Aegean island hosts magical fairy-tale fest

he island of Tzia has been transformed into a fairy-tale land, as the Festival of Fairy Tales continues to take place across the isle through Sunday. Organized for the fifth consecutive year by the Center for the Study of Fables and Fairy Tales, the festival features narrations in both Greek and English, along with theater and music performances, creative activities for children, shadow theater, book presentations, art exhibitions and happenings, talks and seminars. Two distinguished narrators, Ben Haggarty and Bruno de la Salle (the founder of Clio – Conservatoire Contemporain de Literature Orale), are this summer’s honored guests. «We live under such rational circumstances that the need to escape via dreams and magic is stronger than ever,» said center president Giorgos Evgenikos. More than 3,100 people have attended this year’s events so far. Children played and created their own artwork and both kids and adults put on their masks and dived into the sea to admire Iota Sotiropoulou’s underwater art exhibition «In 2 the Blue.» Events have included Giorgos Dambassis’s film «Talking Water,» filmed especially for the festival. Yesterday, a jewelrymaking workshop with natural materials was held on Otzia beach. Today Orkos beach will host a traditional celebration with narrations by well-known Greek storytellers, including Anthi Thanou. «A narrator carries memories. One has to be real to transmit all the warmth of this art. We have to feel that what we have to say is very important and has to be shared with the audience. Fairy tales are journeys with unknown destinations,» she said. The festival will end on Sunday, with a round-table discussion supervised by Bruno de la Salle. One of the participants, Lili Lambrelli, will present «Fairy Tales of Love and Water» accompanied by musician Antonio Chincoa on Saturday evening. Lambrelli specializes in «magical fairy tales,» those that reveal the hardships of lonely heroes which force their «transition into adulthood.» «In my opinion, what matters is the story. A good narrator has to be taken away by his audience. We can all become narrators, as long as we are shaken by something and believe in it.»