Dublin, 9th February 2012 A wealth of vibrant activities are on offer across Dublin city as part of the third annual Russian Cultural Festival, running from February 20th – 26th. Traditional music, dance, children’s activities, lively performances, chess challenges, artisan food and cookery, the best in contemporary cinema, informative exhibitions and lectures are just some of the events taking place at numerous locations across the city. The week long festivities will culminate in a family day on Sunday February 26th, traditionally celebrated in Russia as Maslenitsa (“Pancake Day”), where entertainment to appeal to all ages will take place in and around Cow’s Lane and Essex Street, Temple Bar.
This year the Festival has successfully secured the renowned Russian performer Oleg Pogudin to perform two exclusive shows at the Olympia Theatre in Dublin on Sunday February 26th. Pogudin, a beloved fixture on the Russian music circuit for over two decades, will perform for the first time ever in Ireland as part of the Festival. His eclectic mix of contemporary and classic Russian music and his unique, distinctive voice have earned him the title of “The Silver Voice of Russia”. Both shows are expected to sell out.
The Festival will encompass a selection of venues across the city, with associated activities certain to suit all cultural tastes in Temple Bar, Civic Offices Wood Quay, Trinity College Dublin, The National Library of Ireland, Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane Gallery, city centre cinemas and the National Gallery of Ireland. This is the third outing for the Festival, following on from last year’s massively successful event which saw over 7,000 visitors attend the family day, with many thousands more attending other attractions in the programme during the week. The Festival is organised by Dublin City Council with the participation and support of Moscow City Government.
There are many highlights in this year’s programme, particularly the central focus on the family day on Sunday February 26th in Temple Bar. This will feature a variety of performances and Russian food and souvenir stalls, along with entertainment to keep children enthralled, including Russian storytelling, doll painting, fairytale films and face painting, and plenty to keep adults entertained also.
For those interested in international cuisine, there will be a once-off opportunity to take a class in Russian cooking at the CooksAcademy, South William Street, on Thursday 23rd February. The class runs from 6.30pm – 9pm and tickets cost €70, available through www.cooksacademy.ie.
There will be lectures throughout the week on Russian culture taking place in the Long Room Hub in Trinity College Dublin and at the National Gallery of Ireland with presentations by leading experts on Russian culture, all of which are free to attend.
Several contemporary Russian films, including the multi-award winning Faust by renowned filmmaker Alexander Sokurov, will be screening during the week in association with Jameson Dublin International Film Festival. The films will be shown at various cinemas across the city – further details can be found on the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival website, www.jdiff.com.
One of the most popular events in previous years at the Festival has been the opportunity for members of the public to challenge Russian chess Grand Master Alexander Baburin. Mr Baburin is inviting secondary school students to a workshop in the Civic Offices on the morning of Thursday 23rd, and university students can challenge the Master in a mass chess-game at 1.30pm. Chess enthusiasts gathered in their droves last year to watch this spectacle, where the Grand Master took on over 20 players simultaneously, and an even greater crowd is expected this year.
Weeklong activities include three exhibitions: children’s art, photographic, and a Russian art exhibition in the Atrium of the Civic Offices in Wood Quay. The children’s art exhibition is a collection of works by schoolchildren from Dublin and surrounding counties who were encouraged to submit their artwork to represent Russian fairytales.
The Festival also has a strong business angle, to encourage ongoing trade between Russia and Dublin, and prominent business leaders will attend a breakfast and presentation to discuss how to strengthen economic ties between the two countries.
The Russian Cultural Festival is organised by Dublin City Council’s Office of International Relations and Research, and takes place with the kind assistance of Moscow City Government, O’Callaghan Hotels, Trinity College Dublin, The Russian Gazette, Easons, Jameson Dublin International Film Festival, Temple Bar Cultural Trust, National Library of Ireland, National Gallery of Ireland and The Russian Irish Cultural Foundation.