Final Highlights from SapphoFest 2010… Dancers, Gypsey Dave, and Donovan’s ‘Master Class’

by Chris Murray on July 2, 2010

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.

Sappho: Fragments performers Anthi Efstratiadou, Iris Nikolaou and Klea Samanta. Copyright © The Center for Hellenic Studies. All Rights Reserved.

Chris, Donovan, and Linda at the Sappho: Fragments premier in Athens. Copyright © The Center for Hellenic Studies. All Rights Reserved.

The Center for Hellenic Studies, Nafplio. Copyright © Christiann Moore. All Rights Reserved.

Dancers from the University of the Peloponnese moving down the stairs of The Center for Hellenic Studies. Copyright © Christiann Moore. All Rights Reserved.

Dancers from the University of the Peloponnese outside The Center for Hellenic Studies. Copyright © Christiann Moore. All Rights Reserved.

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.

Donovan and his wife Linda with Gyp Mills’ sculpture Lover’s Leap. Copyright © Panee Mills. All Rights Reserved.

Gyp Mills in front of Donovan’s Sapphograph Revelation. Copyright © Panee Mills. All Rights Reserved.

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. Here is the footage from Donovan’s class:

Donovan’s ‘Master Class’ SapphoFest 2010 from Chris Murray on Vimeo.

Copyright © George Agathos. All Rights Reserved.

Rutgers professor Timothy Power and Donovan after Donovan’s ‘Master Class.’. Copyright © Mimi Muellner. All Rights Reserved.

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