The Festival of Athens & Epidaurus 2017, which is the most significant in Greece and among the most important ones in Europe, will kick off with pre-festival events at the end of May. It’s history begins in 1955, where the festival hosted well esteemed Greek and foreign artists from the industry of music, dance, theater and visual arts. Nowadays, some of the most renowned Greek monuments have become the trademark of this particular festival, such as the Herodes Atticus Odeon in Athens and the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus.
The pre-festival events will begin on the 22nd up to the 28th of May, at the Athens Festival venue, 260 Piraeus Street where contemporary theatrical plays and dance performances are usually hosted. This year two self-managing platforms, the popular Bob Festival and the queer platform Sound Acts will perform here.
The official program starts on June 1st and ends on August 19th where performances (ancient and modern theater, opera and dance), music concerts (classical, Byzantine, and traditional genre) and visual arts will be held and exhibited. The festival’s priority is to support Greek creators as well as to present important artists of the contemporary international scene. This year’s foreign repertoire includes a multifaceted tribute to the historic Volksbühne Theatre of Berlin. Meanwhile the festival participates in international co-productions of leading artists such as Italian theater director Romeo Castellucci, German choreographer Hofesh Shechter, and the Portuguese choreographer and dancer Marlene Monteiro Freitas.
A series of new sections will be launched this year. The Epidaurus Lyceum is an international summer school of ancient Greek drama, intended for drama school students and young actors from all over the world, which will be held on an annual basis at the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus. The 2017 Epidaurus title for all Epidaurus and Lyceum productions is “The Arrival of the Stranger” reflecting ancient texts and in light of the continuous refugee crisis of the present.
Another important new section of the Festival is the “Opening to the City”, which includes performances and events at non-theatrical spaces, site-specific, poetic and musical performances, and activist interventions in dodgy or run-down areas of the cities of Athens (Technopolis, Omonia Square, Stoa of Attalos in the Ancient Agora etc) and Piraeus (Perama Ship Repair Zone, the central market, Troumpa area, local tavernas etc.)
Last, but not least, an emphasis will be given to educational workshops, debates etc. – as a follow-up to the summer 2016 initiatives.
See detailed program of the Festival of Athens and Epidaurus 2017, here.