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Celebrating the performance arts in Nicosia

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Nicosia International Festival finally makes its return with a wide range of events for all tastes finds ELENI PHILIPPOU

A celebration of the performing arts for the city of Nicosia, the team of the Nicosia International Festival have “finally” outlined the programme of the upcoming second edition of the festival, which returns on October 28 for a whole month of culture with theatre, music and dance events taking place all over the city.

Once again, the Nicosia International Festival 2021 is dedicated to equality, the acceptance of diversity and the coexistence of people, ideas and cultures. The philosophy of the festival, however, is grafted this year with the value of freedom, both to honour the 200 years of the Greek Revolution and to highlight its timeless significance.

Nicosia Mayor Constantinos Yiorkadjis referred to the dynamics created by the first organisation of the festival in 2019, which was a strong start for a new institution for Nicosia. Despite the postponement of the festival in 2020, as Yiorkadjis said: “The pandemic has taught us to move forward with a focus, so this year, under difficult conditions, we dare to re-organise an international festival of high standards.” The mayor then invited everyone to the Municipal Theatre of Nicosia and the capital’s streets to enjoy 30 days of liveliness in the city.

feature2 2The programme includes 16 productions, 24 performances and a series of parallel events continuing the pulse and fun of the first edition. Its greater aim is to act as an antidote to the pandemic, reopening the doors to culture, with organisers and art lovers alike anticipating better days to come.

In terms of music, the concert by the Mikis Theodorakis Orchestra at the end of the festival on November 30 stands out, with which the festival and the municipality honour Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis who passed away this September. In line with this concert and after a decision of the Municipal Council the street in front of the Municipal Museum of Nicosia will soon be renamed the Mikis Theodorakis Street.

The festival will also pay tribute to two significant Cypriot figures. A concert by the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra on November 12 celebrates composer Solonas Michaelidis and poet Vassilis Michaelides. Also, lullabies from around the world will be presented on November 13 and 14 as Cypriot lyricist Stavros Stavrou introduces his latest project. Ten lullabies from 10 different countries will be adapted into Greek and performed by 10 renowned Cypriot actresses, accompanied by a guitar.

But it’s not only the musical performances that stand out, the dance world will have its own highlights. The Greek National Opera will present Manos Hadjidakis’ Dance With my Shadow in choreography by Constantinos Rigos on October 30 and 31 while the Onassis Foundation participates in the festival with the play Transverse Orientation, conceived and directed by Dimitris Papaioannou, presented on November 4-7. Papaioannou’s new work is coming to the festival for its panhellenic premiere, after a successful series of performances in Prague, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Paris and London.

A theatrical event titled Routes λ2 will take place in the streets of Nicosia in mid-November and is based on a theatrical workshop within the European programme Perform to Reform. Directed by Maria Varnakkidou and in collaboration with ACCEPT LOATI + Cyprus, the event aims to project the experiences of people from the LGBTI+ community through stories that often remain on the sidelines.

Plenty more performances and events are scheduled to take place between October 28 and November 30 including a diverse series of parallel events. Experiential literary tours in old Nicosia discovering works by poets and writers who were inspired by the Greek revolution, a scientific conference titled Culture as an Antidote, theatrical pedagogical games for children by authors and members of the Cyprus Association of Children and Youth Books and book presentations await!


Nicosia International Festival

Annual festival with dance, theatre, music performances and parallel events. October 28-November 30. Throughout Nicosia. Facebook page: Nicosia International Festival. Tel: 22-797980


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