CULTURE

Fall dances and twirls its way into Athens

With pointes and tutus, castanets and long Spanish skirts, with classic melodies ringing out under the moonlight and explosive zapateados, pirouettes and jetes, and steamy Argentinean ballads, September offers an enticing menu of dance this year. The fall begins with a bang: From September 5-8 at the Lycabettus Theater in Athens and then on September 10 and 11 at Thessaloniki’s Dasos Theater, the Kirov Mariinsky ballet will present a double-bill panorama of classical and romantic ballet from the 19th century to the present day. «Nuevo Tango,» a new production, directed and choreographed by Anna Maria Stekelman for Tangokinesis, that has been on tour around Europe, will come to lend a bit of Latin flair to the month as it stops in Athens on September 17 and 18 at the Lycabettus Theater before traveling north to Thessaloniki’s Dasos Theater on September 20. On September 26-28, the Badminton Theater in Goudi will, in turn, host the Andalusia Flamenco Ballet’s production «Viaje al Sur» (Journey to the South), starring Cristina Hoyos and El Junco. Also in the last 10 days of September, the Pallas Theater in central Athens will host a dance gala with soloists of the Bolshoi Ballet, while from October 4-8, Julio Bocca, one of the greatest classical dancers of our times, will be on stage at the Badminton Theater with «Bocca Tango,» a production he has been presenting for his world farewell tour. Ballet Argentino, Bocca’s dance ensemble, and Cecilia Figaredo (a true diva of dance), will join forces with Octango orchestra in a wonderful spectacle that married Bocca’s greatest loves: ballet and the tango. On a different note, the Earth Dance festival that begins on September 14 at the Akto Iliou Beach in Kalamaki will feature dancers and musical ensembles from Greece and other parts of the world. Cancellation «Apollo Delios,» the music and ballet production organized by the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation in collaboration with the Attiki Cultural Society and scheduled to take place at the Herod Atticus Theater on September 3, has been cancelled out of respect for the victims of the fires. The performance would have seen Milan’s Filarmonica della Scala orchestra perform under the baton of Daniele Gatti and joined by Teatro alla Scalla ballet soloists including distinguished dancer Roberto Bolle. Those wishing to get a refund should contact the Hellenic Society of Disabled Children (ELEPAP, tel 210.725.4726), which was the recipient of the proceeds. Kirov Mariinsky Ballet A world-renowned ballet company, the Kirov Mariinsky Ballet, was initially known as the Imperial Mariinsky Ballet until the early 20th century, when its name was changed to Kirov following the assassination of Sergei Kirov. It switched back to its old name after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. The St Petersburg-based company holds a very special position in international ballet history and has worked with some of the greatest dancers, including Anna Pavlova, Vaslav Nijinsky, Rudolf Nureyev, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Natalia Makarova, Galina Ulanova and many others. Russia’s oldest ballet company was founded in 1783 in St Petersburg. The current artistic director, maestro Valery Gergiev, will visit Greece along with a 20-member corps de ballet and a number of principal dancers. The first part of the program will feature the «Chopiniana,» the original version of what later developed into the well-known ballet piece «Les Sylphides.» In the second part, the principal dancers will present extracts from a lesser-known repertoire, such as George Balanchine’s 1960 «Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux,» with music by Tchaikovsky and his adagio-duet from his work on the «Rubins» section from Igor Stravinsky’s «Jewels,» a duet from William Forsythe’s 1987 «In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated,» as well as two choreographies by Marius Petipa, written over a century ago. Tickets can be purchased at the Hellenic Festival box office (39 Panepistimiou, tel 210.327.2000), at Virgin Megastores, at the Dassos Theater and at Thessaloniki’s Aristotelous Square box office as well as online, at www.ticketnet.gr