Busy winter at the Athinais

Consolidating its reputation as a vivacious multifaceted cultural center, the Athinais complex recently unveiled an ambitious program for the winter season, featuring a number of events scheduled to take place at its Votanikos premises. The month of November is dedicated to women. Sponsored by the General Secretariat of Gender Equality with the support of the Research Center for Gender Equality (KETHI) and the Center for Research and Action for Peace (KEDE), a double bill, running throughout the month, takes a look at the position of women in society in two entirely different periods. The first part of the evening is taken up by Georgios Vizyinos’s «My Mother’s Sin,» directed by Ioulia Siamou, starring Nektaria Yiannoudaki, Giorgos Nanouris, Panayiotis Marinos and Ioanna Poliniki. The play, set in the 19th century, is based on a celebrated novel by Vizyinos, in which a mother accidentally kills her child during her sleep. The second play of the double bill, «Female Parts,» by Nobel Prize winner Dario Fo and Franca Rame, is a series of monologues exposing daily problems in relationships, work and society in general. Also at the Athinais, the two-act plays «Waking Up» and «Medea» are to be performed in English by the Dream Divas theater group, namely director Cassi Moghan and actress Shirin Youssefian. Both performances can be seen on one ticket, from Thursdays to Sundays at 9 p.m., and run to December 1. Also this month, an exhibition of works by artist Erietta Vordoni, «Ever Tired of Love?» was inaugurated on November 4. Using a variety of materials ranging from plexiglass to metals and crystallized paper, the artist raises the human figure to a higher, sensual and erotic plane in a collection of 90 mixed-technique works. The artist, who studied painting at the Athens School of Art, followed by a degree at the Ecole National Superieure des Beaux Arts in Paris, has a full resume of solo and group exhibitions in Greece and abroad, including New York’s Queen Museum, the Livignes Gallerie in Paris, Munich’s Moller Gallery and the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome. (The show runs to November 30.) Following last year’s successful musical theater stint, popular composer/director Stamatis Kraounakis returns to the Athinais this season to present his new show. Titled «The Classic Recipe,» the production mixes theater with music, as action unfolds in a bar where various characters gather to share their drinks and their feelings. Featuring actress Tzeni Botsi and the musical theater troupe Speira Speira, performances will begin on November 18. In early December, a cast led by Iro Mane, Christos Biros and Sassa Kastoura present Sergi Belbel’s «Smoking on the Roof Top» (Apres la Pluie). The play is directed by France-based Giorgos Petrounias, who makes his directorial debut in his home country. Also opening in December is an exhibition of contemporary Russian paintings. In a collaboration with the Greek and Russian ministries of culture and the Russian Museum and Exhibition Centers Association, works by 11 artists will go on display – for the first time outside Russia. Complementing the art show are performances by musicians, opera singers and dancers from the Bolshoi Theater. In February 2003, Athinais visitors will have a chance to «Travel to Greece» through screenings of NET’s series of the same name, presented by Mayia Tsokli and directed by Chronis Pechlivanidis. Entrance to the documentary screenings will be free and will be accompanied by lectures, photo exhibitions, books and presentations of local products. Coming up in spring 2003, artist Alekos Fassianos and professor of architecture Tassis Papaioannou join forces to present «Painted Architectural Space.» Acting as a comment on what the city should look like, the show will feature a series of models developed by the architect, followed by the artist’s colorful input, all together transforming a city bench, a bus stop or an imaginary building. Lastly, the brilliant 20-year-old career of renowned Greek set and costume designer Yiannis Metzikoff will be showcased in an exhibition in autumn 2003 (the same show was recently presented in Moscow). Meanwhile, events will continue throughout this year and next at the active Pierides Museum of Ancient Cypriot Art; activities include educational workshops, conferences and school visits. Athinais Cultural Complex, 34-36 Kastorias St, beginning of Iera Odos, Votanikos. For more information, call 210.348.0000.

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