CULTURE

Drama and choreography

Now under way, the annual Athens Festival, which brings theater, music, dance and other artistic disciplines to the public, is presenting two high-caliber productions from Italy and France this weekend, in the fields of drama and choreography respectively. The Teatro Kismet presents the Danish fairy-tale writer Hans Christian Andersen’s «Snow Queen» in an adaptation by Teresa Ludovico – who is also the production’s director – tomorrow night at the Kotopouli-Rex Theater. The play is making its European premier in Athens. The Italian theater company, whose previous performances in Greece include a staging of Aristophanes’ «Birds» in Crete three years ago, has presented numerous fairy tale-based works in the past. «The fairy tale gives us the strength to make it to frozen kingdoms and escape with whoever is trapped there,» notes Ludovico. «The Snow Queen» is one of many compelling works by the Danish writer that express his deep identification with outcasts and unfortunate persons. Andersen, who as a child was highly emotional and suffered all kinds of fears and humiliations because of his tallness and effeminate interests, was forced to start work in his pre-teen years following his father’s death in 1816. He was apprenticed to a weaver and tailor before eventually paving his way to theater. The Teatro Kismet’s «Snow Queen» will be presented in Italian and English with Greek surtitles. On Sunday, French choreographer Maguy Marin’s dance troupe will present «Umwelt,» a pivotal work in the modern dance field, in Athens, at the Pireos 260 venue. Marin, a leading French choreographer who interpreted works by Maurice Bejart before going her own way, brings theatrical elements into her work as a result of her belief that theater is closer to reality than dance itself. «Umwelt» expresses complications of modern-day life and distress over the future, highlighted by eerie, minimalist music.