Soul flies on stage and in reality

Major cultural festival — IFMC — closes in Vitebsk

Major cultural festival — IFMC — closes in Vitebsk

There have been full houses and the festival has received praise from professional circles, who are calling it a ‘top level event’, attracting guests from as far away as Mexico (the Moving Borders group, staging To Us). Vitebsk and Mexico are separated by thousands of kilometres but the language of modern dance knows no borders. Yasil Neri’s choreography entertained the audience and, after the show, half of the audience stayed on to chat with the troupe’s four dancers (the best in their country); they gave autographs and posed for photos with their new fans, promising to return to Vitebsk some other time.

Famous dance groups from nine countries present performances at the festival

Meanwhile, Stravinsky fans were impressed with Sacred Spring, staged by the Moscow Ballet, in Vitebsk and Minsk.

Unlike their Mexican counterparts, our dancers were more reserved.

The National IFMC-2015 Festival’s first place award went to Minsk’s Sabina Munasypova, aged 22. The student danced the Ballad of the Mother (choreographed by Dementiev and Martynov). Its well-known lyrics on Alexey, Aleshenka — the Son are known for being emotional and Sabina’s dancing mesmerised those present. The co-chair of the jury, Radu Poklitaru, admitted that even he was moved to tears.

Sabina accepted her award with dignity, commenting, “I understand that this award is a generous pre-payment. I’ve not achieved much yet as a dancer; these are my first steps. I didn’t expect to be so well received.  My staging is an interpretation of the song, which I don’t usually do, as playing with associations is always more interesting to me. However, I could hardly neglect this composition.”

Vitebsk’s Folk Studio-Theatre of Modern Choreography, led by Diana Yurchenko, took second place for Seasons. Ballet dancers Sergey Tolkach and Marina Kushnereva were truly impressive, as Ms. Yurchenko underlines, saying, “The staging has many layers. I’d been thinking about this idea for a long time and I’m pleased to say we realised it for the IFMC.”

Diana was the only veteran prize holder at the festival, as mostly young choreographers took part. Third place went to Minsk’s Altana Dance Theatre — previously largely unknown. Its geometrically strong Gravitation was performed at the highest possible level, interpreting the cosmic theme, to the audience’s delight.

Evidently, young people are inspired by modern dance, which is open to all ages, enabling freedom of expression, as famous Yevgeny Panfilov was known for. The master’s 60th birthday was widely celebrated during the festival.

By Victoria Popova
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