RussianMind №6 (22) 6-19 April 2012, www.RussianMind.com
Boris Eifman: Psychological Ballet
Ex - t.A.T.u. Singer
Back to Her Future UK .................... £2.00 France .............. €2.00 Germany ......... €2.00 Austria ............. €2.00 Belgium .......... €2.00 Netherlands ... €2.50 Italy .................. €2.50 USA .................. $5.99
Why is London such a ‘Honeypot’ for Russians?
Russia’s Brain Drain
Russians and Celebrations
Boris Eifman: Psychological Ballet
Elena Davydova: Eternal Values
Russian Easter Traditions
Ex - t.A.T.u. Singer Yulia Volkova: Back to Her Future
Things to Do this Easter
Desire to Learn: “Russia Week” at St Andrews University
A Study in Green or Meet Bashkiria
The Devil's in the Detail
Rugger: Ups & Downs
№6 (22) 6-19 April 2012, www.RussianMind.com
Boris Eifman: Psychological Ballet
Ex - t.A.T.u. Singer
Back to Her Future
RM Team Acting Editor Olga Kudriavtseva Design & layout www.design2pro.ru A.D. – Mikhail Kurov Designer – Julia Zayashnikova Cover Photo Ksenia Malina Head of Editorial Board Mark Hollingsworth Managing Director Azamat Sultanov Special Projects Manager Daria Alyukova Advertising Yordanka Yordanova, Maria Yadrikhinskaya IT Director Oleksii Vyshnikov Sub Editor Julia Gobert Acting Editor’s Assistant Rukhshona Shakhidi Interpreter Ekaterina Ovechkina Distribution Olga Tsvetkova In print: Stewart Lansley, Tai Adelaja, Richard Bloss, Olga Sokolova, Olga Lesyk. Contacts: Editorial Staff: firstname.lastname@example.org General enquiries: email@example.com Distribution: firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising: email@example.com Address: 40 Langham Street, London W1W 7AS United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0) 207 637 1374
WHY IS LONDON SUCH A ‘HONEYPOT’ FOR RUSSIANS? It is difficult to say how many Russians live in the UK? Usually the statistics vary from between a quarter to half a million currently here. Whereas only 20-30 years ago, there was just a few thousand living in the UK. In the last century Russians settled in: Germany, Israel and the United States, but not so many went to the UK. However, in less than half a century, everything has changed and the UK and its capital have become one the most popular destinations for Russian immigrants. I myself, came to London 5 years ago to get a British qualification and I expected then to return home. But I am still here, my diploma is still on my wall and I currently have no plans to leave this country. This makes me think, what motivates our progressive compatriots to stay here? Perhaps one of the most compelling factors for immigration is an irrepressible desire to achieve ones professional goals. Unfortunately, Russia can not compete with Europe in terms of living standards. Let's face it, in Russia without helpful acquaintances and financial support it is very difficult to make ones way to the top of the career ladder. Of course in London the way for young professionals isn’t strewn with roses either, you needs to fight for your ‘place in the sun’ (sic). However British employers are primarily interested in the personal achievements and professional abilities of their employees, rather than in their family’s financial or social status. The best examples are the Russian City workers, these young professionals, who don’t have huge start-up capital, are able to achieve career growth provided they show they have the ability to adapt in London; thereby gaining the chance of becoming part of the ‘decent’ British middle class. Apart from “financial brains”, London also attracts artisans - writers, journalists, musicians, painters, photographers, actors whom form the cultural stream of this city. In general, professionalism and hard work are the key factors leading to a successful career in London, regardless of profession, social status or place of birth. Besides the opportunity to make a good career, the British capital attracts Russian people for its rich social and diverse cultural life. No two days are the same! Which is key to understanding why so many Russian’s choose to live here. In this issue of RussianMind we discuss Russia’s brain drain (p.6); immigration business (p.8); particularities of CIS celebration traditions (p.10, p.20) and Russia-related events in London (p.12, p.26).
P.S. English critic and poet Samuel Johnson said: "When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life”. I agree with this statement, because this city really has everything life can afford.
Best Olga Kudriavtseva Acting Editor 5
RUSSIA’S BRAIN DRAIN by Stewart Lansley
VLADIMIR PUTIN MAY HAVE WON THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, BUT HARDLY TO THE ECSTATIC RECEPTION HE MIGHT HAVE EXPECTED EVEN A FEW YEARS AGO. BACK IN 2000 AND 2004, THE NEW PRESIDENT’S GREAT STRENGTH WAS HIS POPULARITY. GIRL POP GROUPS USED TO SHOWER HIM WITH COMPLIMENTS WITH LYRICS LIKE ‘I WANT A STRONG MAN LIKE PUTIN`. TODAY THEY ARE MORE LIKELY TO JEER HIM.
than is widely assumed. According to a poll of those joining the anti-Putin rally last December, they came from all walks of life: the majority were whitecollar workers, but only a small minority were managers; 8 per cent were blue-collar workers and 12 per cent were full-time students. They were not particularly affluent and were spread across all age groups. Three-quarters said they were fed up with the way things worked in the country. One sign of growing discontent is the rising
ll is not well in Russia. With his support much shallower than in the past, some leading commentators believe Putin may not even last the new extended term – six years. Mounting and vocal opposition has been attributed to the growth of the affluent middle classes who are less than content with a controlled political process – or ‘managed democracy’ as Putin calls it – along with state corruption and the persistence in power of a small Kremlin elite. In fact, the opposition movement is much more broadly based 6
number of Russians who have been voting with their feet. Moreover, today’s leavers are a very different bunch than those who fled in the aftermath of Putin’s first election victory. Then Putin’s triumphant entry to the Kremlin precipitated a remarkable series of exits. Scores of Russia’s richest citizens – from the media magnate, Vladimir Gusinsky; to Putin’s former ally, Boris Berezovsky – who were either forced out or opted to leave. When Mikhail Khodorkovsky was arrested in November
2003, twenty of Yukos’s top brass fled to London, most of them smuggled in by British security experts via Cyprus and Malta. By the end of Putin’s second term, hundreds of Russian billionaires and multi-millionaires had settled in the UK, and had brought their money with them. It was this money that helped fuel the London boom of the post-millennium years. Money smuggled out of Russia via offshore tax havens fed soaring property (and business) prices, turning a number of British property agents and security entrepreneurs into multimillionaires. In 2005, the American business magazine Forbes, dubbed London the ‘billionaire capital of the world’. The more recent pattern – which embraces a much wider cross-section of society - takes a very different form. Some see it is the biggest exodus since 1917 - approximately 1.25 million Russians have left the country in the last 10 years, Sergei Stepashin, head of the national Audit Chamber, told the radio station Moscow Echo at the end of last year. The chamber tracks migration through tax revenues. The exodus is so large, it’s comparable in numbers to the outrush in the wake of the Bolshevik Revolution. ‘About as many have left as in 1917’, he said. Then, the majority of those leaving settled in France, and especially
Paris. In the last decade, it has been the UK, especially London, where the migrants have mostly settled. According to some estimates, there are close to 100,000 Russian children being educated in the UK – from nurseries to universities. This level of exodus is certainly bad news for Russia’s demographic balance and its economy. Some are staying in Russia but sending their children to be educated abroad, especially to British public schools and universities. Many trying to exit are well-educated with stable jobs. Most are younger, key workers – from labourers to scientists – leaving Russia increasingly to an older generation of workers especially in areas like scientific research, engineering and law. According to Newsru.com, ‘The country is hemorrhaging intellectual potential. According to the site, ‘The most active, the cleverest and the most mobile are leaving’. Those leaving typically include the country’s best graduates and wellestablished professionals – computer scientists, architects, academics. According to one Russian survey, as many as 40 per cent of Russia’s recent graduates would like to work abroad. A Radio Free Europe post by Brian Whitmore calls it Russia’s ‘brain drain’. Something Russia can ill afford. Unlike their predecessors of the
Soviet 1970s and 1980s, most are not necessarily leaving for good. Many of them don’t sell their apartments and dachas and in some cases, even their cars. As one commentator put it: ‘They simply lock the door, go to the airport and quietly leave’. One sure sign of what is happening can be seen in the elite region of Rublyovka, a residential area of 300 square kilometers, which not long ago held the crown as the centre of Moscow’s rich and famous. Today more and more homes in this district are lying empty. ‘If you walk through the village then, of the people who settled here 10 years ago, less than half remain’, said one longstanding resident. ‘The others, one way or another, have simply stopped living here’. Some have moved to central Moscow, others much further afield. Many factors are driving this trend. Some are economic migrants, merely looking for better opportunities abroad. Inflation is on the rise and the country's GDP is rising at less than half the rate before the global economic crisis. Many skilled jobs pay much more in the west. But, unlike previous waves of emigration, this one is also being driven by the lack of political reform. People are giving up on the prospect of a proper functioning democracy with opposition parties and real political choice. And one person is blamed for that – the new President. 7
According to Profile Dmitry Muratov, editor of the opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta, ‘In the 1970s there was Jewish emigration out of the Soviet Union, and then lots of people left at the beginning of the 1990s. That was emigration for sausages and blue jeans. Now, go anywhere in Moscow – there are sausages and blue jeans everywhere – you can find anything you want, but there’s still gigantic emigration because people are leaving for a breath of fresh air. They’re leaving over values’, he said. You have to be in certain niches to do well, says Mark Urnov, dean of the politics faculty at the Moscow Higher School of Economics, and if you feel yourself out of this privileged sphere then you want to get out. None of this is good news for Russia. According to Urnov, the sector of society which is packing its suitcases is the very same which would most likely take forward the processes of modernisation and reform. One thing is sure. The protests will continue and the outward tide is likely to accelerate. Putin may of course act out of character and bend to the demands for political reform in a way which will stem the outflow. Few would bet on it. Stewart Lansley is the author of The Cost of Inequality, Gibson Square, 2012.
IMMIGRATION BUSINESS by Tai Adelaja
RUSSIAN EXPERTS HAVE PUBLISHED AN IMMIGRATION ROADMAP THAT REQUIRES THE GOVERNMENT TO SPEND MORE MONEY, AS THE COUNTRY’S PROJECTED POPULATION DECLINE LOOMS LARGE. IN A POLICY PAPER THE EXPERTS SAID A NEW FINANCIAL INFUSION WOULD ALLOW THE GOVERNMENT NOT JUST TO ATTRACT HIGHLY QUALIFIED FOREIGN WORKERS, BUT ALSO TO INCREASE INTERNAL LABOUR MOBILITY FOR RUSSIANS. PART OF THE FUNDING, THE EXPERTS SAY, WOULD GO TO REFORM RUSSIA’S BROKEN QUOTA SYSTEM, WHILE THE REST WILL GO TO IMPROVING RUSSIA'S IMAGE AS AN ATTRACTIVE COUNTRY FOR MIGRATION.
o achieve significant progress in the country's worsening demographic situation, the Russian government would need to spend 86 billion roubles ($2.95 billion) on a new immigration policy, according to a new roadmap on immigration. A tripartite commission that includes representatives from trade unions and government officials last week revised the roadmap, which was initially developed as part of the immigration programme by the Federal Migration Services (FMS) with help from Strategy-2020 experts. Members of the commission said in their report that it intended to provide a framework within which the government could ease the demographic problems by generously funding a raft of population-boosting measures.
the report said. The decreasing number of their own nationals is forcing Russian leaders to explore ways of mitigating disturbing demographic consequences, while ensuring a new model for Russia's economic growth. The current roadmap, the authors claimed, will provide some answers. Much of the newly recommended funding should go toward combating illegal immigration, which has become a serious problem for the government already battling a demographic crisis. The experts said the government should boost its existing immigration funding to the Federal Migration Service (FMS) by 15 percent. The funding should be spent on programmes like improving immigration control, fingerprinting, simplifying procedures for issuing migration cards and the creation of migrant detention centres, they said.
In addition to the gradually declining population, a report published by the States Statistics Services (Rosstat) showed that Russia’s workforce is ageing. The average age of an industrial worker, which was 39.6 years in 2005, has increased to 39.9 years in 2010,
Almost 14 million foreigners and stateless people legally arrived in Russia last year, according to the FMS. Every year, up to five million foreigners work in the country without 8
work permits, said the agency, telling Russia Profile that only 1.7 million work permits were issued last year. However, the authors of the new immigration policy believe that "the country needs immigrants". Without the flood of immigrants, especially from the former Soviet States, the Russian headcount would have been seven million people less, said the experts. This has prompted the experts to earmark an additional 14 billion roubles ($480.5 million) to spend on adaptation and integration programmes for migrants, including the creation of support centres for immigrants, language learning courses and courses on Russian history and culture. The new policy also spelled out a fast track plan for attracting highly skilled foreign workers, as well as stricter procedures for hiring foreign employees by Russian companies. According to the experts, the FMS should receive an additional four billion roubles ($137.2 million) to create a special division responsible for attracting foreign specialists. The agency must also come up with measures that will
for attracting and recruiting qualified workers”.
To attract enough qualified foreign teachers to Russia the experts want the government to spend another 2.5 billion roubles ($85.8 million). Another one billion roubles ($34.2 million) is to be spent as grants for Russian citizens receiving a professional education abroad in order to lure them back to the country. And on top of that, the experts said about 200 million roubles ($6.8 million) would be needed to promote Russia's image as "a country attractive to highly skilled migrants".
motivate entrepreneurs and investors to move to Russia, including luring them with temporary and full-time residence permits as well as making it easier for them to obtain Russian citizenship. The experts see the absence of a well-
defined mechanism for determining the country’s skilled-labour requirement as one of the drawbacks of previous immigration policies. To address such problems, including eliminating the horse-and-buggy quota system, experts said the government should spend 270 million
roubles ($9.2 million) to “dramatically revise the old policy” by introducing new mechanisms for assessing skilled workers. In addition, the policymakers suggested the government allocate 200 million roubles ($6.8 million) to registered private businesses to help them “provide services 9
Another set of moneygobbling proposals concern encouraging internal labour migration in Russia, which they said would cost the government up to seven billion roubles ($239.8 million). The lion’s share of that amount will be spent to relocate people who live in more severe climatic conditions to other areas of the country, the experts said. A good part of the money will also be spent on supporting entrepreneurs who create housing and social infrastructure for internal labour migrants. The experts also recommend that the government spend ten billion roubles ($342.6 million) to resettle compatriots living abroad. Supported by russiaprofile.org
RUSSIANS AND CELEBRATIONS by Richard Bloss who looks at Russians Getting Married!
I AM GETTING ALL MORALISTIC THIS MORNING. WHAT CAN I SAY? THERE'S A GIRL I KNOW - LET'S CALL HER GALINA. SHE IS HAVING A PARTY FOR A FEW CLOSE FRIENDS - ALMOST A HUNDRED IN FACT. CLEARLY THIS IS NO ORDINARY PARTY. FOR TWO REASONS. IT IS A WEDDING PARTY, BECAUSE GALINA, BLESS, IS GETTING MARRIED.
ut also because, for Galina - life has been a struggle. The little flat she and her partner share, is not exactly in the best part of town. The metro out to Avalon deliberately goes nowhere near her little suburb. But this is the high point, it's the proof that she's made it, she going to have the best wine - even though her husband-to-be doesn't touch a drop of alcohol, bless him too - the
biggest tables, and maybe there will be some sort of after-party, who knows. It's a celebration! And people will remember, long after the divorce in a few years time, this was a PARTY! We can look back and say, yes, this was a marker in the sand, when everyone came! That's the question isn't it…What are we actually and really celebrating? And who indeed is the celebration for? It's not that I am against celebrations. I have a strict regime in my house each morning. I wake up, look in the mirror – smile and get over it. It's just that, the bigger the celebrations that Russians have, the more inversely proportional they are to the reason they were celebrating anyway. In many ways, you could say this is human nature. Because my
friend's real name, - is not Galina. It is Gervaise. And this is not 21st century nouveau riche Russia or "worker makes good" Kyiv. It is not Canary Wharf. It is the wrong end of Boulevard Stalingrad in Paris. Emile Zola is no modern Gossip Columnist. He was writing about Gervaise Macqart over a century ago, way back in 1871. And this is no wedding celebration. Its easy enough to have one hundred friends when there is free wine. This is not about love. It's primary purpose is about showing the neighbours, we have made it. In other words life has always been this way, and the problem that you guys face, is essentially the same as Gervaise. What happens when, finally, you are in a place where you can show others that you have discovered spiritual happiness - the only way you can express
this, is through material extravagance. I have no answer to this, but it is such a pity. One of the treasures of central European culture is the folk lore of wedding dances, the folk music that families have sang for centuries, the habitual photos on the banks of the Dnieper river, the photo of the bride and groom by the statue of the soldiers who died in the war (for Gods’ sake, I can never understand that one) - it seems to bind people together wherever they come from, whatever stage of life they are at, where everybody knows the rules, because this is what your parents did, and their parents, and so on. We have nothing like this in England. Instead, we have "social obligation". We invite family that in normal life we wouldn’t even sit next to on the tube. We now have "wedding planners",
where you create your own set of rules, whose sole purpose is to plan how to help you spend your money. It is both a planned wedding and a marriage of convenience. My sadness is that, far
from exporting Russian culture to England, you have imported and embraced our own culture to excess. Let me paint a smaller picture...
There's a Russian girl I know. Let's call her Olivia. She is having a party for a few close friends.....she is getting married! She sits and smiles across the table, I smile and ask "which
church will you marry in?" "Oh no", she looks surprised: "I'm flying everyone to Las Vegas!" Photo by Evgeny Plishkin
ACCLAIMED AS RUSSIA’S GREATEST LIVING CHOREOGRAPHER, BORIS EIFMAN PRESENTED IN BRITAIN FOR THE FIRST TIME TWO OF HIS MASTER WORKS: “ANNA KARENINA” AND “ONEGIN”. FOUR PERFORMANCES OF THE TWO UK PREMIÈRES TOOK PLACE AT THE LONDON COLISEUM.
“Anna Karenina” is Eifman’s award winning ballet, is filled with inner psychological energy; it is extremely precise in its emotional impact. Having cut out the counterplot lines of Leo Tolstoy’s novel, the choreographer focuses on Anna-KareninVronsky love triangle. The drama of the re-born woman is expressed by means of body’s plasticity. In Eifman’s opinion, it is the passion, ‘the basic instinct’ that causes the crime against social norms, destroys mother love and breaks Anna Karenina’s connection with her own soul. The choreographer says that this ballet is about the present, not the past; about presentday emotions and the clear parallels to the contemporary reality, will not leave the contemporary audience aloof. “Onegin” is a choreographic version of Alexander Pushkin’s two-act novel in verse ‘Eugene Onegin’. While preserving the poetry and philosophy of Pushkin’s work, Eifman’s new 12
BORIS EIFMAN: PSYCHOLOGICAL BALLET ballet presents the opportunity to view the story through the eyes of a contemporary. The Eifman Ballet Theatre was founded in 1977 as one choreographer’s
independent, experimental laboratory. In 2012 the theatre celebrates its 35th anniversary, but as before continues to fulfil its artistic aim of building a new ballet repertoire for modern Russia.
Boris Eifman, who has created more than 40 shows, defines his genre as ‘psychological ballet’. Through the language of dance the artist opens a dialogue with the viewer about the most complex and
emotional aspects of human existence: the search for the meaning of life, the conflict between the spiritual and the physical, and the perception of truth. Photos by eifmanballet.ru
EX - T.A.T.U. SINGER YULIA VOLKOVA:
BACK TO HER FUTURE by Olga Sokolova
“BACK TO HER FUTURE” SOUNDS LIKE A VERY PROMISING NAME FOR THE NEW TRACK FROM YULIA VOLKOVA OF THE ONCE WORLD FAMOUS RUSSIAN POP-BAND T.A.T.U. SHE HAS RETURNED TO THE EUROVISION CONTEST, WHICH HAS GIVEN HER A GOOD START FOR HER INTERNATIONAL SOLO CAREER. AFTER BEING OFF STAGE FOR A LONG TIME, YULIA IS NOW BACK IN THE CHARTS AND HOPES ONCE AGAIN TO BE AT THE TOP.
YV: We have thought of making a song together since 2009, but that period of my life was totally devoted to my family. Then we were both worried how our voices would sound together, but it turned out well. “Back to Her Future” is a very beautiful song, at the moment we are making a Russian version and also thinking of ideas for a video. We will shot the video in Los Angeles.
RM: So you are not upset that your song wasn’t chosen for Eurovision 2012? YV: Absolutely not. We will have another time for this (smiles). We just wanted to present our track to the audience, share it with people and as the voting showed, we were the best amongst the young generation (smiles). RM: What else does Yulia Volkova do these
RM: How does it feel to have a solo-project after being part of a duo for such a long time? Do you miss your time with t.A.T.u.? YV: No, right now I don’t miss anything and I am really enjoying everything happening to me. I am experimenting with my music, searching for a perfect style and taking part in many projects I am interested in. I am never alone on stage, I have a new band, who are great guys and a backingvocalist. RM: And now you have Dima Bilan joining you on stage. When and how did this idea happen? (Author: on the 7th March Yulia Volkova presented her new song “Back to Her Future” with famous Russian singer Dima Bilan as part of Russia’s representative contest for Eurovision 2012) 15
days as a soloPerson singer? YV: I prepare for my gigs, we are making a new programme, the biggest part of which still has t.A.T.u. songs. Our fans all over the world were waiting for me to return for such a long time, that I can’t wait to meet them all! I have several new tracks, now we are in the process of completing the programme.
RM: Returning to t.A.T.u. band, tell us why you are not in touch with your ex colleague Lena Katina? YV: I actually can’t explain it. I guess we were just too close to each other, like nearest and dearest people, so at some point we needed a break in communications to start our own way of life. I used to call Lena, but she was too busy to catch up, so I gave up. RM: So you are not interested in her solo
career? Her debut video didn’t touch you? (Author: In her first solo music video Lena Katina shot funeral scenes of the ex-t.A.T.u. members). YV: My friends and fans gave me different links and I checked them out. But I definitely don’t share Lena’s funereal moods. I personally would never be able to bury (sic) t.A.T.u. As for her solo-music, I do respect Lena for writing lyrics, but I didn’t hear anything outstanding from them, nothing exciting.
RM: If you were asked to take part in a one-off t.A.T.u. tour, would you do it? YV: I would wait to hear Lena’s reply on this matter after she ‘buried’ t.A.T.u. RM: OK, enough of sad topics. How does your music differ from the band’s style? YV: My first single “Sdvinu mir” (ENG: “Move the World”) is something akin to t.A.T.u. style, but it was made on purpose, just to remind the audience of who I am. In future I would like to do something completely different, something more serious and dramatic, telling my life experiences through songs. RM: Tell us about the other side of your life. What kind of mum are you? Strict? YV: I can’t say I am strict, I’m very modern. I discuss everything with my kids; I try to treat them like adults. Although I do have to be strict with them sometimes because they are kids, who at times need firmness. RM: Are they fighting and biting? YV: Yes, it happens (Smiles). They are so different. My daughter Vika has very boyish behaviour and my son Samir is more calm, quiet and intelligent. 16
RM: Do you think your kids will follow your example in their choice of career? YV: Actually Vika is more interested in sports right now. She takes piano classes, but not with the same passion as her tennis training. But I will encourage whatever they choose. RM: Will you respect their choice concerning everything? YV: I see where you are leading (Smiles). Yes, I will. I am bisexual, I used to have men and women, I still can go both ways (Smiles). We should never judge people for their sexual orientation, religion, nationality or discriminate anything which makes them happy. RM: Do you believe in destiny? YV: Yes, I do believe that destiny exists, but I do believe we are able to change it as well, as nothing falls from the sky, unless you work hard for it. RM: What would you like to wish your fans? YV: Live today and now, believe in love, everybody will find it one day. I love you all, can’t wait to see my European and worldwide fans. Thank you for waiting for me and supporting me, we will be together soon and I hope you will enjoy my music! Photographer: Ksenia Malina
he Frameless Gallery presents an exhibition room for an established Moscow artist Elena Davydova, who shows to the public fifty new works created in London over the last few years. Elena Davydova’s paintings are a fusion of nature, poetry, music, harmony and light. In the modern world where contemporary art is full of sharks
swimming in ink and ripped-up human bodies, her art represents simple but eternal values. She has a unique view of the world, an ability to see magic in everyday things. This truly amazing childlike perspective inspires spectators and gives them the feeling of joy and tranquility. The main feature of Elena`s method is that she paints only on site, so as to absorb the smells, sounds
and the atmosphere of the surrounding place. Also she does not use black paint at all. Elena`s painting has inspired a Russian society of gardeners from Russian Florestic Collection to composers of poetry. People started creating haiku, rhymes and poems even if they had never done that before! Guests of the exhibition also will have a chance to practice
their creativity and compose their own rhyme on Elena’s favourite paintings. Elena Davydova’s exhibition takes place on 23-28 April at the Frameless Gallery Address: 20 Clerkenwell Green, London EC1R 0DP Entry is free eleonarch.com, framelessgallery.com
Have to Know
EASTER TRADITIONS EASTER IN RUSSIA IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT RUSSIAN HOLIDAYS. THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH CELEBRATES EASTER ACCORDING TO THE ORTHODOX CALENDAR AND THIS YEAR IT FALLS ON 15TH APRIL. LIKE MANY COUNTRIES IN EASTERN EUROPE, RUSSIANS CELEBRATE EASTER WITH DECORATED EGGS, SPECIAL FOODS AND CUSTOMS.
The Russian Easter egg tradition dates back to preChristian times when people saw eggs as fertility symbols and as devices for protection. Sometimes the food is blessed by the church before being eaten. Other traditions accompany the consumption of Russian Easter foods. Eggs may be cracked with nails as a reminder of Christ. Additionally, one egg may be cut into pieces - one piece for each family member at the Easter table.
Russians celebrate Easter with an Easter breakfast or Easter meal. Russian Easter foods include kulich (Russian Easter bread), paskha (a dish made from cheese and other ingredients, usually formed in the shape of a pyramid), eggs, and other foods. The Russian Easter service is even attended by those families that do not regularly go to church. The Russian Easter service is held on Saturday evening. Midnight serves as the high point of the service, at which point the bells are rung and the priest says, "Christ has risen!" The congregation replies with, "He has truly risen!"
Have to Do
TO DO THIS EASTER MAKE THE MOST OF THE LONG WEEKEND, 6-9 APRIL 2012, WITH IDEAS FOR GREAT LONDON ACTIVITIES. THE BOAT RACE 2012 7 Apr Around town The traditional rowing race between Oxford and Cambridge University began in 1829 and now attracts around 250,000 spectators every year. The four-and-a-quarter mile course runs along the Thames from Putney Bridge to Mortlake and takes around 16 to 18 minutes (Cambridge holds the course record of 16 minutes 19 seconds, set in 1998). In addition to vantage points along the Thames, you can watch the action on big screens in Bishops Park, SW6, and in Furnivall Gardens, W6, as part of 'Boat Race in the Park' family-friendly events (noon-6pm). The Boat Race website has detailed information for spectators, including a section on walking the course. theboatrace.org ANIMAL INSIDE OUT 6 Apr â€“ 16 Sep Natural History Museum An exhibition by the team behind Gunther von Hagens's 'Body Worlds', examines the biology, anatomy and physiology of animals. Around 100 plastinates and capillary specimens - including giraffes, octopuses and ostriches - are on display in a show that illustrates how anatomy is crucial to discovering more about the evolution of animals and the natural world. nhm.ac.uk BRITISH DESIGN 1948-2012: INNOVATION IN THE MODERN AGE 31 March â€“ 12 August V&A The V&A is showing British innovation in this major survey of post war design by individuals born, trained or working in the UK. Selected from the V&A's extensive collections across fashion, furniture, fine art, graphics, photography, ceramics, architecture and industrial products, this exhibition highlights the great in Great Britain by exploring the leading status of British goods in the modern world through the creativity of designers including Paul Smith, Norman Foster and others. The displays include classics such as Robin Day's Polyprop chairs, a Mary Quant mini dress, a model of Concorde, a Moulton bicycle and a Mini. Bringing the show up to date are the likes of a model of Zaha Hadid's Aquatics Centre for the London 2012 Olympic Games. vam.ac.uk 21
DESIRE TO LEARN:
AT ST ANDREWS UNIVERSITY
s it turned out British students are interested in Russia. This April University of St Andrews is holding the “Russia Week” that provides a vivid display of Russian culture. The initiative to organise an event belongs to the University's Russian Society and includes lectures, exhibitions and workshops devoted to art, music, literature and current affairs. In
order to grab as much audience’s attention, students brought together a truly A-List line-up: Bridget Kendall, BBC woman in Moscow for the Fall of the Soviet Union; Andrew GrahamDixon, presenter of BBC2 ‘The Culture Show’; George Carey, mastermind behind intelligent and investigative TV programming; Teresa Cherfas, documentary producer for TV and radio shows 22
that focused on Russia and former Soviet countries and Angus Roxburgh, BBC journalist, who worked on a second series about Russia, titled ‘Putin, Russia and the West’. The week will open with folk singing and piano recitals and will be followed by three art exhibitions: the experimental world of Russian theatre, racial diversity in Siberia and
Iconography and Byzantium. These exhibitions represent important aspects of Russia, such as love of high culture, fascinating anthropology and deep roots in solemn faith and Orthodoxy. There will also be a workshop on painting icons and their central role in the History of Russian art. With the current news flurry around Russia, the centre piece of the event will be devoted to current affairs. Apart from debates lead by BBC correspondents, there will be a visual insight into the huge gap which exists between Moscow's political elite and the rest of Russians. For Rebecca Emerick, the final year student at St Andrews “Russia Week” is her brainchild. As the event approaches she told RussianMind about her feeling towards Russia: “Before my year abroad which I spent in Petrozavodsk and Yaroslavl I was warned by many people how lawless and hostile Russia is. It is true that Western norms like Customer Service personnel, smiling all the time, for the sake of it, seems absurd in a country where circumstances are so extreme”. “Russian poet Fyodor Tyutchev’s once said that ‘Russia cannot be understood by the
RUSSIA’S JOURNEY BY INESSA SAFRONOVA. 2006
mind’. The same is perhaps true of any culture far removed from one’s own but perhaps Russia will always remain the greatest of enigmas to foreign onlookers. Talking to Russian friends who are proud of their culture, I am constantly told that the answers to the riddle lie in their unique spiritual path, and if I want to understand people, I should study the Russian Orthodox Faith more. The topic I find very
intriguing is the raw honesty involved in deep introspection and sincere reflection upon altruism and self-sacrifice. It’s just that people are well aware of the grim modern reality, of the mass emigration and murky politics”. “I want to tell people about many things such as the Soviet emphasis on culture, the efforts they made with internal propaganda, films like ‘Seventeen Moment of Spring’ which brought together the best Soviet actors, music and screenwriting in order to create a positive image of the archetypal KGB agent. I want people to understand the importance of sporting prestige and how traumatic it was for the nation when the Soviet power fell and all the funding disappeared. I want Europeans to have a better grasp on what the shattering of ‘an ideal nation’ feels like”. “Russia Week” is held from 19 to 22 April at St Andrews University. Additional information: st-andrews.ac.uk/~russianweek
A STUDY IN GREEN OR MEET BASHKIRIA by Olga Lesyk THE REPUBLIC OF BASHKORTOSTAN IS RIGHTLY CALLED THE PEARL OF THE SOUTHERN URALS. IT SPREADS ITS MELLOW LANDS BETWEEN THE RIVER VOLGA IN THE WEST AND THE URAL MOUNTAINS IN THE SOUTH. SPORTS, WELL-BEING AND OUTDOOR ADVENTURE ARE THE THREE PILLARS OF BASHKIRIA’S TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY. TODAY OLGA LESYK, AIDED BY A LOCAL PERSON, WILL HIT THE HIGH SPOTS OF THIS MULTICULTURAL REGION FAMOUS FOR ITS RECREATIONAL RESOURCES.
ashkiria may not be among the world’s top destinations. In fact, the ‘republic’ bit can be confusing, if not misleading, to an unsuspecting 1
traveller. Yet it is part of the Russian Federation. Quite symbolically, my today’s ‘friendly local guide’ has a beautiful, typically Bashkir name – Guzel. ‘Bashkiria’s tourist appeal is self-evident’, says Guzel Abdeeva, a private English language tutor from Bashkiria’s capital city of Ufa. ‘On the landscape front, 300 coves, 600 brooks, 800 lakes, steppe, valleys and hills – all constitute three wildlife reserves and a national park. History and geology fans will be delighted to see the Palaeolithic drawings on the walls of Shulgan Tash cave, dating back more than 12,000 years. Some of Bashkiria’s historical monuments and archaeological findings were once competing to be on the list of Russia’s Seven Wonders1. Among these were: Shulgan Tash cave, mount ridge Iremel
(home to the local wild hive bees nicknamed Burzyanka, after a district within Bashkiria) and a gold nugget Irendyk Bear. Its shape does resemble a bear! The nugget is considered a national treasure of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Bashkortostan and is kept in the National Bank RB. But what makes Bashkiria one of Russia’s top destinations is its mild climate and a wide range of health resorts. Today, one can choose from thirty-one health centres each offering their beneficial treatments with medicinal waters, therapeutic mud, phototherapy, kumistherapy (‘kumis’ being fermented mare’s milk) etc. The ones I would recommend are Tanip (Танып), Assy (Ассы) and Yangan Tau (Тянган Тау)’.
- www.englishrussia.com/2009/11/08/russia%E2%80%99s-seven-wonders 24
Information & Links Time zone: GMT +6 More on travel in Bashkiria: iguide.travel/Bashkortostan www.yantau.ru/en 25
Measure for Measure 24-25 April
Read Russia! 16-18 April Read Russia is the name of the 2012 official Russian stand at the LBF. Sponsored by the Federal Agency for Press and Mass Communication under the direction of Vladimir Grigoriev and organised by Academia Rossica, the stand represents the key Russian publishers. Read Russia is also a new initiative for the international promotion of Russian writing. It includes the availability of translation grants, holds annual translation prizes and offers grants for visiting the Moscow International Book Fair. Tickets: £30 Address: Earls Court Exhibition Centre, Warwick Road, London SW5 9TA Contacts: londonbookfair.co.uk academia-rossica.org
Vakhtangov’s Theatre production of Measure for Measure play is part of Globe to Globe - all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays in 37 different languages in a kaleidoscopic, six week festival at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. The Vakhtangov Theatre, on the Arbat, is at the heart of Moscow both geographically and theatrically. From humble beginnings in 1913, this company, which began in basements and front rooms, grew to inhabit one of Moscow’s most beautiful theatres. Always following the twin influences of Meyerhold and Stanislavsky, of spectacle and psychological truth, it has created many of Russia’s most respected productions. This is their first visit to the UK.
Anastasia Until 21 Apr This hugely successful, sell-out play which captivated Russian and English speaking audiences alike in 2009/2010 returns for a strictly limited run this Easter. See it now before it tours in Russia in 2013 as part of the Romanov 400th anniversary celebrations. The whole first floor of Pushkin House will become the setting of this honest and beautiful exploration of the suffering, loss and also hope not only of a royal family but an entire Russian generation.
Tickets: £5-£35 Address: Shakespeare's Globe, 21 New Globe Walk, Bankside, London SE1 9DT Contacts: 020 7401 9919, globetoglobe. shakespearesglobe.com
Tickets: £15 Address: Pushkin House, 5A Bloomsbury Square, London WC1A 2TA Contacts: 020 7269 9770, pushkinhouse.org, walkingthoughts.co.uk 26
Santigold 26 Apr The return of Brooklynbased Santi White has finally come and we couldn't be more excited. The thrilling, genrespanning electro-dub of her 2008 debut LP 'Santogold', won her a loyal fan base (who'll no doubt be snapping up these tickets fast) and four years on - with a slight change in name - she's finally ready to release her followup album, 'Master of My Make-Believe', with plenty of African drumming on her funky off-kilter cuts. Tickets: £17.50 Address: Heaven, Under The Arches, off Villiers St, WC2N 6NG Contacts: 020 7930 2020
All About Eve: The Photography of Eve Arnold Until 27 Apr There's an underlying sadness to this show of 100 photographs by Magnum photographer Eve Arnold - she died in January this year, two months before the exhibition’s opening and three months before her 100th birthday. But, quite rightly, this is still more of a celebratory showcase of her work than a memorial. Arnold's best known images are her portraits of Marilyn Monroe, seen in more unguarded moments. And there's a good selection of those here - looking pensive on the set of 'The Misfits' in 1960, having her hair brushed and coiffed on a plane as she is transformed into her public persona. But whether she was photographing the harsh working and living conditions of black migrant workers on Long Island in 1951, or creating an unexpectedly domestic double portrait of a 16-yearold Angelica Huston with her father John. Arnold's ability was in revealing a more human and often more complex picture of her subjects than almost any other photographer. Tickets: Free Address: Art Sensus, 7 Howick Place, London SW1P 1BB Contacts: 020 7630 9585, artsensus.com
The King's Speech Until 21 Jul London Coffee Festival 2012 27-29 Apr
Kudos to Kusama, during her prolific 80plus years on this earth, she has breached the divides between East and West, male and female, darkness and light, insider and outsider. Still painting obsessively every day in her native Japan, she has been influential for artists the world over, especially so during her long stint in New York from 1958 to 1973, where this major retrospective (also visiting the Reina SofÌa, the Centre Pompidou and the Whitney) really excels.
David Seidler actually wrote a stage play version of the story of stammerin' King George some years before his screenplay for 'The King's Speech' was filmed - a revised version even had a reading at the Pleasance Theatre in 2005. The enormous success of the film has made the play's eventual staging inevitable, though, and here it is, settling into the West End after the glowing reviews of its’ regional tour. Adrian Noble directs the production, which stars Charles Edwards as the King and Jonathan Hyde as his speech therapist Lionel Logue.
Tickets: £11; £9.50 concs Address: Tate Modern, Bankside, London SE1 9TG Contacts: 020 7887 8888, tate.org.uk
Tickets: £10-£52.50 Address: Wyndham's Theatre, Charing Cross Rd, WC2H 0DA Contacts: 020 7907 7071, delfontmackintosh.co.uk
Yayoi Kusama Until 5 Jun
This festival celebrates London's coffee culture, with artisanal coffee for sale and barista demonstrations taking place in zones dedicated to the art and science of coffee production, as well as treats for foodies. The festival is a flagship event of UK Coffee Week (www.ukcoffeeweek. com) which takes place nationwide between April 23-29 and features events in aid of Project Waterfall, which delivers clean water projects in Tanzania. Tickets: £9.50 in advance; £12.50 on the door Address: Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, London E1 6QL Contacts: 020 7691 8800, londoncoffeefestival.com 27
THE DEVIL'S IN THE DETAIL By Alice Watt & Kat Webster
Have a look at the finer details that hold the key to a brilliantly put together look. It doesn’t matter if your accessories are old or new, in or out, it’s what you do with them that counts.
These beautiful street style images show the power of styling. Bags can be toned to match with outfits or deliberately clash, tights and socks can whisper or shout but they undeniably make any outfit
stand out. Whatever your style, take a master-class at home by flicking through this gallery of our favourite detailed shots… Supported by elleuk.com
Andrei Garbuzov (with skull cap) tries to keep the ball for his team
Mikhail Babaev has been tackled by two players from the Georgian team
RUGGER: UPS & DOWNS Russian Valery Tsnobiladze, being more agile than the Romanian players, prepares to catch the ball
Nikita Medkovâ€™s (with ball) breakthrough in the match against Romania
Russians Alexander Yanyushkin (left) and Anton Ryabov cannot stop Georgian Mamuka Gorgodze scoring a try 30
Kirill Kulemin (with ball) is surrounded by team mates and opponent
THE RUSSIAN NATIONAL RUGBY UNION TEAM PLAYED FOUR GAMES IN THE EUROPEAN NATIONS CUP TOURNAMENT IN 2012. KINGSLEY JONES’ TEAM PLAYED ERRATICALLY, ALTERNATING VICTORIES AND DEFEATS. RUSSIAN WON THEIR MATCHES AGAINST UKRAINE AND PORTUGAL, BUT LOST TO ROMANIA AND GEORGIA. Russian striker Andrei Igretsov (left) is ready for the battle
Georgia-Russia: it was a real battle!