Delhi International Arts Festival to present Russian painting, theatre and cinema to the Indian public

Mono-play showing evolution of a human spirit from birth to death, soulful masterpiece of postwar filmmaking and two world-famous painters - this is what Russia prepared for festival which pays tribute to writer and poet Rabindranath Tagore.

The Fifth Delhi International Arts Festival, which pays tribute to writer and poet Rabindranath Tagore (7 May 1861 - 7 August 1941), whose 150th birthday anniversary is celebrated this year, was opened in the Indian capital late on Monday. Over the next few days, the festival will feature an exhibition of Moscow artists Zhanna Yakovleva and Dina Kalinkina, “Settimana” (a “week” in Italian) musical performance by Lidia Kopina and Veronika Berashevich from St. Petersburg, and the “Destiny of a Man” feature film by Sergei Bondarchuk.

“The Delhi International Arts Festival is considered to be a national trade mark and we are applying every effort to make it an important landmark on the global culture map”, says Festival Director Prathibha Prahlad. “This unique bouquet of all imaginable arts erases borders. It is a display not only of the capital city but also of the entire Indian nation.”

Dina Kalinkina, "Last Snow"

It is noteworthy that the exhibitions of works by Zhanna Yakovleva and Dina Kalinkina, which will be held in the Russian Science and Culture Centre, will simultaneously open the Russian programme of the festival and close the Days of the Russian Language, Literature and Culture (1-2 November 2011). The two artists are considered to be outstanding representatives of contemporary Russian avant-garde and are welcomed and appreciated both in Russia and abroad (Yakovleva has had her paintings displayed in France, China, Syria, Lebanon and other countries). The exhibition will last until 11 November.

“Settimana” is an attempt to convey a musical vision of a human life from birth to death, Lidia Kopina and Veronika Berashevich, the co-authors of the play and two main performers (Kopina dances and

“Settimana” by Lidia Kopina and

Veronika Berashevich

Berashevich plays the saxophone), told ITAR-TASS. “The audience will see seven days, seven transformations and seven different worlds—evolution of a human soul from birth to death. This is the path of the spirit, which appears

in various forms, including war, love, and a child flowing into one another and thus shaping history. There is no text to the performance; it is a “plastic” show,” Kopina said. “It has folk motives, classical music and jazz in it, but the focus is on the impromptu music. The music was composed by Veronika Berashevich.”

Sergei Bondarchuk’s masterpiece was also chosen for good reason. On his birthday, 28 September, the Russian Science and Culture Centre hosted a discussion  of “Contemporary Cinema of India and Russia”. “Destiny of a Man” was featured then and it was noted repeatedly that it is with the names of Sergei Bondarchuk, Sergei Eisenstein and Andrei Tarkovsky with which Russian cinematography is associated in India. Furthermore, a special children’s programme will take place during the festival this year. The younger audience will enjoy the “Despicable Me” and “Rio” animated films.

Zhanna Yakovleva, "Batamush" 

The special “Classic Dance” programme will be dedicated to Rabindranath Tagore. The oeuvres of the first non-European Nobel laureate, who earned the 1913 Prize in Literature, formed the foundation of the literature and music of Bengal. Also, Tagore is the author of the lyrics and music of the national anthems of India (“Soul of the Nation”) and Bangladesh (“My Bengal of Gold”).

The festival is scheduled to close on 15 November with a joint Indian-Italian production of Pietro Mascagni’s opera “Cavalleria rusticana” (“Rustic Chivalry”). Participants representing more than 20 countries are expected to take part in the arts festival.


Part from “Destiny of a Man”, film by Sergei Bondarchuk.

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