Dimitria packing a loaded agenda

Returning with a varied agenda encompassing all the arts, the upcoming 44th Dimitria Festival in Thessaloniki plans to offer a total of 80 productions. Major acts from the fields of music, dance and the visual arts have been included on the program, to run from September 6 to November 18. Spanish tenor Jose Carreras, sensual flamenco dancer Aida Gomez, Memphis-based jazz saxophonist Charles Lloyd, singer Luz Casal, soprano Julia Migenes – an American artist of Greek, Irish and Puerto Rican descent – contemporary dancer Elisa Monte and classical pianist Dimitris Sgouros are among the acts to perform at the annual Thessaloniki cultural series. The event will be launched with several events on opening day. An extensive tribute to Catalan painter and sculptor Joan Miro, organized by the Teloglion Foundation of Art and to run until January next year before going on display in Athens at the Benaki Museum, opens on September 6. Also scheduled for opening day are Aeschylus’ «Persians,» performed by the National Theater and directed by Dimiter Gochev, and a display of traditional dances and songs of the North American Indians. Carreras, to be backed by the Thessaloniki State Orchestra, will perform at the city’s Gis Theater on September 7. The Thessaloniki Municipal Symphony Orchestra, fronted by soloists Sgouros and Giorgos Lazaridis, will perform at the northern city’s concert hall on September 10. The Dimitria Festival’s activity will also be hitting the streets on September 9 with musicians of various styles performing at different points around the city, from Aristotelous Square to the White Tower. Figuring among the music highlights at the festival, Casal, who enjoyed great success with her work on the soundtrack of Pedro Almodovar’s film «Tacones Lejanos,» performs at the Dasous Theater on September 14; Migenes will perform a cabaret-type show on September 20 at the Vassiliko, or Royal, Theater; the Quichotte Trio performs music by Mikis Theodorakis at the Goethe Institute on September 24; the Thessaloniki Municipal Symphony Orchestra will perform «Roman Agora» by Manos Hadjidakis at the Thessaloniki Concert Hall on September 27 and Charles Lloyd and his trio will be at the same venue on October 6. Flamenco dancer Gomez’s new production of «Carmen,» to be performed on September 1 at the Dasous Theater, ranks among the highlights of the festival’s dance agenda. Indian dancer Uma Sharma, performing at the Kipou Theater on September 2, Elisa Monte Dance, the respected New York contemporary dance company, to perform at the Thessaloniki Concert Hall on September 29 and 30, and the Idan Cohen dance group from Israel, performing October 27 at Aneton, should also be noted. In the visual arts, features include a Christos Karas retrospective, an exhibition of sculptures by Efthimios Kalevras, paintings by Sarantis Karavouzis, Maria Kyprianou, Haris Lambert and material from the Gala-Salvador Dali Foundation. Among the plays to be presented by the festival are a new work by Dimitris Dimitriadis, the Bucharest National Theater’s «Edward III» and Stephen King’s «Misery,» directed by Petros Zoulias.