The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Russian festival hosts artists, dancers

The 10th Annual Russian Winter Festival was held Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in the Caruth Auditorium and was hosted by the SMU Russian Club.

There was an exhibition in the Meadows School of Arts lobby, where various Russian works of art were on display. The exhibition began at 6 p.m. and included work from various artists such as Ernst Neizvestny, Mihail Chemiakin and many others.

The festival was opened by Robert Hinkle, the master of ceremonies. He was accompanied by Michelle Koleychik, his co-host and a new addition to the program this year. Koleychik is also the president of the Russian Club.

The first performance was Siman Tov, a group that can sing songs in 10 different languages. It performed three songs for the audience, and during its third song the DISD Russian Choir, composed of sixth graders and led by Michelle Briscoe, joined in.

The next act was a duet performing a medley of Russian folk songs. Inna Staneva played the flute and was accompanied by Ekaterina Chernaya on the piano.

The duet was followed by Gina Browning, singing soprano, who was accompanied by Joe Illick playing the piano. They performed three out of the “Seven Romances on Poems” of Alexander Blok.

The next two performances, the dueling pianos, were “amazing,” said Emily Gipple, a senior studying general business and international studies.

The first of the two performances included four pianists: Elena Tsvetkova, Robert Carney, Sergey Kuznetsov and Carlos Vazquez. For the second performance, Elena Tsvetkova accompanied Sergey Kuznetsov, playing Sergei Rachmaninov’s “Fantasy.”

The final performance of act one was the DISD Russian Choir. There were 45 students performing a combination of Russian music and dance.

“These students have been studying Russian the past two years,” Briscoe said. She also said that they not only study the language, but the culture and the history of Russia.

Yevgeniy Dyo, a student currently enrolled in the art certificate program at SMU, said this was one of his favorite performances, adding that he really enjoyed the kids.

There was then a 15-minute intermission between the two acts, where the audience was encouraged to take a look at the artwork in the lobby.

Act two was an awards ceremony called a “Tribute to International Ambassadors for Cultural Exchange.”

The first award was given to Ella Borodyansky, who is the director of a day care for Russian seniors and has also been a Russian cultural promoter in Dallas since 1991.

The second award was given to David Griggs, the director of the Dallas-Saratov Sister Cities Committee.

The third and final award was given to Sophia Grinblat, the editor-in-chief of the Russian newspaper Our Texas and founder of the Russian Culture Center in Houston.

The final event in act two was the performance by Limpopo, which defines itself as a world music band and performs “Russian Folk ‘n’ Roll.”

It flew in from Los Angeles to perform for the festival and performed several songs. It used various instruments, such as the drums, maracas, a keyboard and accordion, and a trombone, just to name a few.

“They were amazing. Probably one of the best smaller traveling bands I have

ever seen,” Gipple said.

There was a reception held after the event, and various Russian foods were offered.

Senior finance and economics major Prem Panchal sampled some of the food.

“I’ve had it before, I don’t know what it is but I’ve had it before,” he said. “It’s very good.”

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