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Since 2006 the RIALTO Theatre timidly took the first steps to organize a series of events dedicated to diversity and tolerance. The colourful world of the Ethnic Festival has been and remains a meeting of shapes and sounds from different countries. Virtuoso musicians established in the international music scene, search, adopt influences and trends, creating performances that surpass (transcend) boundaries and frontiers of all kinds.
The ethnic festival welcomes every year groups and musicians who share a rich cultural past and also develop a contemporary musical present, with common origins and influences, organizing a series of events, mostly music, which draw their inspiration from the tradition of each country around the Mediterranean. In this framework emerge proximity and differences and of course Cyprus behaves as a bridge between them.
The Festival takes place every July, having as its hub the Heroes’ Square in Limassol and occasionally various squares in Nicosia. Since 2012 the institution of Rialto Residency takes place in villages in the district of Limassol. A music program of cohabitation where Cypriot musicians meet and collaborate with guest artists from abroad. Through residence and joint study of artists, develops a renewed reading of various musical traditions, aiming at a new joint approach. The Residency outcome is presented in concert, first at the village that accommodates it and then followed by a concert at the Heroes’ Square.
Since May 2011, when the festival became a member of the European Forum of Worldwide Music Festivals, it focused mostly to the Mediterranean and Middle East countries, considering that such identity is essentially determined by the geographical, historical and cultural relations between the countries of the region, and which are reflected in their musical traditions.
Film screenings are regularly organized within the framework of the festival, an International Symposium was held in 2011 and a discussion in 2013, activities which were and are common on the importance and evolution of traditional music and the establishment of the World Music as a genre with similar effects on the musical traditions of each place.
It is worth noting that all the events of the Cyprus Rialto Ethnic – World Music Festival have free admission.