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Entertainment beyond hockey

Minsk plans to entertain ice hockey fans not only with sporting events but with a retrospective of Belarusian avant-garde art from the last century and with museums staying open until midnight
By Lyudmila Minakova

Minsk plans to entertain ice hockey fans not only with sporting events but with a retrospective of Belarusian avant-garde art from the last century and with museums staying open until midnight. In addition, Malevich’s Black Square will transform into a puck during the opening ceremony.

Open air show and pictures on fences

One key cultural event during the ice hockey tournament is an exhibition of modern fine arts, entitled Avant-gARTe: From Square to Object. Manager Natalia Sharangovich tells us that the show is to feature pictures from the National Art Museum, the Contemporary Fine Arts Museum, Vitebsk’s Centre of Modern Art and private collections, across three venues.

BelExpo National Exhibition Centre, in Pobediteley Avenue, is to display pictures by Belarusian avant-garde artists from the last decade. In turn, the Contemporary Fine Arts Museum is to host a project entitled A Hundred Years of Avant-garde, devoted to such 20th century neo-conformist painters as Marc Chagall, Aleksanteri Ahola-Valo, Nadia Khodossievitch-Lйger, Fernand Lйger and Lyudmila Rusova.

Another part of the show is being exhibited in the open air: in Yakub Kolas Square. Reproductions of 16 pictures by modern Belarusian pictorial and graphic artists are being displayed for 24 hours. Those at BelExpo and the Modern Fine Arts Museum will be on show daily, from 11am to 9pm, throughout the World Ice Hockey Championship.

Minsk’s theatres, artistic unions and the Philharmonic Orchestra have prepared special programmes for the entertainment of all during the forthcoming event. In particular, the Belarusian Union of Artists will launch its Arena-Belart sport-themed exhibition at the Palace of Arts (running from April 30th until May 15th). Uniting around a thousand works by Belarusian artists, the grand event aims to promote a wider appreciation of domestic art. Around 100 reproductions from the Belarus’ Heritage photo-album, by journalists Alexander Alexeev and Oleg Lukashevich, are to be placed on the railings around Chelyuskintsev Park, providing another venue for public admiration.

Ballet, break-dance and folk...

Minsk’s City Executive Committee has announced three hospitality zones during the Ice Hockey World Championship: near the Palace of Sports, outside Minsk’s Ice Palace and around the Student Village. Each will boast a selection of cultural-entertainment events and there will be a handicrafts town near the Palace of Arts — gathering over a hundred of Belarus’ most skilled craftsmen. A roofed stage is being installed, to host entertainment from 10am to 3am, on the championship’s opening day, and during the finals and semi-finals. On the remaining days, retro-hits, jazz and folk songs are to be performed there from 10am to midnight.

Entertainment at the Student Village will mostly be aimed at youngsters, featuring popular bands and solo artists, from midday to 5pm. Belarusian, Russian and European songs and dance are on the programme, including performances by Nerush and Gastinets folk bands, the Youth Pop Theatre’s ballet and the Belarusian national break-dance team. Meanwhile, the leading Belarusian cover-bands and DJs are to entertain Village guests from 5pm to 3am.

Those coming to Minsk’s Ice Palace will be able to watch Pesnyary, Chisty Golos and Tyani-Tolkay (all vocal bands) in addition to the wonderful Khoroshki folk dance group, Sonorus Capella and other performers.

Opening of the exhibition from series Artist and City

Short ceremony

The Ice Hockey World Championship’s opening ceremony, on May 9th, is only permitted to last 15 minutes, so dancing and singing will take place on stage (close to the ice arena) during the ice hockey players’ ‘warm up’.

The opening ceremony is to start at 8.30pm, with a 3D installation. Chief Director Vyacheslav Panin’s idea is to show works by Marc Chagall and Kazimir Malevich, with the latter’s Black Square transforming into a black puck flying across Belarus, showing our country’s cultural and historical sights. Afterwards, a map of Belarus will appear, with the image expanding to encompass the state flags of all participating nations.

The championship’s mascot — Volat — will then enter the arena, carrying a Belarusian flag, to the accompaniment of Nikolay Gusovsky’s Song of the Auroch. Afterwards, 16 pairs of ice hockey players are to enter, representing the participating teams: a ‘red’ player (as seen on the championship’s logo) will carry a plaque bearing the name of his country, while one dressed in national uniform will carry their state flag. After the Belarusian anthem is performed, the presidents of the Belarusian Ice Hockey Federation and the International Ice Hockey Federation are to deliver welcome speeches.

Though the opening ceremony is short, it is certain to leave an admirable impression and heighten anticipation for the tournament ahead.
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