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Final Highlights from SapphoFest 2010… Dancers, Gypsy Dave, and Donovan's 'Master Class'

by Chris Murray

A few final highlights from SapphoFest 2010:
Two original dance/theatrical pieces were created for SapphoFest 2010: the first, Sappho: Fragments, was performed in Athens on the evening of June 1st at the Hellenic American Union Theater. Directed by Kornillia Vasileiadou and Camila Bauer Bronstrup, Sappho: Fragments mesmerized the capacity crowd at the Hellenic American Union. The second performance took place in Nafplio on June 6th and was performed by dance students from the University of the Peloponnese under the direction of Professor Vassiliki Barbousi from the Department of Theater Studies at the University of the Peloponnese and Dance Instructor Anna Daskalou. This performance began inside the Center for Hellenic Studies building in Nafplio, and continued out into the street. Both performances were produced under the auspices of the Center for Hellenic Studies.

A wonderful component of the SapphoFest exhibition in Athens was the extraordinary sculpture Lover's Leap by Donovan's friend Gypsy Dave Mills. Originally commissioned by Donovan, this beautiful bronze sculpture is Gyp Mills' depiction of Sappho's harp. Gyp Mills was so moved by the SapphoFest activities and programs, that he gave Lover's Leap to the Center for Hellenic Studies in Nafplio as a gift in honor of the first SapphoFest. Lover's Leap was presented by curator Christopher Murray on behalf on Gyp Mills, with Donovan in attendance.

My final highlight was the unscheduled presentation made by Donovan to the interns at the Center for Hellenic Studies on 'How to conjure songs'. As a result of the exciting chemistry from the scholar's presentations and all of the SapphoFest activities, Donovan was inspired to lead this wonderful class. Though aimed at the CHS interns, the program was open to the public, and it was an amazing class to witness. Starting with a few lines from a poem by Harvard's Preceptor in Modern Greek, Vassiliki Rapti, Donovan added lyrics of his own, along with a melody, and in front of everyone created a new song. He stressed to the students the "ten-thousand hours" that they should put into their endeavors. His program received a standing ovation and was an amazing and spontaneous addition to SapphoFest 2010. Nafplio resident and art jeweler George Agathos filmed Donovan's 'master class.' Our thanks to the delightful George Agathos and his lovely wife Sigi. When in Nafplio visit their workshop and store Camara.

See the pictures here.

Related links:

· Original post on Govinda Gallery's site

· Video of Donovan's Master Class at the Sapphofest

· Video of The Tenth Muse

· Donovan's Sapphographs

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