Serge Lifar International Ballet Contest
Serge Lifar International Ballet Contest named after Serge Lifar was held in Kyiv October 10 through October 16. The National Shevchenko Opera House was the venue of the ballet festival. The jury as headed by Yuriy Hryhorovych, president of the International Union of Choreographers and of the Committee of dance at the UNESCO International Institute of Theatre. He also headed the two previous Serge Lifar Contest juries in 1994 and 1996. Yuriy Hryhorovych as the ballet master of the Bolshoi Theatre ballet troupe for thirty years. He know Lifar personally.


The Grand Prix statuette, sculptor Anatoliy Valiyev.
Serge Lifar, born April 2, 1905, in Kyiv (died Desember 15, 1986, Lausanne, Switzerland), was a French dancer, choreographer, and ballet master (1929-45, 1947-58) of the Paris Opera Ballet who enriched its repertoire, reestablished its reputation as a leading ballet company, and enhanced the position of male dancers in a company long dominated by ballerinas. Maurice Bejart, during his recent visit to Kyiv, spoke of Lifar's role in revolutionizing world ballet.
The Serge Lifar Ballet Contest in Kyiv is ranked high among other prestige ballet contests. In fact, it is a contest of both ballet dancers and ballet masters, which is a unique feature of Lifar contest. It reflects two sides of Lifar himself, a premier dancer and ballet master. At the two previous contests several bright ballet talents were "discovered" and now they world ballet troups: Iryna Dvorovenko (works in the USA); Oleksiy Ratmansky (works in Denmark); Anastasiya Volochkova (works in Russia); Ivan Putov (works in England). This year 68 dancers and 12 choreographers from 10 countries took part in the three-round contest.
The main struggle, if it is an appropriate word to use as applied to a ballet contest, was among three ballet schools: the Russian, Belorussian and Ukrainian ones. Choreographers tended to experiment and part with the established traditions, and dancers, the other way round, evidently preferred more traditional parts in order to better demonstrate the excellence of their dancing techniques. The bronze medal went to Sandrin Mulbauer from Austria and to Nabukhiro Terada from Japan. The third prize in the choreographers' contest was awarded to Serhiy Bondur, Ukraine, for Shaman and Shiva, and to Rad Poliktar, Belarus, for Whither Art Thou Going to the music of Sofia Hubaydulina.
Yulia Dyatko and Kostyantyn Kuznetsov, soloists of the Minsk Ballet, were the gold prizewinners, who danced in this "ballet-parade", as it was dubbed by journalists. Nadiya Honchar and Yevhen Kolesnyk, Ukraine, were another pair of dancers awarded the gold medals. The Grand Prix was given to Natalia Kalinichenko, Russia (at present, she is a soloist with the National Opera of Ukraine). Viktor Ishchuk, 16,showed great artistry in dancing Tarantella.
No first prize was awarded to any of the choreographers.
The final concert of the laureates was a great success with the audience. It opened with several scenes from the future premiere The Vikings which is to be staged by the National Opera and Ballet Theatre at the request of the Scandinavian countries. The dancers, inspired by a very warm reception, did their best to show their brilliant talent and grace and did it so well that one could not imagine there had been very hard days of the exhausting contest behind. The dancers' teachers joined the audience in thunderous applause.


Olexandr Zlotnyk, President of the Slovyansky Bazar International Festival.


Valentyna Ponomaryova, a versatile singer.

Slovyansky Bazar Festival.
This festival was launched ten years ago, and was held then in the town of Vitebsk, Belarus. Now, for the first time, the venue of the festival was Kyiv. In these ten years that have passed, 11 thousand performers from 40 countries have taken part in the successive festivals. From now on the Slovyansky Bazar ("Slavic Bazaar"), Festival will be held in Ukraine only (the right to organize these festivals has been given to the Slovyansky Bazar International Corporation, headed by Olexandr Zlotnyk, prominent Ukrainian composer).

This year in Kyiv, which was once referred to as "the mother of all Slavic towns" by an ancient chronicler, the Festival (October 11 through October 19) has brought together performers from 21 countries.
Performers from 12 countries took part in the Festival's central event, a pop song contes. In about half of the previous pop song contests within the framework of the Slovyansky Bazar Festival, Ukrainian singers won the top prizes. 4 performers represented Ukraine this time. The Grand Prix used to be called Piven ("Rooster"), now has been renamed Boyan (after a legendary bard, a Slavic Orpheus). The statuette of the prize has been designed by sculptor Anatoliy Valiyev. Apart from the performers, the Festival was attendee by representatives of other popular festivals (Voice of Asia, Kasakhstan; Gold Orpheus, Bulgaria; Sopot, Poland, and others). They were part of the jury. The Slovyansky Bazar Festival is a member of the FIDOF International Federation of Festival Organizations (Cannes, France).


Larysa Kadochnikova, head of the Stozhary Festival jury and Nina Ilyina, Stozhary director general.
The main sponsor was the Ukrtatnafta company. The prize fund amounted to 22 thousand dollars. Many events were held within the framework of the Festival: Ballads and Romances shows; Humour Stories shows; Jazz Virtuoso shows. Valentyna Ponomaryova enthralled the jazz-lovers' audience with has a very wide spectrum. She can perform anything from gypsy songs to the most difficult parts of what is called "alternative music". Oleksiy Kozlov, a saxophonist, was one of the stars of jazz concerts.
Among the events of the Festival one could also see several art exhibitions: Ukrainian Icon an Portrait Painting of the 16th-17th Centuries; modern art exhibitions.
Fashion shows were also part of the Festival. Quite unexpectedly, this year's grand Prix went not to a Ukrainian performer as was widely expected, but to Manana Dzhaparidze, 20, from Azerbaijan. Though the Slovyansky Bazar Festival did not become the top artistic event of this fall - probably, because there were many other exiting artistic events held at about the same time - the audiences were grateful for the abundance of talent shown. One of the best moments of the final concert was the performance of a Ukrainian song by four girls from Holland. Not a trace of accent could be though the Dutch girls did not speak Ukrainian at all, they just learnt the words to perfection.

Stozhary
Film Actors Festival
The third International Stozhary Festival of Film Actors was held in Kyiv October 11 through 17. Says Nina Ilyna, president of the Festival: "This festival of movie actors is an exiting artistic event, a wonderful occasion attended by talented people with open minds and eager hearts from many countries. It is a sort of a homely event, and at the same time of inspiration and hope."
At the Stozhary Festival it is the acting of individual actors rather than the entire films that were assessed. The jury, made up if actors, was headed by Larysa Kadochnikova, a leading Ukrainian actress, representative of what is called "poetic cinema". "If there is a god in art, than it's inspiration. It's especially true of talented acting in films," said Mrs Kadochnikova.
There was also a separate jury, made up of film critics and headed by Yanush Gazda, Poland. "Such festivals are a wonderful chance for the actors of different acting schools and from different countries to come together and socialize both on the professional and purely on the human levels," said he.

Agneshka Vlodarcik, Poland, prize for the best non-professional actress (film Sara).
The seven days that the Festival lasted were packed with official and unofficial meetings, cocktail parties, round table discussions, and, of course, film shows. A round table discussion, Eurasia - Borderline of Cultures, brought together actors and film critics from Georgia, Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Russia.
Kira Muratova's Letter to America documentary was noted for its non-traditional approach. Halyna Bokashevska from St Petersburg for her role in Totalitarian Novel was awarded the Grand Prix; Zurab Bagalishvili, a Georgian, for his role in Here's the Morning, and Yuriy Dubrovin, a Ukrainian, for his part in The Suburb, won the Grand Prix for thr best male performance. The film Black Cat, White Cat, directed by Emir Kusturusya from Yugoslavia, collected more prizes than other films for supporting roles and the soundtrack. The Yugoslav films were both the greatest critical and popular success.
The next festival is planned for the year 2001.



Belorussian animators congradulate the Krok Festival with its tenth anniversary.


Krok
Animated Cartoons Festival.
Krok ("Step") is one of the top five prestigious festivals of the world animated cartoons festivals (of which there are thirty held each year).
The first Krok was held ten years ago and that time only Russian and Ukrainian films were represented. Even in the Soviet times, both Ukraine and Russia had well-developed cartoon films industries. The post-Soviet times turned out to be very hard on cartoon makers. A lot of efforts were put in "animated of animation" and it seems that good results have been achieved.
Starting from 1991, the Krok Festival has turned international. Cartoons from 22 countries have been shown at the Krok festivals.

This year it was held for the sixth time. The unusual feature of this festival is that it is held aboard a big ship. This time it was Marshal Koshovy luxury river and sea liner. It travelled down the Dnipro River all the way to the Black Sea, to Sevastopol and back. The programme included shows of new cartoon films, thematic shows, round table discussions. The jury was made up of representatives of Ukraine, Russia, Holland, USA, Czech Republic and Israel. Films from 32 countries where animation has a long history and is well-developed. The jury, headed by Andriy Kurkov, a Ukrainian writer, awarded the Grand Prix to Alexander Petrov's The Old Man and the Sea (joint production of Canada, Japan and Russia). Petrov was its director, art director and screenplay writer.
Special thanks for the photographs to the pess centre of the 6th International Krok Festival.

Alexander Petrov, the Grand Prix winner (film The Old Man and the Sea).
Tenth MusicFest
The past few years were not the best time for the development of culture in the post-Soviet states. The situation seems to have begun to change for the better. The MusicFest Festival, held in Kyiv for the tenth time this fall, was hopefully an evidence of an imminent revival. Most of the music played within the framework of the festival, the number of participants, number of countries represented, and variety of music trends have considerably increased. The music performed ranged from religious singing, jazz to modern classics appealing to intellectuals. There was even a brass orchestra playing pop songs!
But avant-garde music predominated this time, mostly of Ukrainian composers and those from the countries of the former Soviet Union.


Molodist Festival
The most prestigious Ukrainian film festival was held in Kyiv October 23 through 31. The films from 38 countries competed in four categories: students' films; short films, full-length films; documentaries. Altogether 90 films wee shown. The Festival opened with a show of a new Polish film, With a Sword and Fire, in which besides Polish, many Ukrainian actors played.

Jerzy Hoffman, the film director, presented his film to the Ukrainian audience himself. Later, he conducted several classes at the Cinema Department of the Kyiv Institute of Theatrical arts. In addition to the films shown within the contest, Kyiv film lovers could see films of such directors as Paradzhanov, Hichcock, Gasman, Kalyuta, several documentaries (Ukraine Through the Eyes of Foreigners). Kira Muratova showed her Letter to America, and Yuriy Illenko demonstrated his masterful photography in Ave Maria, a film directed by Lyudmyla Yefymenko, and only recently released. In addition to the usual jury, which this year as headed by Jos Stelling, there were two other juries: the young film critics jury and another one made up of representatives of several religious confessions.

By A. Hlazovy and H.-H. Pylypenko


Organizing committee of the Molodist Festival.