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By Peter Stevenson MEMBERS of Volunteer Doctors Cyprus have treated around 350 people at their free clinic in Nicosia since it opened three months ago, while two more, one in Paphos and one in Polis are due to open today. Limassol also has a free clinic, which was opened only last month, and plans have been drawn ...
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SOME 10 days ago, foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides raised expectations by announcing the possibility of a deal with Turkey for the opening of the fenced off area of Famagusta, for the return of its inhabitants. In exchange the Cyprus government would agree to the opening of Tymbou airport to direct flights. ...
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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Whatson by Zoe Christodoulides ]

Whatson by Zoe Christodoulides

World music on your doorstep

Free outdoor performances are aimed at attracting a wide audience to an eclectic mix of events

Flamenco, African drums, hip-hop, Indian tablas and Cuban rumbas mix and mingle under the moonlight. You’re sitting in the middle of a town square as an explosive and exciting world of sound takes you to places you may never have been before. As musicians play their final pieces and a cheer for an encore begins, you take a glimpse around you and realise that familiar surroundings have suddenly become a world away from what you are used to.

With the Third Ethnic Festival set to begin in Limassol and Nicosia this week, there is a whole month of music to look forward to. Coupled with some interesting film screenings, this year’s event is set to cause quite a stir.

The occasion begins this weekend with a concert by world percussion group, Drums United. Led by Lucas Van Merwijk, the group brings together rhythms from across the world as international drummers from all cultural backgrounds come together.

While drum rhythms are combined with dance and vocals, you can catch performances at either the Phaneromeni Square in Nicosia or Heroes Square in Limassol. “The whole idea is to bring the music out to the people,” says organiser of the event, Georgia Doetzer. “Our philosophy is that the performances should be free for all to attend, and having concerts out in open-air spaces in the middle of town means that all sorts of crowds will be given the opportunity to join in with the fun.”

The performance by Drums United will be followed by that of Musicofilia at the same venues. The local group has become deeply involved in researching the music of the extreme south of Italy and use age-old traditional musical instruments to create new sounds to Mediterranean melodies. Speaking of a Mediterranean musical mix, you’ve also got the option of going along to a concert by Ethno Cyprus at either Pallouriotissa Square in Nicosia or Heroes Square. Expect 40 young virtuosi from six countries of the region creating vivid and youthful Mediterranean music as they experiment with traditional melodies and rhythms.

For a bit of African spice, you may fancy a mixture of percussion, jazz and mystic African singing. Go along to a concert by Sigi Finkel and the African Heart group and you’ll get to enjoy the sounds of an Austrian group who have really taken the idea of diversity and intercultural spirit to heart. “We want the general public to see completely new things,” says Doetzer. “With the festival focusing on the idea of a musical fusion, it’s all about providing a meeting point for musicians from all different cultures. In this light, we aim for the event to become well known on the international scene”.

As for the film screenings, there are three movies to be shown at the Limassol Dance House set to take you deep into the world of musical inspiration. The screenings will start off with the documentary Latcho Drom, made by the renowned Tony Gatlif. The film maps an entire musical continent that stretches from India to Andalucia, showing the multicoloured, energetic and passionate music of the gypsies. Later in the month comes the Buena Vista Social Club, the movie by Win Wenders that follows the career of the Cuban group right up to their performances in Carnegie Hall in New York.

The screenings will draw to a close with Time of the Gypsies, the internationally acclaimed film by Emir Kusturica that shows the dark and exciting sides of the gypsy world through the adventures of a single family. “Things went really well last year and we expect things to get even better as we spread our wings,” says Doetzer. “The aim is for the festival to eventually become an island-wide event embraced by all.”

Third Ethnic Festival

Drums United
July 4: Phaneromeni Square, Nicosia. July 5: Heroes Square, Limassol.

July 9: Heroes Square, Limassol. July 10: Phaneromeni Square, Nicosia.

Alkis Agathokleous Ethnic Co
July 11: Agia Varvara Square, Kaimakli, Nicosia. July 13: Heroes Square, Limassol.

Ethno Cyprus
July 17: Pallouriotissa Square, Nicosia. July 18: Heroes Square, Limassol.

Sigi Finkel and African Heart
July 22: French Cultural Centre, Ayios Andreas, Nicosia. July 23: Heroes Square, Limassol.

Panos Katsimihas, Giannis Koutras and Manos Xidous
July 26: Heroes Square, Limassol.

All performance at 8.30pm, free entrance. Tel: 77777745

Film Screenings

July 2: Lacho Drom
July 8: Buena Vista Social Club
July 24: Time of the Gypsies
All screenings at the Dance House Limassol, 8.30pm. Free. Tel: 77777745

(Source: Cyprus Mail)

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