Greek ballet hits the stage in Zurich

Nikos Kazantzakis' best-known novel, "Alexis Zorba", comes alive on stage in Zurich.

The ballet adaptation of "Alexis Zorba", perhaps the best-known Greek novel, is being staged in Zurich. Two hundred dancers, singers and musicians have taken over the stage of the Kongresshaus until July 6.

This content was published on June 28, 2001 minutes

Moviegoers the world over know Nikos Kazantzakis' story of the ever-optimistic Cretan thanks to Anthony Quinn's portrayal of Zorba. Mikis Theodorakis' ballet suite has been confined to a smaller public.

The show was first presented in Verona in 1987. Its Swiss premiere was in Cham, in canton Zug, in 1999.

The Zurich "Zorba" is this time a more professional production, and has been modified to bring it more in line with current musicals. The changes have turned the Kongresshaus into a Greek arena, with the musicians and singers placed around the stage and the dancers in the middle space.

The choreographer, Etienne Frey, uses the emotional aspect of the music to create a kind of frenzy. He also concentrates less on the story, focussing his attention on Zorba's personality, as well as his relationships with the other characters.

The dancing itself is somewhere between the contemporary modern and neoclassical styles, incorporating elements of traditional Greek movement.

After playing in Zurich, "Alexis Zorba" will hit the road, travelling to Chiasso and Basel.

swissinfo with agencies

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