Dublin Festival of Russian Culture Maslenitsa

Festival of Russian Culture Maslenitsa has been celebrated in Dublin is in its 7th year. The festival is aimed at promoting the Russian culture, music and literature, history and traditions to the wider audience and to keep these traditions among the Russian community living in Ireland.  The festival is growing its popularity with the public and the number of participants and volunteers has been increasing every year.

This year the festival week officially opened with the concert of Russian classical music in the Dublin City Gallery the Hugh Lane. Irish artists Owen Lorigan, Helene Hutchinson, Sylvia O’Brien and Lance Coburn and our pianist Anna Kiselyova performed pieces of Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff and Gavrilin. Lord Mayor of Dublin Criona Ni Dhalaigh and the Russian Ambassador HE Maxim Peshkov launched the festival. A tour of the gallery with the Russian interpreting and screening of “The Russian Ark” by Sokurov followed the launch.

Department of Russian and Slavonic Studies at Trinity College hold an open day. The students talked about their experience of learning Russian and their life in Russia. The talk was followed by a quiz for Transition Year Students. An evening of poetry and songs Literary Sketches – Women was organised by the students and lecturers of the department. Lead by Natalya Kulachkovskaya they performed sketches of different characters and sang songs in Russian. There was the Witch, Natasha Rostova, Three Maids at the Window, Tsar Saltan and other characters. Former Ambassador to Russia Eoin O’Leary addressed the audience at the beginning of the evening. A big surprise for the audience was performance by a singer David Jokhadze, whose voice charmed the audience.

The Hugh Lane Gallery with the support of the Royal Irish Academy of Music also hosted a concert of emerging talents. Young pianists of different nationalities presented an amazing performance of Russian composers. The concert was organised by pianist Anna Kiselyova. The Royal Irish Academy of Music also dedicated one of the Coffee Mornings to the Russian music.

Terenure library was hosting a talk Russia: Flicking through the History Book with Vera Smyth, an overview of anniversaries and dates of importance in the Russian history. This talk has become one of the regular events of the festival and has its followers. At the end of the talked the audience asked a lot of questions about the Russian history, culture and traditions. Most of questions concerned the traditions of celebrating the Pancake week.

Pearse Street library was hosting readings of Russian fairy tales for Junior Infants with Olesya Khitrich and Vera Smyth. The tales were adapted and translated in English by Vera Smyth. The children were very excited when at the end of readings they were asked to draw pictures to the tales.

The National Concert Hall saw a performance of Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto in C by pianist Denis Kozhukhin and the RTE National Symphony Orchestra along with pieces by O’Riada and Sibelius.

Olympus Dance and Music Academy had an open week and offered an extensive range of dance, traditional Russian ballet and other lessons to the wider audience of all ages.

The National Gallery of Ireland an architect Maria Kiernan gave a very interesting talk Wooden Lives. Maria talked about her experience of assistance with a restoration of an old wooden church in one of isolated villages in the Archangelsk Region.

The National Gallery also hosted a lecture on The Meaning of Holy Icons in the Russian Orthodox Church with Fr. Nikolay Ozolin. He came from Paris and was invited by Fr. Mikhail Nasonov, the Dean of Russian Orthodox Church of Peter and Paul. The lecture room was full to its capacity when Fr. Nikolay was talking about the Russian Icons.

An Irish poet Dermot O’Brien organised a literary evening Poetry in Translation: Russian in the Multicultural Centre Lantern. Russian and Irish poetry was read in the original language and in translation.

The Lantern also hosted an evening of Russian Culture with Svetlana Maximova and Georgy Tokarev. They had talks on Russian writers, poets and painters. Georgy introduced the painter Vereshchagin to the audience and received a very positive response with a lot of questions. The audience was very appreciative to Georgy’s knowledge and preparation. Svetlana talked about the life and works of Pushkin and The Garnet Bracelet by Kuprin. It was heartening to see the followers who have attended Svetlana’s talks last year. The farewell letter of the main male character accompanied by Beethoven’smusic deeply moved the audience.

The Central library hosted master class on 125th anniversary of Sergey Prokofiev and 110thanniversary of Dmitry Shostakovich with Olga Lopalo. This event was oversubscribed and had a huge interest of the audience. It has received a standing ovation.

The Irish Russian Songwriters’’ Club presented a night of Russian traditional and popular songs.

The Family Day is traditionally the final day of the festival. This year it was held in the National Show Centre. As usual there was a concert, Minstrels, games, Russian traditional crafts market, Russian food and children’s entertainment with the Planetarium, bouncing castle, matroyshka dolls painting and traditional Russian head pieces decoration.

Mayor of Fingal Councillor David O’Connor, Russian Ambassador HE Maxim Peshkov and Director of the Moscow Culture Centre Vladimir Linchevsky addressed the audience. Mayor of Fingal noted the high standard of organisation and quality of performance and expressed his hope that next year the Family Day will be celebrated in the same venue.

The Moscow Dance Theatre Gzhel has presented an amazing show with the highest standards of choreographers and the performers, the vibrant colours of the costumes, a creative approach to each piece makes this group unique. Every piece is not just a dance, it is a fascinating spectacle based on colourful moments of peoples’ lives, traditions and Russian crafts. The repertoire is being enhancedby the Head Choreographer Valentina Slykhanova. The audience in Ireland has an opportunity to see Gzhel’s performance on Sunday the 13th of March.

Our local talents also presented their performances at the Family Day. The dance group The National Rhythms of Georgia lead by Lasha Sabashvily have received a huge round of applause. The long time favourites dance group Vereneya, Rossinka Choir from Belfast, Rodnichok Choir from Waterford, Natalia Cullen gave a brilliant performance on the day. Ilia Babkin, Arina Senkina, Angelica Karakulina, My Art Dance school, Olympus Ballet Academy, Ernest Ray, Cultural Centre Marusia from Navan, Dubravushka spoon players and Bulgarian group Bread and Salt also entertained the guests.

Festival of Russian Culture in Dublin has been organised by the Russian Community and is supported by the Russian Embassy, Dublin City Council, Moscow Department of Culture, Moscow InternationalCultural Centre, Hugh Lane Gallery, National Gallery of Ireland, Department of Russian and Slavonic Studies at Trinity College, Royal Irish Academy of Music, RTE Lyric FM, Dublin City Events and Midland Mastics LTD

Festival of Russian Culture, 6-13 March 2016, Dublin  

This year the festival will run a weeklong programme from 6th to 13th of March in various locations throughout the city of Dublin. The festival has become a traditional feature of vibrant Dublin cultural life.

Concerts, literary talks and readings, children’s art competition, music master class, children’s activities, lively performances, lectures and talks are just some of the events taking place during the week.

The highlight of the festival will be a traditional Family Day in the National Show Centre, Swords, on Sunday the 13th of March with the world famous Moscow State Academic Dance Theatre Gzhel as guest performers.

The festival will encompass a selection of venues across the city, with activities certain to suit all cultural tastes in the Dublin City libraries, Trinity College, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin City Gallery the Hugh Lane, Intercultural Centre Lantern and other venues.

The Festival Committee has successfully secured renowned Irish artists to perform at the concert of Russian classical music in the Hugh Lane Gallery on Sunday the 6th of March at the official opening of the festival. Owen Lorigan, Sylvia O’Brien, Helene Hutchinson and Lance Coburn will perform at the concert along with Anna Kiselyova.

Hugh Lane Gallery will also host a guided tour with the Russian interpreter and a film and Russian Art.

Department of Russian and Slavonic Studies at Trinity College will be holding an open day, a guided tour of the college in Russian and an evening of poetry and song Literary Sketches – Women. Trinity College students will hold a talk about their experience of studying Russian and living in Russia, followed by quiz. This event has become one of the highlights of the festival. Please see www.tcd.ie/Russian

The National Concert Hall will have a concert that includes Russian classic Music. RTE National Symphony Orchestra will perform Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto in C with Denis Kozhukhin, piano. Tickets at www.nch.ie

A few events are planned for the Dublin City libraries. The Central library will host a master class on 125th anniversary of Sergey Prokofiev and 110th anniversary of Dmitry Shostakovich by Olga Lopalo.

Terenure Library will be hosting a talk Russia: Flicking through the history book with Vera Smyth. It is an overview of anniversaries and dates of importance in the Russian History. This talk has become one of regular events of the festival.

Pearse Street Library will be hosting readings of Russian fairy tales for children, translated and presented by Vera Smyth and Olesya Khitrich.

Svetlana Maximova and Georgy Tokarev will be presenting an evening of Russian culture in the Intercultural Centre Lantern. She will have Russian lessons Russian with Fun and sing-along session of Russian songs for children. Svetlana will also talk on the life and works of Alexander Pushkin, the founder of Russian literary tradition and an author of The Queen of Spades and Eugene Onegin. Georgy will have a talk on the painter Vassily Vereshchagin. The evening will conclude with Svetlana’s talk on the writer Alexander Kuprin, his life and works and introduction to his best-known stories The Garnet Bracelet.

The National Gallery of Ireland will host a lecture on Russian Wooden Architecture The Wooden Lives by Maria Kiernan and The Meaning of Holy Icons in the Orthodox Church, a lecture by Fr. Nickolay Ozolin, who will come from Paris. Please see www.ngi.ie

Royal Irish Academy of Music will dedicate one their Coffee Concerts to the Russian classical music. For more information, please see www.riam.ie  Also with the support of RIAM a children’s concert performed by the young students of the academy will take place in the Hugh Lane Gallery.

An evening Poetry in Translation: Russian will be hosted by an Irish poet Dermot O’Brian and will present a unique opportunity to experience Russian and Irish poetry read in the original language and in translation. This event will take place in the Intercultural Centre Lantern.

The Irish Russian Songwriters’ Club will present the Russian Songwriters Night in Taylors Three Rock, Rathfarnham. It will be over three hours of live music performed by Russian speaking songwriters from different parts of Ireland, including original compositions as well as popular and folk songs. For more information please see  https://www.facebook.com/song.ireland.ru

The Olympus Dance and Music Academy will host an open week offering an extensive range of dance, ballet and other lessons to the wider audience of all ages. For more information, please see www.danceandmusic.ie

The festival will traditionally end with the Family Day, which will be held on Sunday the 13th of March in the National Show Centre, Swords. Moscow State Academic Theatre of Dance Gzhel will perform along with the local dances, singers, traditional Minstrels. There will be food and crafts market, children’s entertainment and much more. A full programme is available.

The Festival of Russian Culture is organised by the Russian community in Ireland and is supported by Dublin City Council, the Russian Embassy, Dublin City Libraries, National Gallery of Ireland, Royal Irish Academy of Music and Trinity College.

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Russian Gzhel conquers Dublin

This year the highlight of the Festival of Russian Culture Maslenitsa will be a magnificent performance by the Gzhel Moscow State Academic Dance Theatre.

The Gzhel Dance Theatre was founded by Prof. Vladimir Zakharov, a People’s Artist and a famous choreographer.

Prof. Zahkarov set himself a task to express the magic beauty of the Russian crafts through dance for the first time ever. The creative direction of the theatre was determined by a desire to tell the audience through art about the phenomena of every day life, traditions and customs, crafts and the richness of people’s spiritual life, creativity and imagination of the Russian craftsmen, their natural sense of beauty. It was no coincidence that the Ghzel was established during the year of the 650th anniversary of the Gzhel ceramics, one the most famous and most recognisable Russian traditional craft.

Unlike other dance groups the Ghzel’s performance is based on the regional traditions and regional specifics of the dance culture and not only on the overall Russian spirit. This has become the theatre’s distinctive feature.

The Ghzel Dance Theatre is one of the leading dance groups in Russia and worldwide. Their repertoire covers different areas of choreography: a folk-stage dance and a classical ballet. The Ghzel is governed by the Moscow Department of Culture and actively tours all over the world, France, India, Greece. Austria, USA, China, Cuba, Mexico, Japan, Germany to name a few. Their performance conquers the hearts of the Russian and the worldwide audience.




Video by Denis Bokov Russian Festival 2015 

Posted by Kristina Butusova

Video From RTE  about Russian Festival 2014

Festival of Russia Culture


You can find a selection of photos from last year’s event online here, to give you a sense of how the festival went.