catch Costas. So we are ready now …
Everything is set.
We’ll place the “tessara” up and we’ re ready to go. Come, all of you, performances of different “karagiozi” plays. this Monday and Tuesday at 8 o’clock in the evening. Athanasiou troupe established in 1982 by brothers, Kostas, Yianni, Argyris and Helen Athanasiou, after many years of training, next to George Haridimos
a great shadow theater player. There was no decision, making Athanasiou team,
it was obvious that they would be playing karagiozi. Come younger and elder, have fun
with performances of traditional karagiozi When I was very young, I saw the play
“Alexander the great and the cursed snake” The time of battle between
Alexander and the snake, I got scared, and I ran to the exit.
There was a curtain there and I hid behind it. For tales, I had Karagiozi stories
and for toys, I had the figures of Karagiozi. When I was a child, I lived next to the great master
George Haridimos, at his theatre in Plaka. We were preparing figures,we draw them.
At the theatre we were assisting him during the plays. All new assistant started by holding,
Pitsikoko figure (the younger son) during the first dance, when the show begins, this is the first experience with karagiozi. At the end of each show, I turned on the lights,
caught the figures and started to make rehearsals
and practicing the voices. Go away or I’ll blow you and the wind
will take you away, stupid. My teacher Haridimos was, very difficult as a teacher. Because he loved Karagiozi, he was very
demanding to me. He was pushing me. Here I am. This is not the voice of Barbagiorgos. My name is Giorgaros Blatsaras . When you play Barbagiorgo you must put all your soul,
you must use all the force of your langs. “How reeee ai”
that’s Barbagiorgos way, he was telling me. You must feel the character of Karagiozi,
become a very big twitter, so you can perform the role. My brothers completing one another.
Costas is the strict one, the lonely one. John is organizational, Argiris is communicational,
he talks more, he makes the more fun. It ‘s difficult and tedious making tours. I like traveling, I like Greece, I like the villages, the countryside of greece is fantastic,
I like meeting people. We had a tour in a remote island in Dodekanese. The regular ship was cancelled
and we had to go with a small fishing boat. It was extremely windy, 8 beaufort.
The experience was unforgettable. During summer tours, it happen to travel
throughout the evening until the morning. I slept 2-3 hours and then go straight to work. Travels, many travels. I have seen places in Greece
that I’ve never seen my entire life. A player of Karagiozi needs to know everything.
He must be an electrician, he must be able to carrie, there are many things for transportation, He must draw the figures, build the scene,
becoming a carpenter. A player of karagiozi makes everything on his own. When I started playing Karagiozi I could not imagine, that I will need so many tools,
for the metal, the iron and the wood. When we were young, we watched carefully
how Haridimos was creating the figures and we were trying to learn all his secrets. And I remember him, telling me when I was young,
not to open the eye too much, because the position and the form of the eye,
defines the look of the figure. We notice that Karagiozis wears the clothes,
of a poor man in Byzantium. With the short pants, the vest and the belt in the middle. Barefoot , this symbolizes his poverty. Everyone tells me, go away you barefoot
you hunchback, you bow-legged. People don’t understand that barefoot
Karagiozis is symbolic. Today there is no “barefoot” Greek, but our education, our health,
our culture are “barefoot”. Karagiozi makes fun of all of that,
because it’s a satirical theater . He mocks himself, so he says things as they are
and that’s why he is dangerous. Because he speaks. I was passing by the Palace, and Barbadervenagas
pushed me and told me that I was a Turk. -Is that so?
-Am I a Turk children? – yes-no. I don’t want to put labels saying Karagiozi is greek,
Karagiozi is Turk There is Turkish Karagiozi, there is Greek Karagiozi,
and perhaps in other countries too. The issue is that arts must join countries,
not separate them. We have to focus on that . I told him let me be or I will say everything
to my uncle Barbagiorgo. He told me that he will complaint at unesco. I am an assistant, helping with the movement of the figures, I am also a cashier, I help in the advertising,
wherever I am needed. The loudspeaker. Ask her discreetly. She will ask for a raise,
if she realizes the amount of hours she’s working, My main occupation is in the call center. Some times is not easy,
because it happens unexpected things Hey Michael, the ship broke down . At first I was spectator, little by little
I won their confidence and went behind the scene. When someone passes from advertisement
to an assistant player, then he can become a Karagiozi player.
As it happens with Michael and John. A year ago it was the first time I played on my own,
after 20 years of training. hey…. opa, opa, opa. Come on my barefoot family It is in my DNA, in my blood, and it is not just me,
all my friends everyone, my brothers friends, their wives, all those who didn’t knew Karagiozi before,
they were impacted. It’s like a virus that spreads and it can never be cured. I am saying this as a nurse. My love for the shadow theatre was so strong
that I imparted it, to my children and my wife Maria. In my son’s eyes, I see myself when I was a young. It is a feeling of rebirth, of recreation,
reliving things from your youth. He said the best for you,he told me that
when you’ ll meet me you will ask me: are you hungry? But you forgot it and you did not asked me.
Ask me now: Am I hungry? My name is Dimitris, I am the son of Giannis
and I am 18 years old. My favorite sound effect is the clapper. After nearly 20 continuously shows,
my foot was full of hematoma. I find it very nice when a son,
continues the art of his father. My name is Fanis, I am the son of Argyris
and I am 17 years old. I am Dimitris, my father is Argyris,
I will be in 2nd high this year and I am helping my father, during the summertime tours. I take my sons along, we are having a good time,
we are doing our holidays and they help me at work. When there is a feed back from the spectators
they transmit you their good energy. Since I started making figures, I liked it very much.
I think that I’m an artist, I follow the footsteps of my father and that I’m a painter, a crafter.
That I learned something in my life, and I love it and I will always practice. My son George continues, he also performs. My name is George, I am Kostas Athanasiou son. Since he was very young, he was following me,
to the summertime tours. From 6 years old, he wasn’t afraid. He was taking me
along with him. Airports, ships… I am impressed by his voice. It is better than mine.
Now, we compete. He will take him now and transform him
into an hippopotamus. look what will happen. Aaa karagiozi your best friend Nionios cured… My father was my first assistant, He was helping me,
telling me the lines when I was forgetting them. It was very funny because he was speaking to me
all the time and I got angry. You are attacking… As a teacher ? Yes I am strict too. I want to be sure, that someone loves Karagiozis,
to open myself to him as a teacher. He must be strict, otherwise the art won’ t be good. This is a job that you never bored. I have worked in various jobs, I studied mechanical
and cooling engineering also, but the magnet was here. Karagiozis is almost synonymous with my life,
and I often speak and think like Karagiozis. Karagiozis is the great love of my life. Karagiozis gave me an important thing:
to love myself and love all the others. Karagkiozis is all my life. Dear friends, this is the end of our show.
we thank you very much, goodnight and goodbye.