SMU Russian Club celebrates 20th anniversary of Russian Winter Festival Feb. 29-March 13, 2016

Russian Winter Festival

SMU Russian Club celebrates 20th anniversary of Russian Winter Festival Feb. 29-March 13, 2016

russian-festival-20th-anniversary-400The SMU Russian Club and Russian Studies Program present two weeks of lectures, film screenings, art exhibits, concerts and music master classes during its 20th annual Russian Winter cultural festival Feb. 29-March 13, 2016.

The festival, which will conclude with the traditional celebration of Maslenitsa, also includes a talent show featuring SMU students.

The festival kicks off with the lecture “100 Years of Russian Art, 1917 to Now” by Vladimir Zimakov, director of the Wedeman Gallery and an associate professor of art and design at Lasell College in Boston. As an artist, designer, and illustrator, Zimakov has worked with leading publishing houses such as Penguin, Random House, Farber and Farber, and the Folio Society. He has illustrated books and book covers for the works of Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Alexandre Dumas, Gustav Meyrink, Nikolai Gogol, Herman Melville and A.T.A. Hoffman, among others. His work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions in America, Europe, and Russia.

The event begins with refreshments starting at 11:30 a.m. Monday, Feb. 29 in the Huitt-Zollars Conference Room, J. Lindsay Embrey Engineering Building. The presentation and Q&A begin at 12 p.m.

On Wednesday, March 2, the award-winning journalist and photographer Sergei Loiko, who has written about events in Russia and the former Soviet states for The Los Angeles Times since 1991, will speak on “Putin’s War in Ukraine.” Loiko has covered wars in countries including Afghanistan and Iraq and will talk about why the war in Ukraine is different from others.

Loiko will also present his new documentary novel, Airport, which is about the defense of Donetsk airport in eastern Ukraine. The book has already been translated into several languages and has become a bestseller on Amazon. Book signing will begin at 11:30 am with presentation and Q&A beginning at 12 p.m. in the Huitt-Zollars Conference Room, J. Lindsay Embrey Engineering Building. This event is co-sponsored by the Embrey Human Rights Program.

Diana Cates, a student of intermediate Russian and political science emphasizes the importance of the Festival for the SMU and Dallas community. “Russia is the world’s largest country and still remains one of the most misunderstood. The festival offers a unique and challenging opportunity to enrich a better understanding of Russian culture, art, history, current politics and Russian-American relations through lectures, discussions, art exhibits, and concerts.”

Students of SMU Russian Studies are helping the Dallas-based Russian American Center, the Russian School of Dallas, Art with Perspective, and Dallas and Saratov Sister City, Inc. to organize several community cultural events which are part of the Russian Festival.  Students work as coordinators, advisers, volunteers, and interpreters at the International Children’s Festival “Planet of Talents” and at art exhibitions and concerts in the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library. They will also participate in the International Women’s Day party, which is very popular in Russia, and is organized by SMU graduate Kostya Chernikov.

At the culmination of the Russian Festival, students participate in the traditional Russian celebration of long winter’s end and the greeting of spring called Maslenitsa. SMU students will serve as volunteers at this event, doing fun activities such as cooking pancakes, dancing, organizing children’s games, helping with the arts and crafts exhibit, and conducting costume and drawing contests.

“Participation in our festival and meeting with native speakers also helps students who are studying Russian to improve their language skills,” says Dasha Flowers, vice president of the SMU Russian Club and a student of advanced Russian. “This festival has rich traditions at SMU. The first festival was presented in 1967 and since 1997 it has become an annual tradition. Each year the Mayor of the City of Dallas signs a proclamation recognizing this festival as an important city cultural event.”

For more information, contact Russian Club president and graduate engineering student Vanessa Qixuan.

sergei-loiko

February 29, 2016|Calendar Highlights, News|

Music, art and culture highlight SMU’s 2013 Russian Winter Festival

The Flying Balalaika Brothers

Renowned Austin-based musicians The Flying Balalaika Brothers will perform with Jamal Mohamed, director of the Meadows World Music Ensemble, at SMU March 2, 2013. The gala concert will kick off the University’s 2013 Russian Winter Festival.

Renowned Russian-American musicians The Flying Balalaika Brothers bring their energetic take on traditional music and their own original compositions to SMU’s 17th annual Russian Winter Festival.

SMU percussion instructor Jamal Mohamed, director of the Meadows World Music Ensemble, joins the Austin-based band for a gala kick-off concert at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 2, 2013 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Theater.

Tickets can be purchased online and at the door for $20. The concert is free for SMU students and faculty (with ID) and for children under 12. For more information about tickets, call 214-718-0701.

Saturday evening will also include recognition of the Dallas-Saratov Sister City relationship and an award presentation honoring University students for their achievements in Russian language studies. The events at SMU will be followed by the opening of the exhibit “Russian Winter 2013 Art Showcase” at Dallas’s Evol Society gallery, 8060 Park Lane, Suite 126.

The tradition of the Winter Festival in Russia is centuries old, serving as a farewell to winter and a greeting to the coming spring. The SMU Russian Club, in conjunction with the Russian American Center, has made the Winter Festival a yearly event in Texas, featuring artistic and academic events as well as musical performances by international folk, classical and contemporary artists. 

Viktor Shenderovich

Political writer and human rights activist Viktor Shenderovich will speak at SMU Thursday, March 7 as part of the University’s 2013 Russian Winter Festival.

“The SMU Russian Festival is a great opportunity to experience Russian culture and learn about one of the world’s most enigmatic nations,” says Zachary Cowan, SMU Russian Club president.

Campus events during the Russian cultural week include “Russian Authority vs. the Russian Satire: The History of the War.” Viktor Shenderovich, one of Russia’s most prominent political writers and human rights activists, will present the lecture at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 7 in Portico A, Hughes-Trigg Student Center.

The Russian Club is also coordinating several community events, including a children’s concert and contest entitled “The Planet of Talents” scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday, March 3 at the Farmers Branch Manske Library. This event will feature an exhibit of artwork by children of Dallas and Saratov. The week will also feature other activities at various libraries, schools and colleges in the Dallas area.

Visit the SMU Russian Club online

March 1, 2013|Calendar Highlights, News|
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