(B)randprogramma: Modern Myths

Brandhaarden 2024

(B)randprogramma: Modern Myths

ITA Academy


Sorry, there are currently no available shows.
(B)randprogramma: Modern Myths
ITA Academy

The fringe programme of Brandhaarden 2024 is all about Modern Myths. The word 'myth' has two meanings today. On the one hand, it denotes stories that contain a certain wisdom, and we speak with wonder about what we then call 'mythological'. On the other hand, we use the word to talk about lies and misconceptions. We invite the audience to reflect on the power of shared stories, but together will also look at how this can turn into widespread ideas that are not necessarily true and can thus further marginalise vulnerable communities.

Book a free seat for this programme via our website or at the box office.

Modern Myths

Pandora, Prometheus, Icarus, Medea... stories in which gods and heroes fight and love and that give explanations for natural phenomena, historical events, and the world around us. Although today we see the stories mostly as beautiful tales, Greek mythology is still wildly popular. From Disney's Hercules to Hadestown, from Stephen Fry's Mythos to Eline Arbo's Penthesilea, ancient myths are still being told, sung, and adapted. We see the influence in our language: the Achilles' heel, the Oedipus complex, the Sisyphean labour and in our traditions: we still host the Olympics every four years, an event originally dedicated to the worship of Zeus.
Brandhaarden 2024 invites us to look at the New Greeks, contemporary creators from the land where ancient culture is celebrated as the origin of our theatre. Today's directors use new forms, but also often draw on the familiar figures of antiquity. The stories that once formed the basis of a worldview still have a powerful effect on our imagination. But what is left of the myth form? Do modern myths even exist? Who tells these stories and what effect do they have on us?

Belonging in Mythology

City Talks, 1 February 8 pm at the ITA Salon

There are countless stories that make the rounds about queer bodies and identities, designating experiences as ‘unnatural’ and individuals as ‘abnormal’. At the same time, different kinds of identities have always been part of storytelling and mythologies. In some traditions, there seems to be more space given to fluidity in the stories of the past than in the societies which still retell them to this day.
It is no surprise that to many reading these stories, where different creatures and people transcend boundaries and undo (now deemed) traditional binaries, has become a site of recognition and refuge. In this programme we look at what happens when we reclaim this mythology as a space where we can belong.

Marc Alberto

Guest at introduction Constantinopoliad

Euro-Caribbean language and tone artist Marc Alberto tours internationally as a saxophonist, multi-instrumentalist and spoken-word artist. Their work and activism dismantle colonial structures, by any means necessary, but often from knowledge, craftsmanship and radical vulnerability. Marc (they/them) is also active as a composer of film, theatre and chamber music, as well as working as a musical dramaturg, poet and artistic researcher.

Greek identity

Pre programme Goodbye, Lindita, 3 February 7 pm at the ITA Salon

From Plato to democracy, Ancient Greece is often pointed to as the origin of Western civilisation. Today, historians increasingly point to cultural contributions from ancient North Africa and the Near East, debunking the idea of a thriving culture that could emerge without outside influence. Even when looking at Greece's position today, it is often disconnected from its surroundings. For although it is often not the first country one thinks of when thinking of 'Balkans,' Greece is (geographically) very much part of the peninsula.
Even looking at Greek myths, the very first versions of many stories are based on the animism of the entire region. What stories are told about the origins of a Greek identity and what is kept quiet in them? How does Greece relate to the region? In this programme, we explore the story of Greek identity, the role of antiquity and how the idea of a national history plays through today.

Andrea Voets


Andrea Voets is artistic director of Resonate Productions . She makes musical journalism by combining investigative journalism with lots of original music. Previous projects include Millennial History (Best Podcasts of 2022, Avery Trufelman) and While We Live (Best of Classical Music 2020, NRC). Right now, she is undertaking a worldwide artistic search into the question ‘how to feel safe’, with support of the selective FastForward-grant. Since 2013, Andrea lives and works in Greece for a few months per year. So far, she made two works of musical journalism about the country: While We Live (2020) and XENITIA (2016).

Anastasis Sarakatsanos


Anastasis was born in Athens. He studied music, cultural anthropology and media in Greece and the UK. Since 2015 he has lived in Amsterdam, developing his work in storytelling and theatre as a musical director, teacher, performer and host.

Kurano Bigiman


For his work in setting up the grammar school department at the Ir. Lely Lyceum in Amsterdam-Zuidoost, he was awarded the title Amsterdammer of the Year in 2020: an honour for this born and bred Amsterdammer. In his classes, he tries to convey the power of Greek and Roman stories to his students. These stories contain wonderful starting points for engaging in discussions with young people about issues that concern them, and countless generations before them, all over the world. What does bravery mean? Where does love come from? Why do people do what they do?

Marina Lagou


Marina Lagou was born in Athens. She earned a degree in Archaeology and Art History at the Faculty of Philosophy of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, a postgraduate degree in Contemporary Art Theory at the Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, and a postgraduate degree in Cultural Management at the Panteion University. She has worked as an independent art curator, as an educator, and has organised numerous cultural seminars and events. Her research interests revolve around contemporary artistic creation, art in public spaces, cinema, music, experimental writing, oral history, social anthropology, and feminist theory and practice. Together with Gelly Gryntaki, they have formed the feminist group “My Dearest Lady Friends,” from which the eponymous podcast about feminism and writing is produced. She lives and works as a History, Modern and Ancient Greek Language teacher on the Greek island of Ikaria.

The Roma Community

Pre programme Romáland, 9 February 6.30 pm in the ITA Salon

Romantic wanderers, thieves, antisocials. Countless stories still circulate about Roma that lead to exclusion and misunderstanding. Almost nowhere is the power of shared stories more evident than when ideas are so deeply embedded that it is difficult to make it clear that they are a narrative, when discrimination is not looked up to. Narratives can lead to perception, perception to prejudice and prejudice to normalising discrimination and even violence.
Roma themselves have a rich culture when it comes to folk tales and myths about the origins of their traditions. But sharing knowledge also leads to trepidation. When your culture is so threatened, protecting it can look like closed-mindedness. How do the stories circulating about Roma affect their experiences in society? And what if the history of your culture is full of riddles (for people from outside)? Around the performance Romáland, we open a conversation about the myths surrounding the Roma community. We look at what stories circulate about Roma and how they shape their position in society.

Anita van der Hulst


Anita van der Hulst worked for many years as a journalist, as editor and reporter at Radio 1. Together with Paul Öfner, she made a large number of long background reports in Eastern Europe, including on the poor living conditions of Roma there. That interest culminated in 2022 in the dissertation Wegbereiders. Roma and Sinti in the Netherlands and the Czech Republic on the benefits of education. In 2022-2023, she was commissioned by the cities of Utrecht and Amersfoort to research the disenfranchisement of Sinti and Roma in those municipalities during the years 1940-1945.

Carla Hardy


Carla Hardy graduated from the Amsterdam School of Drama in 1980 and worked as an actress with many theatre companies. In 1982, she made her debut with the female lead in director Lily Rademakers' film Menuet. Menuet became the Dutch entry for the Cannes Film Festival that year. She is known for her role of Hetty Hartsuiker in the TV series We are home again by Wim T. Schippers, various Lolamoviolas, Policiers (Baantjer, Flikken Maastricht), Jiskefet, Lotte and Circus Treurdier, among others. She also made her own productions such as Brieven naar Zee (Letters to the Sea) about a bargee's wife on Texel, Bachstress and Roodkapje het ware verhaal. In the last three years, she developed and directed an extensive art installation on the life and history of Roma and Sinti. The upcoming edition opens 4 May in the palace garden in The Hague. She is currently creating a performance with two musicians about the composer and contra-bassist Giovanni Botticini.

Beki Galjus

Beki Galjus was born and raised in Prizren, Kosovo. In 1980, he founded the Roma Theatre in Belgrade. This was followed by the founding of the Roma Theatre in Kosovo (Prizren) in 1989. Galjus co-founded the children's magazine Chavrikano Lill and started Radio PATRIN in Amsterdam in 1992.

The anti-myth

Pre programme Rebetiko concert, 10 February 4.30 pm in the ITA Salon

The context program includes music performances, storytelling, talks and audience Q&A. It’s divided in three times 50-60 min, based on the topics / perspectives below. You can sign up for one or more of the sections via the button at the top of this page.
Finger food will be offered, drinks are available at the bar!

Part 1 - 16:30 – 17:20
An intro to Rebetiko, its musical characteristics, its origins, the conditions within which it was born. Further, the stylistic development of sub genres as it enters discography and the formation of ‘Laiko’. It contains a presentation by Hugo Strötbaum, through rare, archive recordings.

Break 10 min

Part 2 - 17:30 – 18:20
Rebetiko in contemporary context - why and how does it still relate? How musicians of today still practice this repertoire and how it influences their work. Rebetiko as an identity part. It contains an interview with a younger generation of local musicians who play rebetiko and host live performances of their contemporary compositions, plus Q&A with audience.
Dinner break 18:30 - 19:30
A Greek dish of the day is available at ITA Brasserie for 25 euro. Make your reservations here: Brasserie — Internationaal Theater Amsterdam (ita.nl)
Please clearly indicate in the reservation that you would like the Greek dish of the day. It’s first come, first serve!

Part 3 - 19:30 – 20:30
The internal debate of the left-wing voices on Rebetiko in the ways it represented the movement, within the context of right-wing governments, monarchy, and dictatorships of pre and post war Greece. It is presented through live music (piano/voice) and storytelling, following a timeline of the debate between 1930’s-1970’s. This part is a performance and is presented as one continuous piece.

Anastasis Sarakatsanos


Anastasis was born in Athens. He studied music, cultural anthropology and media in Greece and the UK. Since 2015 he has lived in Amsterdam, developing his work in storytelling and theatre as a musical director, teacher, performer and host.

George (Yorgos) Kokkonis


George (Yorgos) Kokkonis studied jazz composition-orchestration (CIM) and musicology at Paris VIII University, focusing on Greek music (art and popular). In 1997, he received a Master (DEA) from Paris VIII University (The tonal period of the composer Y.A. Papaioannou) and in 2006 at the same university a PHD (The issue of greekness in Greek art music).

From 1987 to 1990, he worked in Paris at the Bibliothèque Publique d’Information (Centre National d’Art et de Culture “Georges Pompidou”) and at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. In 1991, he assumed the position of musicologists-Librarian in the Library of IRCAM – CNRS in Paris and remained in that position until late 1993 when he returned to Greece. In 1998, he was the principal coordinator of the foundation of the Department of Traditional Music, TEI of Epirus (Arta) and the Department of Technology of Musical Instruments, TEI of Ionian Islands (Lixouri). Since 2002 he is a permanent staff member at the Department of Traditional Music head of the Music Documentation Laboratory and Greek Music Archives.

Yvonne Melissa


Yvonne Melissa was born in Kavala in 1998. She began her studies on the violin at the age of seven, under the tutelage of Z. Zlateva. She studied classical violin and music theory and obtained her diploma with “excellency unanimously” in 2022 at “Orfeio” Conservatory in Athens, guided by her professors M. Plesti and D. Semsis. From 2023 is a student of Codarts WMDC (Rotterdam, Netherlands) – Bachelor of Turkish music.She has been a member of many orchestras, as well as in numerous and various chamber musical ensembles, seminars ( chamber music enseble with A. Liakakis and T. Gouvelis, Classical violin with M. Szlezer, experimental violin with F. Siotas, composition and arrangement with B. Papadopoulos, anatolian violin with G. Papaioannou, M. Kouloumis, composition and arrangement with C. Erdogan, Ensemble of Kudsi Erguner, Greek traditional music with M.Mavroeidi etc. ) and she has performed in some of the most important music scenes of the country. She has composed the music in dance performances and short movies. Moreover, she is a post-graduate student of National and Kapodistrian Athens Law School. Her first disc named “Myrra” with T. Kofodimos released in December of 2023.

Vanessa Kourtesi


Vanessa Kourtesi is a music maker, vocalist and songwriter originally from Athens,Greece and based in Rotterdam, NL. Her music derives from her roots, the East Mediterranean and Greek modal music, jazz, pop, ambient and improvisation. As a songwriter and lyricist she narrates memories from reality and imagination exploring the limits between poetry and song.

Josué Amador


Josué Amador is a composer, improvising performer, and researcher, based in Rotterdam. With a strong grounding in experimental music, improvisation, and sound studies, Amador's practice reflects a keen interest in exploring the various dimensions of sound and its impact on human perception. His work delves into experimental approaches to music composition and performance, incorporating various forms of improvisation and indeterminacy.

Hugo Strötbaum


Retired University Lecturer of Turkish (study: English, Greek and Turkish). Passionate music lover, with a special interest in Turkish and Greek music. Collector researcher/discographer of old 78rpm gramophone records.Published numerous articles on these subjects. Owner of website about recording engineers (worldwide): www.recordingpioneers.com. Made “live” recordings of rebetika concerts. Amateur-player of baglamas and bouzouki and member of the group “Psefti Dounja”. Built a number of baglamades and a tzouras.

Juliano Abramovay


Juliano Abramovay is a versatile musician, composer, and researcher with a passion for exploring diverse music traditions. After studying classical guitar at São Paulo's Municipal School of Music and musicology at University of São Paulo, Juliano delved into fretless guitar and oud, researching traditional music from Greece and Turkey. He obtained his masters at Codarts (Rotterdam) before proceeding with a PhD research project at Durham. Currently, Juliano is a teacher at Codarts, where he is actively involved with the Rotterdam Arts and Science Lab (RASL) and with research disciplines.


The Dancing Riot Parade

With The Dancing Riot Parade, a psychedelic spell of an exhibition cast over the past, present, and future of the Greek visual arts en music scenes, The Callas are taking over ITA's Bookshop.

Read more


Tuesday, 30 January
Opening exposition The Callas
ITA Bookshop, 7 - 7.50 pm

Thursday, 1 February
Introduction Constantinopoliad
ITA Salon, 6 pm

City Talks

ITA Salon, 8 pm

Friday, 2 February
After talk Constantinopoliad
Nieuwe Foyer, 15 minutes after the performance

Saturday, 3 February
Pre programme Goodbye, Lindita
ITA Salon, 7 pm

After talk Goodbye, Lindita
With Ioannis Moschos (artistic director), Mario Banushi, Helene Nzanga, Eftychia Stefanou, Chrysi Vidalaki
Pleinfoyer, 15 minutes after the performance
Sunday, 4 February
After talk Goodbye, Lindita
With Ioannis Moschos (artistic director), Mario Banushi, Helene Nzanga, Eftychia Stefanou, Chrysi Vidalaki
Pleinfoyer, 15 minutes after the performance

Tuesday, 6 February
After talk The House
With Dimitris Karantzas
Nieuwe Foyer, 15 minutes after the performance

Thursday, 8 February
After talk Nekyia
With Giannis Aggelakas & Christos Papadopoulos
Pleinfoyer, 15 minutes after the performance

Friday, 9 February
Pre programme Romáland
ITA Salon, 6.30 pm

After talk Romáland
With Anestis Azas & Prodromos Tsinikoris
Nieuwe Foyer, 15 minutes after the performance

Saturday, 10 February
Pre programme Rebetiko concert
ITA Salon, 4.30 pm

More Brandhaarden