What’s happening in culture?So much to do, so little time

This summer will be all about culture, with numerous events – from the Herod Atticus Theater and the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus to happenings at stadiums, museums and art galleries. Tradition will blend with innovation, retrospectives will rub shoulders with new trends and Greece will stand side by side with many other parts of the world. Dance seems to be this year’s winner, thanks to the expertise of the Hellenic Festival’s new director, Giorgos Loukos. There will be well-established and experimental dance troupes offering a wide panorama of shows. Theater is also on the upping, with new and more daring performances, more trends from abroad and greater interest in groundbreaking works. On the visual arts front, apart from numerous significant exhibitions throughout the season, we will also have the chance to view the modern Greek sculpture collection at the Glyptotheque. Music too will be in abundance, with many bands visiting the country from abroad. The large variety that will be on offer, though, comes at a price; concert tickets this year are markedly more expensive than before. Kathimerini has sniffed out the major events taking place this year. While this summer may not have all the Olympian glitz and glamour of 2004, it is still offering a sparkling schedule for visual arts events, starting with a tribute to the celebrated Colombian painter/sculptor Fernando Botero at the National Gallery. Comprising 142 paintings and a number of significant sculptures, the exhibition showcases not only Botero’s signature luscious, plump figures but also a recent series inspired by the news of the torture of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib. The series drew international attention as soon as it was made public as Botero was one of the first artists to protest human rights abuses in the war-torn country. The Athens Concert Hall will also show 21 works by the same artist in a show running until September 10 which includes some of his bronze sculptures. Sculpture is definitely in the limelight this year. There is a very interesting exhibition at the Museum of Cycladic Art which showcases the influence that the art of the Eastern Mediterranean since antiquity has had on great sculptors. At the Glyptotheque there will be a double opening on June 27: a retrospective on Italian expressionist Marino Marini as well as the unveiling of the museum’s collection of modern Greek sculpture. The latter comes just two years after the opening of the museum and symbolizes the achievement of its key goal since 2004. The Goulandris Museum of Contemporary Art on the Cycladic island of Andros is always a must in the summer and this year it will be showcasing a Greek artist: Panayiotis Tetsis with 20 works inspired by the sea. Also on the island, the Kydoneifs Foundation will be hosting tributes to artists Christos Caras and Dimitris Mytaras in late July. Chinese art from the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907) is the subject of an exhibition that will take place in July at the Byzantine Museum in Athens, which has also drawn parallels between the art of Byzantium and the art of the Far East and China. Other shows around the capital include an exhibition of covers for the Athens Voice free magazine designed by 60 artists, a tribute to contemporary French and Chilean art, an exhibition on flowers in contemporary art and a tribute to Greek architect Panos Koulermos. All these events will held in the Pireos wing of the Benaki Museum.