CULTURE

A piano tribute, en pointes

The Athens Concert Hall continues its impressive series of events exploring the potential of the piano, with the amazing «Piano Days,» organized by renowned Greek pianist Yiannis Vakarelis. There is an extra special surprise in store this weekend as the Athens Concert Hall will host «Dancing with the Piano» on Saturday and Sunday with six international ballet stars. Jiri Bubenicek, Isabelle Ciaravola, Marie-Agnes Gillot, Nadja Saidakova, Michael Banzhaf and Karl Paquette will take to the stage to dance select classical and modern works. Accompanying them will be pianists Elizabeth Cooper and Thanassis Apostolopoulos, violinist Christophe Guiot and cellist Renato Ripo. Two acts The program will be divided into two parts, with short concerts in between the ballet performances. In the first half, the infamous pas de deux from the second act of Tchaikovsky’s «Swan Lake,» choreographed by Marius Petipa, will be the opening performance by Saidakova and Banzhaf. Following this, Jiri Bubenicek will present his own choreography with the solo «Fracanapa» to the original music of Argentinean composer Astor Piazzolla. Ciaravola and Paquette will perform a duet to Sergei Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No 3 by renowned choreographer Ben Stevenson. Bubenicek and Gillot will finish off the first act with a pas de deux devised by George Balanchine to Igor Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto. The highlight of the second part is two impressive classical choreographies. The beautiful original pas de deux by Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot from the second act of «Giselle» by Adolphe Adam, will be performed by Siaravola and Paket and will be followed by a solo, performed again by Ciaravola, to Michel Fokine’s choreography for «The Dying Swan.» Modern classics The second act’s program will further feature two modern pieces of ballet that require a special mention as well. These are two dances by two of the most dynamic choreographers, first is a piece by by George Balanchine, and, second, a pas de deux by Maurice Bejart. The evening’s finale will be the pas de deux «Meeting,» choreographed and performed by Bubenicek along with Gillot. Athens Concert Hall, Vas. Sofias & Kokkali, tel 210.728.2333. Performances start at 8.30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.