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One of the most important choreographers on the contemporary dance scene worldwide and an outstanding performer is once again coming to the OCC in Athens to present the world premiere of his new work bearing the Greek title of ‘XENOS’ (meaning ‘foreigner’ or ‘stranger’). Accompanied by five musicians on stage, Khan will take the audience on a journey into enticing contemporary dance, rousing rhythms of his own creation and his own universe that includes the classical Indian Kathak blended with modern dance.

The son of immigrants, he conquered London and the world

Khan was born in London to parents from Bangladesh. He began to study the traditional South Asian dance form, Kathak, when he was 7 and at 13 took part in Peter Brook’s Mahabharata. He was responsible for staging part of the Opening Ceremony for the London 2012 Olympic Games and has worked with renowned actors, dancers and choreographers, earning a number of international awards. This will be his third appearance at OCC. He has said that he is no longer able to perform major solo roles and plans to limit himself to choreography and smaller roles in future. But for now, let’s enjoy him.

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The Penthesilea of erotic desire, adoration, obsession and imperious behaviour, Kleist’s Penthesilea, talks about love and war, passion and power, and the battle between the sexes that never stops. It opens 14 February to coincide with a more romantic version of love, with a powerful cast: Vicky Volioti, Thanos Tokakis, Argyris Xafis, Syrmo Keke and Iro Bezou; Penthesilea promises to be fascinating, if not tempestuous, just like the life of the author himself.

One of the greatest German playwrights and poets of the 19th century

Kleist (October 1777-November 1811), descended from an aristocratic family of military officers, attempted to follow a secure military career, but ultimately the only thing he pursued was his need to experiment, push past limits and take risks. He lived in various places around Europe —France, Switzerland and Prussia— swept along by a sense of adventure. He worked with Goethe to produce the great comedy, The Broken Jug, and, aside from Penthesilea, wrote The Schroffenstein Family and the better known Prince of Homburg. He published a magazine and a newspaper, along with short stories and essays. Marked by tragedy to the end, he committed suicide after helping a woman friend die.

Pantelis Dentakis’ Penthesilea

Penthesilea has been the object of directorial experimentation for dozens of acclaimed directors both in Greece and abroad. Actor and director Pantelis Dentakis graduated from the Greek National Theatre Drama School and has worked with numerous prominent theatrical companies and groups as a director and with important directors as an actor.

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“Summerfolk” by Maxim Gorky at the Onassis Cultural Centre

It is a rare occasion when young and old can attend the same theatrical performance and both derive such pleasure. That, however, is exactly what happens with Maxim Gorky’s “Summerfolk” at the Onassis Cultural Centre. Gorky’s protagonists appear to be mired in ego and stuck in their own little worlds – until the moment they begin to be aware of the wider world around them and feel the necessity of taking action. But can they really manage to escape themselves?

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Combining the famous libretto of Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica with the renowned music of Giacomo Puccini, “Tosca” is one of the most widely loved Italian opera, with adoring fans among both music-lovers and musicians alike. This opera in three acts was first performed in 1800 in the era it portrays and refers to the painter Mario Cavaradossi, the lover of Tosca, a well-known singer of that period. When Cavaradossi is sentenced to death, and Tosca is unable to save him, distraught and in despair, she kills herself. The New National Opera’s “Tosca” opens on the 26th of January as part of a wider tribute to famed director and set-designer Stefanos Lazaridis. A stellar cast has been assembled for this production, among them Cellia Costea in the title role, Pavel Černoch and Dimitris Paksoglou in alternating performances and Dimitris Tiliakos in the role of Baron Scarpia. This captivating work is hosted in the dazzling new home of the New National Opera at The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center.

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The Budapest Festival Orchestra with soloist Radu Lupu at The Athens Concert Hall

For decades now, the system of musical education in Hungary has produced outstanding orchestras and extraordinary musicians who perform all over the world, always garnering ecstatic reviews from leading music critics. The Budapest Festival Orchestra, conducted by Iván Fischer, is coming to The Athens Concert Hall for a single performance on January 19, featuring the piano soloist Radu Lupu, considered one of the finest interpreters of Chopin worldwide. On the 19th, the Orchestra will present Johann Sebastian Bach’s Orchestral Suite no. 2, Robert Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor, and Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Symphony no. 2 in E minor.

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Polkas, waltzes and mazurkas flood the Christos Lambrakis Hall of the Athens Concert Hall, played by the masterful musicians of the Camerata Orchestra under the baton of the renowned maestro George Petrou. This is the concert that all of Athens has been eagerly awaiting in order to give an inspiring start to the New Year with hopeful music from the opera “The Merry Wives of Windsor”, the operetta “Die Fledermaus” as well as internationally beloved waltzes, polkas and mazurkas. It’s almost a sure bet that most of the audience will be silently singing along in their seats.

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A “Bohème” which has conquered audiences and critics alike

There still remain two more performances, on the 3rd and 5th of January, of the loveliest musical-theatrical work of this past year, an astounding revival and reinterpretation of Puccini’s beloved opera “La Bohème”, set in Athens’ own Bohemian Exarchia. Declared an instant masterpiece by audiences and critics, everyone who has thus far attended this work, with the inspired leadership of Graham Vick and the artistic and musical direction of Elias Voudouris and Vladimiros Symeonidis, who rotated these key roles between themselves – have raved about the production and will surely remember it for months and years to come. For those lucky enough to attend – don’t miss it!

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Gareth Davis & Frances-Marie Uitti at the Onassis Cultural Centre

On January 11, two extraordinary musicians, the clarinetist Davis and the cellist Uitti will interpret – with their characteristic flare and passion – works by two outstanding 20th-century Italian composers, Giacinto Scelsi and Salvatore Sciarrino. As has been their custom during the seven years of their collaboration, the two musicians will explore and bring to light other perspectives of these great composers’ work – and will take us along with them on this journey.

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