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On the cover
7 (2014)
Tunnelling Towards Hope


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28 February - 6 March 2014

Ukraine History

A Stronghold of Rulers and Rebels

With the recent death toll jumping to nearly 100 and 1,000 injured, Hrushevskoho Street, one of the strongholds of EuroMaidans three-month-long protests, made headlines around the globe. It was here, on 19 January the countrys stand against government corruption, abuse of power, and the violation of human rights turned from peaceful protest to all-out revolution. Having witnessed much over the years, Hrushevskoho is a street with a history, and not only care of recent days.

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Ukraine Today
Acelebrity using their status and intelligence to influence public views and opinion is rarely seen in modern society, even less so in Ukraine. Here, the majority of celebs use their time, effort, and money to enhance or further their career rather than put their name to something that can do good for others. However, as EuroMaidan intensifies, some are making themselves heard and they fall either side of the EuroMaidan divide.
It used to be that when rebellion and revolution occurred, the intellectual, creative, and spiritual elite would be front and centre.

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Ukrainian Culture

When Walls Can Talk

People have been writing on walls since the dawn of civilisation, we call it graffiti, and ranges from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings. Sometimes it is merely the creator wanting to leave his or her mark; sometimes there is an underlying social or political reason. And it is due to the latter that graffiti has exploded across Kyiv in recent months. Anti dictator messages aside, we peel back a few layers of paint to look at graffiti in the city in general.

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Kyiv Culture

The Passion of Cuba

For many people the words buena vista simply mean good view in Spanish, but for fans of the rhythms of the Caribbean they have come to represent music courtesy of a late 90s album and subsequent documentary both known as Buena Vista Social Club. Now the words buena vista are inextricably linked to the music of Cuba, and in the spirit of the social clubs pioneers come a new act Pasión de Buena Vista, which is set to take to the stage in Kyiv.

Pasión de Buena Vista is replete with talented musicians, one of which is guitarist Dariel Lopez, who made the decision to pursue a career as a musician when he entered musical school at 16. He was a natural and eight months later he was performing live. His set at the Festival Internacional del Son (Santiago de Cuba) garnered the attention of Pasión de Buena Vista producer Uwe Dannbacher who spotted Lopezs raw talent. The rest, as they say, is showbiz history and Lopez was drafted into the Pasión de Buena Vista ensemble. Whats On speaks with Lopez ahead of the Kyiv show and discovers just what it is about the beats of son, bolero, guajira, salsa, and rumba that makes Cuban music so popular.

People enjoy Cuban music even without any understanding of Spanish. How do you describe your music and the message you try to convey?
Our music is just as hot and tropical as our Cuba, it is the fruit and fusion of African and European (Spanish) music and our sound is unique. Our message is to bring to the public the richness of our culture as a living expression of the idiosyncrasy of Cuban folklore.

Cuban music was introduced to the world with the success of the album and the documentary both called Buena Vista Social Club. Credit goes to Ry Cooder who assembled the musicians and later Wim Wenders who brought this story to the screen. How much do you credit the success of those projects for inspiring you to create your own ensemble?
Thanks to these two gentlemen the world learned about the riches of indigenous Cuban culture. Our musical prestige went levels up, getting our music to achieve international leadership.

How would you describe the soul of Cuban music?
A Cuban musician is a born musician and does not need special education. It is something that every Cuban has in his blood. Salsa (Puerto Rican and Cuban popular dance music), sandunga (traditional Mexican waltz), maturity. El son, la rumba, el guaguanco , el mambo , el chachachá and la guajira have spread all over the world and people have embraced it. Cuban music is in a healthy state; it has acceptance on the international market, a lot of music in the world today has Caribbean sounds and the Cuban influence is especially strong.

Tell us a little bit about your company? What qualities should a performer have to be lucky to join your ensemble?
Our company consists of 28 members, musicians and instrumentalists, groups of singers, solo singers and dancers. How can you be a member? Above all you must be professional as a musician and as a human being respect your duties to the company and work very hard to preserve the best of Cuban music and art. Our actual sound is quite fresh, although we respect the musical heritage of its first creators. We cannot forget our roots. If we did, we wouldnt be Cuban.

What are your expectations of performing in Ukraine?
We will deliver to the Ukrainian public the best of our work and touch them with the warmth and richness of our music. There will be many surprises. We dont want to reveal all secrets in advance. The only thing is to ask the Ukrainian public to brace themselves for a great show.

 Bits and Pieces of Pasión de Buena Vista
 The ensemble has been awarded the Radio Regenbogen Award, the most important media-award in Germany where it is based, in the category Show of 2009
 They performed live on German entertainment TV show Wetten, das..? in 2009 from Palma de Mallorca to an estimated 13 million viewers
 Singer Sotto Victor-Antunez performed in 50 concerts with Ibrahim Ferrer (of the Buena Vista Social Club Orchestra). They co-wrote and performed the song Dos Gardenias. It would become a hit worldwide
 Another singer Mariela Stiven went from humble beginnings in the small Cuban town of Jiguaní , but with performances at different festivals like Festival del Changui, the Musica National de Bayamo, the Sindo Garay and many more, she quickly became a success winning 19 awards over her career.

Pasión De Buena Vista (DE, Cuban Music)
22 October at 19.00
Tickets: 190 1,590hrv
Palace Ukraine (V Vasylkivska 103)
247-2316

by Olga German

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    Ukraine Truth
    Rights We Didnt Know We Had

    Throughout EuroMaidan much has been made of Ukrainians making a stand for their rights. What exactly those rights are were never clearly defined. Ukraine ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1952. The first article of the Declaration states all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, they are endowed with reason and conscience, and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. The ousted and overthrown Ukrainian government showed to the world they dont understand the meaning of these words.


    Kyiv Culture

    Pulling Strings
    Located on Hrushevskoho Street the epicentre of EuroMaidan violence, home to battles, blazes and barricades childrens favourite the Academic Puppet Theatre had to shut down in February. Nevertheless, it is getting ready to reopen this March with a renewed repertoire to bring some laughter back to a scene of tragedy. Operating (not manipulating) puppets is a subtle art that can make kids laugh and adults cry. Whats On meets Mykola Petrenko, art director of the Theatre, to learn more about those who pull the strings behind the show.

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