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Economic difficulties and divisions provide inspiration for performing arts in Cyprus

Economic difficulties and divisions provide inspiration for performing arts in Cyprus
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Despite its small size, Cyprus enjoys a dynamic performing arts scene.

Established in 2006, the Paravan Theatre Company explores experimental ways of producing theatre, performance and visual arts.

It recently took part in the Nicosia Pop Festival with a production of Nicolai Gogol’s ‘The Overcoat’, adapted to modern times against the background of the economic crisis.

“The performance took place in an old coffee shop that has shut down. We present a double story – Nicolai Gogol’s ‘The Overcoat’ and at the same time the story of what happened in Nicosia, after the recent financial crisis, what happened to this particular coffee shop and what people went through in these difficult times,” explained Paravan’s Artistic Director, Melita Couta.

The Mitos Theater Group recently took part in the EU-backed culture programme with the project ‘Songs of My Neighbours’.

“The idea of this European project is to say, ‘If I sing the songs of my neighbour, who lives in my country and with whom I am in conflict, will there be any change in our relationship?’ We have chosen, as our neighbours, the Turkish Cypriots. Beyond the propaganda and the phantoms with which our generation has been brought up, we want to see clearly who our neighbours, the Turkish Cypriots, really are,” said Mitos Artistic Director, Elena Agathokleous.

‘Humans Being’ is the latest project by dance company Pelma.

Choreographed by Lia Haraki, it stands as a reminder that we are all made of the same flesh and bone, we all share similar fears and thoughts, we are all united as a species.

“‘Humans Being’ isn’t just about Western society. It’s about all of us, every human being. It reminds us about very basic physical characteristics. Our breath is the central element. It is a dance journey with very simple elements, like breathing. The performance also describes how difficult breathing can be and how bodies can be connected with one another,” said Haraki.

This year, Cyprus launched its very first Cyprus International Performance Art Festival – an event dedicated exclusively to performance art.