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


Russians come to SMU

Weeklong events held

Dallas Mayor Laura Miller proclaimed the week of February 19-25, 2005 as the official Russian Winter Cultural Festival Week. During the week, students can experience an entirely different culture without having to travel far from home.

“In Europe, one only has to get on a train for two to three hours to be in a different country with an entirely different culture.  Americans are not as lucky as Europeans in this sense.  However, they could be-if they took the opportunity to explore the culture that is being brought right into their backyard. Events such as the Russian Festival supply opportunities and we shouldn’t let them go to waste,” Wrenn Schmidt, a senior at SMU, said.

The cultural week will kick off Saturday with an opening ceremony at the Richardson Public Library, and will conclude at SMU Feb. 25.

SMU’s Russian professor and founder of the Russian American Center, Dr.Tatiana Zimakova, introduced the festival to Dallas after moving here in 1994 and has made the winter festival a yearly Texas event for the last nine years.

“This year’s Festival is special because we are honoring 40 years of Russian studies at SMU,” said Zimakova. “We are very excited about this year’s festival because we have guests coming all the way from Russia to participate in this event.”

The festival will feature a discussion on the past, present and future of Russia on Feb. 24 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the Tower Boardroom (Carr Collins Room 227). Special guest lecturers will include Vice Mayor of Saratov; which has become sister cities with Dallas, professors and students from Saratov State University, as well as specialty Russian SMU professors.

If a lecture is not your thing, come by and enjoy a gala concert at 7:30 pm. on Friday, Feb. 25.

The two-hour concert will include songs by members of the international music group Krystall Balalayka, who return to SMU by popular demand with their unique blend of contemporary and traditional Russian music. Performances by Krassovska Ballet Jeunesse of Dallas, Ballet of Oklahoma and other special guests will round out a full evening of dance and music.

During the festival, various exhibits celebrating the Russian culture, arts and literature will be set up in the lobby of McFarlin Auditorium.

Tatiana Zimakova will display her rare books celebrating Chekhov’s centenary, Russian lacquer boxes, as well as a large assortment of dolls in traditional Russian costumes will be on display.

Following the gala, there will be a special award presentation and a reception in McFarlin Auditorium.

Last year, SMU’s professor of Russian History and Culture, Dr. Daniel Orlovsky was recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award for teaching Russian studies and for his exceptional support of cultural and artistic programs. 

“It is such a wonderful event,” Orlovsky said. “You get to experience the Russian culture, see the various works of art and at the end of the gala there’s a reception where you can try all sorts of traditional Russian food.”

“We hope that people will come out and discover Russian culture,” Zimakova said.

Tickets to the gala concert on Feb. 25 are free for SMU students and range in price from $10-$30 for the public. To purchase tickets, call Ticketmaster at (214) 373-8000 or log on to  

For more information, visit the Russian American Center Web site at

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