HAPPINESS is… How can it be defined these days? Take two very different countries for example, Greece and Denmark. Do they define happiness differently? And to what extent are their people happy?
The performance-salon ‘Happiness Unlimited’ at the Benaki Pireos will help us analyze the meaning of this coveted feeling, concept and aim of life, plus analyze how it is understood today by these two countries. This unique experience which will stimulate both the mind and the senses, is the brainchild of two exceptionally creative minds: stage directors Elli Papakonstantinou (from Greece), and Annika B. Lewis (from Denmark).
Accolades have already been garnered with the ‘Happiness Unlimited’ performance in Denmark’s Aarhus (supported by the Danish Arts Council and the Municipality of Aarhus). Now, it’s time for the Greek version, which will take place at the Benaki Pireos’ restaurant, on Sunday, October 9, 6pm (ie happy hour).
But because happiness can be a composite experience, this performance is enhanced by a tantalising menu included in the ticket price (10 euros: Spinach Risotto, fillet of fish (mullet), with tomato marmalade, followed by chocolate soup with vanilla ice-cream, garnished with red fruit and gold leaf).
The performance is part of the ‘[OUT – TOPIAS]’ show – co-organised by the Benaki, deviant GaZe, and Prague’s Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space exhibition.
Why focus on happiness?
According to UNESCO’s recent ‘World Happiness Report’, the Danes are among the happiest people on the planet, while the Greeks are among the most miserable (I wonder why… does the word ‘crisis’ by any chance have something to do with it?). By bringing them together via this production undoubtedly an interesting contrast and exploration of the chosen theme will be brought about…
Papakonstantinou (artistic director of the ODCEnsemble/Virsodepsio) and Lewis (artistic director of Kassandra Production), will provoke the audience into exploring happiness as a concept, a feeling, an ultimate goal, or even as the perfect story ending. The performance comprises the creative participation of a unique conglomeration of artists and academics, complemented of course by chef Jean Louis Kapsalas’ taste sensations. Guests will also be given more food for thought via the views of Athanasios Alexandritis (psychologist/writer), Alexandros Mistriotis (artist) plus of course the artistic performance provided by Helen Kvint, Rosa Prodromou, Jens Monsted, Pantelis Makka.
• In collaboration with Bora – Bora event space, Aarhus , PerformingArtsPlatform, The Danish Arts Council, the Municipality of Aarhus, DanishInstitute.
• Benaki Pireos is on 138 Pireos Ave. Because of limited ticket availability, please contact Electra Tsakala to book your seats (tel 6988477435).
(Below L to R: Elli Papakonstantinou and Annika B. Lewis)