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Dancing Fountains

Jul 15, 2019
On July 14th, at 21.30, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC), in collaboration with the Greek National Opera (GNO) presented for the first time in its entirety the new, show-stopping water installation at the Canal, which has been constructed thanks to the initiative and funding of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF).

During this special event, GNO’s orchestra, conducted by Elias Voudouris, presented live at the Agora five musical pieces upon which the fountains’ choreographies have been designed.

The fountains’ choreographies are based on the following pieces:
• George Koumentakis, Serra (electroacoustic installation)
• Antonín Dvořák, Furiant, No. 1 in C major, from Slavonic Dances, op. 46 (GNO Orchestra)
• George Bizet, Habanera, from Carmen Suite No.2 (GNO Orchestra)
• Nikos Skalkottas, Epirot dance (Ser. I/4), from the 36 Greek Dances (GNO Orchestra)
• Manos Hadjidakis, Dance With My Shadow, from Gioconda’s Smile (GNO Orchestra)
• Dmitri Shostakovich, Waltz II, from the Suite for Jazz Orchestra No. 2 (GNO Orchestra)

On July 15th, daily choreographed water shows will commence; the exact schedule will be available on SNFCC’s website,

SNFCC’s water installation at the Canal includes 59 vertical water jets in line with the architectural design by the Renzo Piano Building Workshop, together with 10 swiveling fountains. The jets, installed opposite to the SNFCC Agora, form a powerful light, sound and water display that will captivate visitors both day and night as special LED lights are installed underwater.

The Canal, one of the most distinct features of the SNFCC, was designed to redefine the relationship between the area and the sea, not just in terms of the view towards Phaleron bay, but as a physical element incorporated in the space as well. The Canal is 400 meters long and 30 meters wide; its depth ranges from 70 to 150 centimeters. It is fed with seawater, which is returned to the sea, in a continuous flow. It is not just an architectural element but also operates as a flood control mechanism, while it also hosts on a weekly basis sailing and kayaking lessons for children and adults that coexist with the fountains.

Both this event and the installation of the Canal jets have been made possible thanks to the initiative and funding of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. In addition to having envisioned, created, and funded the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation continues to be the SNFCC’s steady partner in supporting numerous public events as well as infrastructure works, like the Canal Jets and the Labyrinth Dome, that go beyond the initial plans to further enhance visitors’ experience. The SNFCC is the Foundation’s largest single grant, with a total project cost of €630 million. The Foundation delivered the SNFCC to the people of Greece on February 23rd, 2017. Following the handover, the SNF announced its commitment to continue supporting the SNFCC for five years, through grants totaling €50 million. These grants support the implementation of public programming and help cover a portion of SNFCC’s operational costs.