Memories of the Greek Belle Epoque

A special performance in a special space, «Graveyard Cafe Band/In Extremis» is currently being staged at the Art Foundation, an old-style Athenian courtyard in Monastiraki. The production is a musical performance by Passepartout, a creative ensemble inspired by the dark, melancholic period of the Greek Belle Epoque, or the «Old Athenian School,» using as raw material the lyrics of Dimitris Paparrigopoulos, Spyridon Vasiliadis and Jean Moreas, among others. The poetry movement, which blossomed between 1850 and 1930, came into being in Athenian cemeteries, coffee houses and on remote beaches. Complementing the performance are the poems and prose penned by Christos Kanellopoulos. The live music, which was composed for six musician-performers, is based on a combination of classical instruments (piano and violin), traditional instruments (lute, lyre) and electric instruments (electric guitar, electric base) combined with a digital stage setup via computer. Borrowing cliches from a multitude of music movements of the 20th century, «Graveyard Cafe Band/In Extremis» aims to transmit the melancholic world of poetry via a contemporary polyphonic platform. The production’s images take viewers to a faraway yet familiar era, without resorting to nostalgia. Balancing between acting and singing, all six performers entertain the audience with sardonic humor, enabling them to address issues such as death and loss without taboos. Art Foundation, 5 Normanou, Monastiraki, tel 210.323.8757. Performances Sundays, Mondays & Tuesdays at 9.15 p.m., to March 28.

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