NEWS

Kratiras

Aghiou Orous is a little street that leads off Megalou Alexandrou Street in Kerameikos. There was a motor vehicle repair shop there until 2001, when actors Martha Frintzila and Vassilis Mantzoukis were looking for a rehearsal space for their theater group, Dromos me dendra (Road with Trees). By chance, the Sinequanon dance group was looking for the same thing. Shared need and the relatively low rent led to the workshop becoming a cultural center that is hard to classify. A rehearsal space? A gallery? Venue for lessons and seminars? Alternative cultural platform a la Berlin? Whatever it is, Krateras, as the original tenants named it, is a unique example in Athens of a self-managed cultural center that brings together artists and ordinary people in search of something interesting. The first two groups have since been joined by Athos Danelis’s shadow-puppet theater group and the Ki Omos Kineitai dance group. Every day there are lessons and seminars that are open to all. On many evenings, Kratiras has open rehearsals as well as ordinary performances with admission by ticket. You won’t find the program easily. It’s not published in the press or on the Internet; so far there’s just a small poster on the door of Kratiras. Yet Kratiras has many friends, explained Frintzila. «People only hear about what happens here by word of mouth and a few SMSs and e-mails.» It fills up for open rehearsals. People pay what they want. «Our aim is the coexistence and collaboration of different people with shared concerns. The members work together on the performances. They decide together on the program and the events,» she said. As for the lessons and seminars, «you’ll find artists and other people who are not part of the scene, from teachers to firefighters.» Some Kratiras productions also perform elsewhere. This year Roland Schimmelpfennig’s «Arabian Night» is being performed in the attic of the Neos Cosmos Theater. But Kratiras won’t change, Frintzila affirmed. «It will continue as long as the city wants it.» Kratiras, 5 Aghiou Orous Street, Kerameikos.