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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

Love: In and Out of Season

Kyiv Modern Ballet, headed by choreographic creative Radu Poklitaru of Moldova, has been producing novel and innovative ballets for more than seven years. Featuring a couple dozen dancers at its core, a new and thought-provoking philosophy pokes out of each new performance. Their newest, Seasons, is no different.

 If youre in search of an evening of stimulation of various kinds, Kyiv Modern Ballet (KMB) does not disappoint. Artistic Director Radu Poklitaru is a deep well of interesting ideas. Turning the reins over to soloists Oleksiy Busko and Anastasia Kharchenko in this small local companys newest work, Seasons, the pair take you on a journey of love and loss in music and movement.

The Seasons Of Emotion
Inspiration for this newest work is thanks in large part to Ukrainian composer Oleksandr Rodin. He says he wrote Seasons in references to the various stages of human life: Life itself inspires me, I need only put it all down on paper.
When Busko first heard the piece he immediately visualised a story of two people in various stages of love. Rodin admits surprise at Buskos first mention of artistic collaboration, but says, Busko is very sensitive to music and I knew he wouldnt miss a single detail. And he was right, because from that point on, the work was a natural creative process, according to the budding young choreographer.
The music itself is pieced together in, as you might have guessed, four parts, with each season depicted by a different instrument: spring is first violin, summer is second violin, autumn is the alto horn, and winter is the cello. In terms of choreography, spring is the birth of ideas, feelings and, in this case, meetings; hopes and dreams fly high and all is carefree. As summer comes, feelings mature; the first important steps are taken together, and understanding and forgiveness become key. However, routine becomes mundane, and the first scars appear leaving the unsaid behind. On stage, spilt milk on the stove works as a metaphor of emotions boiling over. He overturns the milk, and burns his hand. Later, she will clean it up. The scene ends with them cuddling on the floor but is this partnership strong enough to survive?
Autumn a poetically sad season, slowly takes over. Our couple start living separate lives, with every collision like the sound of breaking plates. A vase drips water, not unlike the life that slowly drains from the love they once shared. Back and forth the dancers roll, stealing the blanket as they move, shouting not only with their movements, but with their voices, ME!
Winter comes. Contrary to mother nature, the creators of Seasons wish winter didnt have to play a part in their relationship. There is no strength left to fight for a love that no longer exists only anger remains, binding the two.

Seasons Of Change
Kharechnko, playing the feminine, says she has lived her characters pain in real life, and though some of the scenes and seasons for that matter are extremely sad, she wouldnt change any of them: It is impossible to name my favourite scene; they are four parts of one entity. You are born, you grow and transform you cant single anything out, because there is always something that causes your current state of being.
Though the choreography represents the music and the music represents the choreography extremely well, the performance is made all the richer thanks to the lighting and various projections used. Technical director Maria Pustovalova admits she wasnt given a lot of freedom in this piece; the result, however, was a harmonious UNI0N of music, movement and light. And in the end, this piece is all about the music and the choreography.
Though highly creative in his own right, KMB director Poklitaru says his input in Seasons was minimal: Oleksiy showed me a few scenes he wasnt sure about and we worked on them together. But I put as little of myself into this work as possible every choreographer must develop by himself, and talent will tell him what to do.
Though he may not like the way this relationship comes to an end, Busko seems happy with his piece and says, I hope Seasons makes people remember what to avoid, what to value, and what to take care of. Here I have shown how bad it can be, so that people do it right.

Seasons & Con Tutti Instrumenti
2 ballets in 1 act each featuring KMB
17 January at 19.00
Kyiv Theatre of Opera & Ballet for Children & Youth (Mezhyhirska 2)
www.musictheatre.kiev.ua

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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