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GogolFest is an international contemporary theater, art and music festival which has become a regular event in Kyivs cultural life. This September it was held for the fourth time.


This years program of GogolFest included exhibitions of paintings, art installations, electro-acoustic and academic music, theatrical and movie shows. Modern dance shows, prose and poetry recitals, training workshops, seminars and master classes were among the GogolFest events.

The GogolFest Festival was originally launched by the Contemporary Art Center Dakh and by the Culture and Art Complex Mystetsky Arsenal in the fall of 2007. The idea to launch such an international multidisciplinary festival at which various arts would be represented belongs to Vladyslav Troyitsky, theater and artistic director and producer of the Dakh Center.

It is the name of the nineteenth-century Ukrainian-born Russian writer Mykola (Nikolai) Gogol, some of whose stories are full of magic and bizarre happenings, that has been borrowed for the name of the festival. The first festival was also inspired by certain philosophical and cultural Gogols ideas. It involved the Ukrainian artistic elite, inspired by Gogol, who aimed at promoting by their art a rediscovery of the enigmatic, mystical Ukraine.

The year 2009 marked the 200th Anniversary of Gogols birthday and the festival joined in the anniversary celebrations. The Gogol-anniversary GogolFest Festivals were also held in the Russian cities of Perm and Saint Petersburg. As a matter fact, some of the GogolFest events that were paying tribute to Gogol, were held throughout the year.

This year, the festival opened with a grand show at Maydan Nezalezhnosti, the central square of Kyiv. The troupes of the well-known Spanish Theater La Fura dels Baus and the Dakh Theater were among the performers. The audience numbered about 50,000 people but thanks to the televised broadcast at least 400,000 actually watched the show.

The venue of the festival events that followed was the Dovzhenko Film Studio in Kyiv. Another hundred thousand people watched the theatrical shows, films and concerts, and attended the seminars and workshops. The Art-Squat section housed ten resident artists who presented a series of lectures, shows and presentations.

Altogether, about 800 participants from almost twenty countries took part in the festival.

The organizers of the festival are planning to establish a modern art training center which will provide training in the performing and visual arts and present shows and art created at the center. Such a center could become a platform for further GogolFest festivals. The presentation of the modern art training center project is planned for the end of this year.

GogolFest primarily targets young people but of course everybody is welcome. GogolFest aims at creating a relaxed atmosphere, free from the pomp of the official government-sponsored events, in which the people attending the GogolFest events would feel themselves involved in unfettered creativity.























Photos have been provided by the GogolFest Organizers


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