25 JUNE 2014 / The SNFCC hosted its first ever choreographed art performance

The first major choreographed art performance was hosted tonight at the site of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC), where the “Dance of the Cranes” unfolded; a creative music/dance performance inspired by the project’s architect, Renzo Piano, and executed by Myron Michailidis, the artistic director of the Greek National Opera (GNO).

The central protagonists of this innovative choreography were none other than the 10 construction cranes, working daily on the SNFCC site for the completion of the project, who “danced” to the music of Gustav Holst’s “The Planets”, with Renato Zanella’s unique choreography. The music was performed live on the site of the SNFCC, by the GNO Orchestra, conducted by Myron Michailidis.

The unique, fifteen-minute performance began just before sunset. The cranes started to move rhythmically over the most emblematic part of the construction project, the 14-meter high artificial Hill. Construction of the artificial Hill has already been completed while, in the project’s final form, the Hill will cover the buildings of the Greek National Opera (GNO) and the National Library of Greece (NLG), creating a seamlessness of architectural symmetry in a landscape indicative of the project’s superb functionality. The dance moves of the 10 Cranes filled the atmosphere, with the invaluable musical contribution of the GNO Orchestra, and imparted a sense of musicality, of unlimited creativity and optimism to every corner of the construction site. 

The attendees at the “Dance of the Cranes” included the internationally-renowned architect of the SNFCC, Renzo Piano, as well as a large host of people, who witnessed the first ever art performance taking place at the site, proving that the SNFCC is already an active part of everyday life in modern Athens.

Andreas Dracopoulos, Co-President of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, said: “From its very conception, the SNFCC has been an inspired project, capable of imparting a sense of magic and a dream-like quality to each and every one of the citizens of this country. The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center is already here. It is a part of Greek society and today’s ‘Dance of the Cranes’ symbolizes precisely this pulse of life which has been beating for the last year and a half on this site, in order to complete, with consistency and great care, a project which is expected to contribute to the improvement of everyday life and bring about a change of mentality for all of us. We are extremely happy and proud to contribute, with all our might, to the realization of such an important project.”

Renzo Piano, the architect of the SNFCC, added: “Making a Dance of Cranes on the Stavros Niarchos Foundation site is a nice way to enjoy a beautiful evening in Athens. But it is also a way to express the energy and optimism sparkling from this place. Music is one of the dimensions of this project. A second one is the new public library. And, finally, the third one is the public park. So welcome here tonight to see the beginning of this park that will soon take people up to the point where they will be able to enjoy at the same time the view of the Parthenon and of the sea”.

With the “Dance of the Cranes”, the SNFCC’s site was flooded with life, musical notes and melodies, already fulfilling, approximately two years before the project’s completion and its delivery to the Greek people, its main purpose: to unite people through Arts and Culture and to offer unique experiences of lyricism, culture and education. 

The SNFCC is already here, an active part of life in this country. 

The creative dance performance took place under the 3d Annual Stavros Niarchos Foundation International Conference on Philanthropy which is held in Athens, on June 26 and 27.