Explore the history of Rebetiko, a genre that originated in the cities and ports of Greece, reflecting the lives of refugees and evolving from pre-war tales of delinquency to post-war themes of love and social phenomena. This concert promises to showcase characteristic songs spanning each Rebetiko decade, highlighting different rhythms of a genre deeply ingrained in Greek culture.
Run time 110 minutes
Genre Musical theatre
Dutch premiere Sat 10 Feb
Pre programme Sat 10 Feb in the ITA Salon
Rebetiko is a type of song that flourished in the cities and especially around the ports, in Smyrna, Constantinople, Syros, and Piraeus, and it mainly reflected the lives of the refugees. This pre-war rebetiko has as its theme delinquency, hookah dens, drugs and prisons, and is considered the music of the fringe. It changed thematically after the war: love, relationships and the social phenomena of the time were introduced as themes and thus the new rebetiko was now open to all walks of life.
The rebetiko is now influenced by jazz, blues, and cinema. Not only by American cinema but also the melodic, emotional and dance-oriented Indian cinema, which had a large following in Greece between 1950 and 1965.
In this concert, you’ll listen to characteristic songs of each rebetiko decade from its beginning to about 1970. Even though the seventies are no longer considered a rebetiko era, the same composers and singers are still alive and making music, along with younger ones who tread on the scales of rebetiko and evolved into what we call Greek popular music.
In this concert, you will listen to characteristic songs of each composer and each era, and characteristic rhythms such as zeibekiko, hasapiko, and tsifteteli will be highlighted. These songs are still sung at every party all over Greece - songs that even a young child today knows by heart.
About Lena Kitsopoulou
Lena Kitsopoulou, born in Athens in 1971, is a versatile artist known for her accomplishments as an actress, award-winning author, and acclaimed playwright. Graduating from the Art Theater Drama School in 1994, she has garnered recognition for her short story collections, such as Bats, and her internationally performed novella M.A.I.R.O.U.L.A. Lena has also directed plays that earned prestigious awards, like Athanasios Diakos – The Return, and her diverse artistic endeavors include directing works by prominent playwrights like Federico García Lorca.
musicians Dasho Kourti, Dimitris Sintos, Anastasis Bitzios, Babis Papadimitriou
vocals Lena Kitsopoulou
photography Christos Sarris
Since 1978, the Onassis Foundation has steadily invested in the fields of Culture, Education, and Health, always with a human-centric approach to its endeavors. The Onassis Stegi in Athens, serving as the hub of the Foundation’s cultural activities, encourages the talent and energy of local and international artists to thrive and starts conversations that aim to shake and shape society. Onassis Stegi is a center of global contemporary culture that, through a series of initiatives and works, promotes dialogue about democracy, social and environmental justice, racial and gender equality, and LGBTQIA+ rights.
Brandhaarden is an international theatre festival that brings performances by remarkable theatre makers from abroad to Amsterdam. The festival offers a unique overview of one creator, house, writer, region or theme. Previous editions have spotlighted directors such as Katie Mitchell, Milo Rau and the Rimini Protokoll collective, writer Édouard Louis, the Southern European region (Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece) and city theatres such as Münchner Kammerspiele, Volksbühne Berlin and Peter Brooks Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord.
Fringe programme: Modern Myths
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.