Russian Maslenitsa in London 2014 – the Cultural Splash

Olga Kudriavtseva's picture
Russian Maslenitsa in London 2014 – the Cultural Splash

Maslenitsa, the Russian Sun Festival has long ago become an integral and very important part of London’s cultural life. It has been supported not only by the Russian speaking community in the UK, but also by British people together with the Mayor of London Boris Johnson who is learning more and more Russian words for his official video address to Maslenitsa lovers.

For the past six years Maslenitsa has turned into a massive week-long festival in various locations across London with a final concert in Trafalgar Square. Every year it seems that the festival cannot get better, but every next year, the organisers’ of the Festival, London-based company Ensemble Productions proves that impossible is possible! This year’s celebration was devoted to the UK-Russia Year of Culture and turned into a pure cultural extravaganza.

It all started with the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra performance in the Royal Albert Hall to mark the beginning of Maslenitsa and the official start of the cross cultural year. The music concert was followed by two very interesting theatre performances - ‘Crystal World’ written by Victor Pelevin and staged by the talented group Le Cirque de Charles La Tannes at the Tabernacle Theatre and a Theatrical Storytelling Event ‘The Princess Frog’.

Afterwards admirers of  Russian cuisine were invited to the famous Russian restaurant Mari Vanna for a culinary event and those appreciating Russian art had a chance to visit the exhibition ‘Red Gift’ at the Erarta gallery.

Russian cinema was represented by a retrospective of the prize winning Russian documentary and animated film from The Internal Festival of Documentary Films ‘Message 2 Man’ in Mayfair Hotel and the Oxford and Cambridge Club opened its doors to a Round Table Discussion ‘Cultural Heritage of the Russian Philanthropists’.

Later on 1 March, the organisers of the Maslenitsa Festival – Ensemble Productions welcomed guests in the magnificent Guildhall to celebrate the cross-cultural communications of Russia and the UK. Light, candles, gothic interiors, an exquisite meal, distinguished guest performances and inspiring speeches ensured an incredible atmosphere for the evening.

The apotheosis of the cultural splash was the concert in Trafalgar Square on 2 March. The programme included famous Russian stars such as Dina Garipova, Lube Band, Moscow Music Hall, Dima Bilan, DJ Boyara, Cossack Ensemble “Sacma”, Liudmila Nikolaeva and many others.

The celebration of Russian culture in the UK succeeded in all ways, giving an excellent start for the coming events of the cross cultural year.