The Ukrainian Week offers a selection of concerts and exhibitions which will take place in Ukraine in the second half of April
18 April, 7 p.m.
Lord of the Dance
(103, vul. Velyka Vasylkivska, Kyiv)
One of the greatest modern dance shows is coming to Ukraine Inspired by a famous Irish legend, Michael Flatley brought it to life in dance form. The show involves about 50 professional dancers whose invigorating energy is palpable from the first minutes until the very end. Lord of the Dance is based on Irish folk dances, especially tap dancing. This makes the performance even more alluring for fans of the art of choreography.
From 18 April
Isidro Ferrer Exhibit
Shcherbenko Art Centre
(22В, vul. Mykhailivska, Kyiv)
Attention, art lovers! The first exhibit of the great modern Spanish designer and illustrator is opening in Ukraine. He will be present at the opening, and will give a lecture about his artistic career and methods at the Kyiv Polytechnic Institute. Isidro Ferrer discovered his calling for graphic art after a trauma that made him quit his acting career. The new career overwhelmed the artist enough for him to dedicate the rest of his life to it.
Until 21 April
Agentic Iced Etcetera
(1/3-2, vul. Velyka Vasylkivska/Baseyna, Kyiv)
This is the first time that American artist Tony Oursler has had a personal exhibition in Ukraine, and the first large presentation of his artwork in Eastern Europe. The show features Oursler’s diverse pieces of art, created especially for this particular project. One of the most impressive ones is the installation that speaks Ukrainian. The key theme of Oursler’s art is emotions and the way they are reflected on a human face. As to materials, the artist uses a wide range of textures, from glass to steel and rubber.
Ukrainian funk-reggae band SUNSAY has prepared a special gift for its fans. It will be bringing a collection of its greatest hits to the Kyiv stage. Music fans have loved the band since it first appeared. Founded in 2007 by a member of the 5’nizza band, a popular Kharkiv-based acoustic duo, SUNSAY offers deep, often intricate lyrics and talented vocal improvisations. Its charismatic lead singer/songwriter turns the songs into meditation, while concerts leave the audience ecstatic.
26 April, 7.30 p.m.
Zhovtnevyi Palats (October Palace)
(1, vul. Instytutska, Kyiv)
Kyiv will soon have another opportunity to see the new Jamala in action, full of new inspiration and new songs. The talented young jazz singer will present her latest album, All or Nothing, which was released this year. New songs make up over 70% of the record. Compared to her previous album, clearly inspired by American soul from the 60-70s, this album features the influences of British bands from the last two decades, a young generation of soul musicians and the newest electronic music. In addition to new songs, Jamala will present her new band.
Artists from all over Ukraine are invited to take part in the festival. They are free to use any ornaments they like, or make an Easter egg of original materials like wood, glass, paper or chocolate. An Easter Egg Hunt will be a new feature of this year’s festival. Those willing to take part will have to find over two hundred Easter eggs, marked with a special code and hidden in different places all over downtown Lviv, then send a relevant text message. The winners will get surprise gifts. Everyone is welcome to visit a variety of exciting workshops and art master classes.
The Dark Side of Austria
The Austrian Film Week kicks off at the Kyiv movie theatre on April 11. It includes four feature films and 13 short animated films, winners of the Ars Electronica festival of computer animation that has been held in Linz since 1979. Some films are not entirely Austrian. In fact, Austrian cinematography welcomes filmmakers from Germany, France, the UK, the Netherlands and any other country willing to join and contribute to its projects. Similar to the film industry in all Central European countries with the exception of France, Austrian filmmaking is based on the global principle, whereby dividends are split in line with the investment share. While business and legal relations are purely mathematical and universal, cinematographic forms, atmosphere and themes are often thoroughly local. Austria’s best-known cinematographic trademarks include movies by Ulrich Seidl and Michael Haneke.
Both directors are distinguished by their anticlerical, anti-patriarchal and other anti- and counter- sentiments and a style that is close to meditation. Slow and cold images and introverted characters can easily qualify as the trademark of films made in Austria, as well as sensitive social themes and a national – inbred or acquired – heaviness and gloom. The film Breathing by Karl Markovics is a great example. The winner of the Kyiv Molodist Grand Prix two years ago, it is the story of a difficult teenager wanting to find his mother to ask her why she left him as he serves his term in a juvenile detention centre. The Robber by Benjamin Heisenberg is the story of a well-known marathon runner who robs banks as a hobby. Michael by Markus Schleinzer is about a pedophile and his victim, a boy held hostage for 10 years. Of course, not all Austrian films are dedicated to psychological and family problems. There are also historical dramas co-produced with other countries, such as Mesmer, a biographical film about Franz Anton Mesmer and his radical new medical treatments, directed by Canadian filmmaker Roger Spottiswoode. Another is the “German trilogy” about the Austro-Hungarian Empire by Hungarian director István Szabó. This dark national style is just the essence, drawn from a large amount of materials. It can possibly be described as “psychological gloom”. Mozart would definitely have disagreed, but Austria has overcome several tragic events after he died: the collapse of the empire, two world wars, scandals and crises. Films reflect all this, changed by time and people.
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore (2011)
14 minutes of pure aesthetic joy: the musical, poetic, skillful and inventive animated film by William Joyce, a US writer, illustrator and film director, deservedly won a prize in the Austrian festival Ars Electronica last year.
Die Wand (2012)
A psychological drama by Julian Pösler, the film portrays an invisible transparent barrier (like in All Flesh Is Grass by Clifford Simak) that encloses a hut in the Alps, and a woman who happens to live there, alone with a dog, kittens and a cow. As the fantasy barrier grows between her and civilization, the drama gets realistic and painful.