CULTURE

A dance summer leads to fall

It’s been a good summer for dance. We’ve seen great performances at the Athens Festival, «Cafe Muller» by Pina Baus, shows by many groundbreaking artists at the Kalamata Dance Festival – whose agenda was particularly rich this year – as well as interesting presentations at the Gazi Dance Festival in Athens. It’s not over. More is in store next month in Athens, with appearances by significant acts from both the classical and contemporary domains. September’s activity begins impressively with a flamenco dance-musical of Georges Bizet’s «Carmen,» starring Aida Gomez, troupe at the Herod Atticus Theater on September 10. The production is directed by Emilio Sagi and musical direction is by Jose Antonio Rodriguez. Several days later, on September 13, 14 and 15, also at the Herod Atticus, the historic Royal Swedish Ballet, a 90-member ensemble, will celebrate the 60th anniversary of UNESCO with performances of «La Bayadere» choreographed by Natalia Makarova. The legendary dance figure will attend the Athens performances. «La Bayadere,» an exotic story about endless love, mystery, divine intervention, revenge and justice is set in India. A princely warrior, Solor, and Nikiya, a temple dancer, pledge eternal love to each other. But they are respectively unrequitedly loved by Gamzatti, the local Rajah’s daughter, and the High Brahmin of Nikiya’s temple, who both conspire to destroy the couple. The State Radio and Television (ERT) Contemporary Music Orchestra, with Benjamin Pope as the guest conductor, will provide the production’s score. Dancing sprites On September 17 and 18, the Irish International Dance Company will present «Spirit of the Dance» at the Herod Atticus. Funds raised by the two shows, organized by Spectacles, will be donated to the Special Olympics Hellas team. A winner of nine international awards, including prizes for Best Choreography and Best International Production, this production fuses traditional Irish culture with elements of Latin, tango, flamenco and salsa. The plot of «Spirit of the Dance» is based on ethereal spirits that lead us to the world of dance and the pursuit of peace, happiness, and love for all mankind. For one night only at the Herod Atticus on September 24, 14 soloists from the ranks of the Bolshoi and Mariinsky theaters will present a classical ballet gala curated by the esteemed dance figure Vladimir Vasiliev. The production’s cast includes Diana Vishneva, Farukh Ruzimatov and Svetlana Lunkina. September’s activity will end with performances of «The Myths of Ancient Greece» in Athens and Thessaloniki by the renowned contemporary Martha Graham dance troupe. The production’s Greek performances open in Thessaloniki, at the city’s Concert Hall for three nights, September 22 to 24. Two performances follow at the capital’s Herod Atticus on September 26 and 27.