delphi festival

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Eva Palmer-Sikelianos

Evelina “Eva” Palmer-Sikelianos (Greek: Εύα Πάλμερ-Σικελιανού; January 9, 1874 – June 4, 1952) was an American woman notable for her study and promotion of Classical Greek culture, weaving, theater, choral dance and music. Palmer’s life and artistic endeavors intersected with numerous noteworthy artists throughout her life. She was both inspired by or inspired the likes of dancers Isadora Duncan and Ted Shawn, the French literary great Colette, the poet and author Natalie Barney and the actress Sarah Bernhardt. She would go on to marry Angelos Sikelianos, a Greek poet and playwright. Together they organized a revival of the Delphic Festival in Delphi, Greece. Embodied in these festivals of art, music and theater she hoped to promote a balanced sense of enlightenment that would further the goals of peace and harmony in Greece and beyond.

Palmer returned to Greece in the spring of 1952. Two weeks after her arrival she suffered a fatal stroke while attending a theatrical performance in Delphi. She was 77 years old. Pursuant to her wishes she was buried at Delphi.

Palmer’s artistic endeavors and support of the Delphic Idea came in a period of time between world wars. In her latter years she would witness from afar the rise of Nazism, Hitler and WWII. It would seem as though their efforts had been all for naught. They were not the first to attempt a revival of the spirit of Delphi in Greece and they would not be the last. The Delphic Idea lives on in modern times through the International Delphic Council. Much of the same ideals and principals are embodied in these modern efforts of music, dance and athletics. || Read More || Edit ||