HELIDRA: THE EUROPEAN LITERARY HERITAGE MEETS THE DRAGON IN THE STREET

Introduction
HELIDRA is a unique collaboration project between four different types of open space theatre companies from Greece, Poland, France and Bulgaria. The collaboration promotes experimentation in innovative theatre forms and genres through the medium of “Street Theatre”. Street Theatre, a type of open space performance, finds its way into urban life, creating an opportunity for local communities to come together to play, interact and learn. By bringing the theatre to the streets the public is invited to interpret their own environment, cityscape and local heritage through a visually spectacular performance.
Research: a common European heritage
The project builds its theme on the common European literary tradition of the heroes-guards of Europe’s frontiers and exploits the research of the ACRINET project. The stories emerging from the research describe far-reaching examples of co-operation and exchange between cultures and highlight the role of those symbolic heroes-guards in times of peace. The meanings emerging from these traditions convey a valuable social message for Europe today that lessons of intercultural understanding and peace building are increasingly important. The ‘bridge-building’ and peaceful coexistence conveyed by the Acritic legends and poetry are of special significance to Europe’s multi cultural, multi ethnic and multi faith society of the 21st century. They are used to form the scenario and libretto of the performance!
The performance
HELIDRA assumes the form of a ‘Rock Opera’ performance, reaching out to a very diverse audience, reflecting the experimental nature of this project. It will stage a spectacular performance combining dance, live music, singing, acrobatics, stilts, circus acts, marionettes, optical illusions, video projections and pyrotechnics – all of which will create a mythical landscape to engross the audience. The premiere of the performance “Dragon” will take place  in 19th of September 2013 in the festival «Sti skia ton vrahon 2013» in Athens and will be followed by 2 more performances in 20th and 21st of September in the same place and will tour across Europe creating the opportunity for actors, musicians and other cultural operators to collaborate with each other and perform in other countries.
Playing urban games
A programme of events will engage the public before and during the performances. In the build-up to the premiere, a series of interactive, fun – yet educational – games will take place to inspire and engage the public, inviting them to experiment and explore their urban environment.
Join the workshops
Artists are invited to take part in the international workshops, which will take place in Sommieres (March 2013), Athens (September 2013), Poznan (March 2014) and Sofia (September 2014). The workshops, carried out by professionals working in the field of Street Theatre, will cover all aspects of performing in open spaces, encouraging artists to explore new techniques, art forms, script writing and other skills such as acrobatics, movement and other forms of animation.

project website: http://www.helidra.eu/en/helidra/