A breath of fresh air...
G.D.K.S., Newspaper, Ta Nea, 14/10/2005
It was a breath! A breath of fresh air! Mrs Domna Samiou's concert at the Herodio. Although the term 'concert' is not really appropriatefor the event, since it gives it a sense of formality. It was a gathering of friends. Although we were three thousand people who did not know each other, very soon we felt as if we were all friends. And it was a breath of fresh air not only because Mrs Samiou always reveals treasures, or because her voice is always so vigorous, but because what she inspires around her has a freshness, a wholesomeness and a spontaneity which carry you away. We did not see the [usual] wonderful costumes and the choreographed folk dances (which can be exquisite when I do see them). Here what was being proposed was something 'home made'. You saw people who had come from all over Greece with the groups which were taking part in the event, wearing simply their 'Sunday best'. You saw Grannies who were singing and dancing with their grandchildren at their side. A part of their life, which they did not enact, but lived.
A Dionysian ending...
It was a cleansing evening. And moving to say the least. Mrs Samiou closed [the event] with the Doric simplicity and sense of humour that distinguish her, whilst talking about the wealth of music and dance that we posses as a people, even if we do not promote or make use of it. When she left the stage and we were leaving the theatre, suddenly the 'bell-bearers'1 from Drama, who had come from Volakas dressed in sheep skins and wearing the masks of the act they presented, became ecstatic. They started pounding their phallic bells, chasing each other and playing. And that is how they saw us out. All the way to the gates of the theatre. Now that was a deep breath of fresh air to see us through the winter. But first, we would like to wish Mrs Samiou, who celebrated her seventy seventh birthday two days ago, to live a thousand years, and to 'cleanse us' for many years to come.
1It is a tradition in certain regions of Greece for men to dress in sheep skins and wear masks and numerous bells during the carnival festivities.
Translated by Alexander Seferiades