose the young, participating artists? «We didn’t really want to make a selection,» said Spyratou. «We are a space to anyone who comes to us. It’s not easy to produce a performance which does not exceed 12 minutes. What we realized during rehearsals is that young artists are trying to figure out who they are and what they are trying to say. A couple of troupes actually fell apart during this time because they couldn’t agree with each other. So the selection kind of took place on its own. It takes guts, a great amount inspiration to make it and we offer this kind of platform. We provide the space for this sort of statement, the statement being that we exist.»