Ukraine: Ani Lorak in Greece

by Stella Floras 88 views

Ani Lorak, the Ukrainian runner up of the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest will be giving a single concert in Thessaloniki, Greece on 20th August at the Palais des sports. Recently, Ani, spoke to Yannis Poulopoulos, one of the country's top Eurovision journalists, about the contest, her feelings and her relationship with Greece.

Ani's connections to Greece are in multiple levels, as not only was her act in Belgrade choreographed by Fokas Evangelinos but Shady lady was also produced by top Greek composer Dimitris Kontopoulos. Dimitris will be composing for next year's Greek participant, Sakis Rouvas. Now, Ani is working with Dimitris Kontopoulos on an English speaking album targeted to international audiences. Many labels around Europe have already expressed their interest in this cooperation, according to Ani.

During her press conference after the first semi final in Belgrade, Ani had stated that Greece and Ukraine were like brothers, especially after her successful cooperation with Fokas. "So why don't you rarely give us points?" asked Yannis Poulopoulos during their recent interview. "That is not true," Ani replied, " we have only been participating for five years and we gave points both to Sakis Rouvas in 2004 and Kalomira this year. But you should know that the type of songs Greece sends to Eurovision is not at all popular in my country. The votes these artists received were mainly due to their personal dynamics."

Ani Lorak is quite content with her second place in Belgrade as she knew all along that a second victory for Ukraine in such a short period of time, following Ruslana's victory in 2004 that is, would be rather difficult. She was proud and touched to be awarded the title of National Artist by President Viktor Yushchenko, who called her personally after the final to tell her that all Ukrainians were happy and proud with her performance and result.

Ani also spoke about Kostas Martakis, the runner up of the 2008 Greek final, and their rumoured relationship: "Kostas and I are just friends, he is already quite well known in Ukraine as are Helena Paparizou, Despina Vandi, Anna Vissi and Sakis Rouvas." Does she think that he would have achieved a better result than Kalomira, had he won the Greek final? " I can't say that" Ani says, " what I can say though is that Kostas is very popular in Eastern Europe, after participating in the Jurmala festival in 2007. Dima Bilan also started his career at this festival, where he came fourth. Martakis' song style is much closer to the style of music we listen to, so I assume he would get more points from these countries. İ can't say what would happen though with countries that traditionally vote for Greece."

Would Ani consider returning to the Eurovision Song Contest one day? " I don't think so" she says " as I am not the kind of person who likes to do the same thing twice. But then ….. never say never!" she concludes.

Greek fans will have the opportunity to watch Ani perform her Shady Lady once more, later next month at the Palais des sports, in the heart of Thessaloniki.

Information on tickets :0030 2310 232307-8, Chalkaion 11, Thessaloniki.

Many thanks to Giannis Dangkaris for the information.

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Stella Floras

Thanks to Johnny Logan and Hold me now I fell in love with the Eurovision Song Contest, a love that's been going strong ever since with undiminished passion. My first memories date back to 1977 and the lyrics of Rock bottom, Dschinghis Khan and A ba ni bi are still engraved in my brain.

I joined esctoday.com in 2006 as a junior editor after being invited by Barry Viniker, I soon became Senior Editor and during the 2007 contest in Helsinki I was appointed Head of Communications. Today I hold the post of Head of Human Resources and I am proud to be working with the best editorial team in the world.