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Cyprus university cultural festival returns for 26th time

axiothea 2

Back to bring more cultural evenings to the capital city is the cultural festival of the University of Cyprus, which this year marks its 26th edition. After a packed summer agenda, it returns with 18 more performances at Axiothea Mansion.

The September agenda begins with a music performance focusing on rembetiko song. On Tuesday, two musicians with marked stage presence and extensive research in the rich tradition of interwar rembetiko will present a carefully-selected repertoire that highlights two of the most important instruments for the genre: the santouri and the oud. Evgenios Voulgaris and Ourania Lampropoulou will interpret the emotionally rich world of rembetiko songs

A few days later, on Thursday, Nama Dama will present an unusual musical performance that combines traditional and electronic elements and includes atmospheric vocals, monologues, poetry and movement. The artist deconstructs various human behaviours and situations (violence, love, forgiveness, fear, anger, innocence, envy, greed), as well as their effect on the past, present and future. One of the main themes of the Sapiens performance is the war in Ukraine and its implications on the current world order.

A chamber music concert by the Waldstein Trio will follow next as the trio visits Cyprus for the first time. On September 13, Axiothea Mansion will fill with two great works of the international chamber music repertoire: Dimitri Shostakovich’s Piano Trio no.2 and Felix Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio no.1. Audiences will have the chance to enjoy the musicians Greta Papa, Miguel Angel Villeda Ceron and Christos Fountos.

What will follow is a three-day theatrical performance by Theatro Ena with six actors on stage. The play A Bee in August starts with Harry on a secluded beach with the three women of his life: his wife Vassoula, his half-sister Hildegard, and his mistress Maria, pretending to be Hildegard’s friend. Everything is going just fine until a bee stings Harry, who is allergic and he becomes unrecognisable. In the comical events that unfold, his swollen alter ego will claim a place for itself, stirring up emotions, revealing secrets and offering much food for thought. The three shows will take place on the evenings of September 15, 16 and 17.

September 21’s performance will return to music as My Canary – Olmaz brings songs and melodies from the centennial oral music and dance tradition of Asia Minor and Anatolia. Kyriakos Gouvendas, Medea Choursoulidou, Anna Mosfili, Marios Georgiou and Michalis Cheiridis will focus on the music of Cappadocia, Pontos and Cyprus, as well as on the rich heritage of the so-called Café Aman music.

The Contemporary Piano Trio will perform at the festival on September 25 presenting works for piano trio by Alfred Schnittke and Astor Piazzolla. On stage will be three accomplished and experienced Cypriot performers of classical and contemporary music: Miranda Papaneokleus, Nikos Pittas and Drosostalida Morait.

Anyhow Theatre Ensemble will present a Greek adaptation of the play Girls Like That on September 27, a work that highlights with disarming honesty the challenges today’s teenagers face. Evan Placey’s play deals with cyberbullying, misogyny, gender inequality and the growing influence of social media as it asks a crucial question: How did the generation of women who fought for their right to vote, to have equal opportunities and to control their bodies, raise daughters who are so insecure, judgmental and abusive towards other women?

September’s final performance returns to music as the six-member vocal ensemble Kalesma collaborates with virtuoso musician Charalambos Pantelis on the lute, lafta and sazi to present a selection of songs from Cyprus, Greece and surrounding areas such as Armenia and Turkey. The September 29 performance will also include original compositions by members of the ensemble in a musical performance that focuses on the sounds of the Eastern Mediterranean. More performances will follow in October until the festival concludes on October 16 – ten to be exact – paying tribute to iconic poets and musicians.


26th Cultural Festival of the University of Cyprus

A series of music, theatre, dance and song performances. September 5-October 16. Axiothea Mansion, Nicosia. 8.30pm. €10. Tel: 22-894531-2

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