Peoples’ Friendship Cinema Ball

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Date of event: 
Saturday, 6. December 2014

At the beginning of November in Almaty, in the Friendship House an unprecedented event – the First Charity Cinema Ball – was held. Besides the varied dance and music programme, guests were pleased also with several film premieres.

The announcement of this event could hardly leave anyone unfazed: "What to do, if you do not know whither everything goes? You will have an answer on December 6 at the premiere of the film “Giulietta in retirement” (directed by Olga Nagaeva,, which received prizes of the Eurasian Films Festival in New York and FIFES in Zagreb. The film's heroine, whose role was played by Victoria Kozina, knows how to go in the right direction.

The video “Kazakhstan, My Homeland” of Kazakhstan-Russian band Akvafon will open. The Akvafon’s new song “Poekhali-Ghali (Go on)” will be presented, it has already become interesting for KInES Book of Records, because it mentions 83 Russian cities.

The ball is held by the youth branch of the Russian Community in the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan, Akvafon band, and studio.

Guests of the event are in for a lot of surprises."

Kazakhstan’s Surprises in the Russian Style

As for surprises, they started from the beginning. The very beginning was not the same as journalistic intuition can see it coming, but it turned out to be much more interesting than expected. This also holds true for the high point and completion of the cultural event. There were all the promised delicacies, but it was a sight to see, in what creatively different way they were served!

The event was opened by Yuri Bunakov, the Chairman of the Russian Community in Kazakhstan, thanking everyone, who had responded to the invitation and come to the Social Ball. He made a point of importance of keeping harmony in our multiethnic country, and, at the same time, expressed hope that Russians living in Kazakhstan will be able to preserve the best traditions of their ethnic culture, for example, as do representatives of the Jewish people, despite the dispersion around the world.

"This event is nothing like the unveiling ceremony for the Vienna Opera Ball or Venice Film Festival», - I thought immediately. Though, actually, the event unfolded and was held in the best traditions of the Russian-Kazakh way, in the spirit of the whole nation friendship in Kazakhstan.

It would seem that many such dissimilar styles, genres, concepts, songs, dances, movies, games, quizzes, contests and music, have formed, like puzzles, one bright and good picture of multidimensional magical space. Everything was perfect including tea with tasty sweets and round cracknels offered by mistress of the copper samovar Ekaterina Chaikovskaya.

A Gift for Kazakhstan’s Independence Day

Everyone was pleased with new video of Kazakhstan-Russian band Akvafon to the song “Kazakhstan, My Homeland”. The beautiful song, with panoramas of amazing beauty in the background, sounded sincere love to Kazakhstan:

"If you take the warmth of all the friends

Beauty of the girls and children’s smiles,

Wisdom of the elders and the heroes’ names,

Then you get my homeland! ".

- How did the idea of composing the song and creating the video fall into your mind? 

– this question was asked Oleg Belov, the author and performer of the song. Oleg, together with Olga Nagaeva, was one of the organizers and showmaster of the event.

"Together with Pavel Aksenov, a member of Akvafon band and composer of the song, I have a project of an album "Heavenly Nomad" devoted to Kazakhstan. “Kazakhstan, My Homeland” is the title track of the forthcoming album. A sizable team separated by large distances has been working on it. The video is directed by a wonderful video-magician Vitaliy Dvoretskiy, who lives in Almaty. Sarah Naiman (vocal) lives in Vienna, Pavel Aksenov (vocal, guitars) and Talgat Khasenov (ethno-arrangement) live in Moscow, Sergei Cherezov (arrangement, mixing), Dina Sakhabudinova (backing vocal) live in Almaty, Xenia Karetnikova (backing vocal) lives in the United States. But all participants of the project were brought together by love of Kazakhstan. Today's release of the video “Kazakhstan, My Homeland” of Kazakhstan-Russian band Akvafon is a gift for all of Kazakhstan people for the Independence Day.

All Stars of the Ball

After premiere of the film “Giulietta in retirement”, the audience understood that a touching love story of ‘little people’ with big hearts could not fail to please members of the jury of the Eurasia Film Festival in New York and FIFES in Zagreb, which awarded it. It was nice to touch base with the makers of this soulful movie – director Olga Nagaeva, actors Victoria Kozina and Vladimir Batenev-Nevskiy, as well as the producer, director and cameraman of studio, Vitaliy Dvoretskiy.

Sportswoman, journalist, and, finally, just a beautiful woman... These words were directed towards Vera Lyakhovskaya, an employee of the newspaper "Svoboda slova” (Freedom of Speech), whose performance of Carmen dance with the famous dancer Nikolai Zhuk aroused enthusiastic applause of the audience. It has become apparent for everyone that her sports ballroom dance classes are quite successful.

Everyone also enjoyed the performance of Zhiva ensemble represented by Olga Vasilevskaya and Christina Voloshina. Wearing bright and beautiful national costumes they gave inspiredly a Russian folk song “Poor Masha has a headache.” 

However, Pulat Malikov, the TV series star, singer and song writer, sang not about headaches, but ache of the heart. And his performance was so heartfelt... in Moldavian language!

And, of course, a waltz was whirling, and, in addition to elegantly dressed couples, all together young and old were waltzing.

Amazing talents were demonstrated by children of all ages, which were up there with adults in performing songs and dances.

How the Idea Has Started Up

Impressed by what I saw, I put a question to Yuriy Bunakov, the President of the Russian Community in Kazakhstan:

- Thank you very much for organising such a magnificent event! Please, tell us, what are your views on the idea of holding a congenial event, but much larger one with participation of other national centres’ representatives in our Republic in favour of the people's doctrine "Kazakhstan is a House of Peace and Prosperity”, which, in addition, can sound wishes for peace to the peoples of Ukraine and Russia? But with no political statements? 

- Very good! – Yuriy Bunakov immediately replied, "The incoming 2015 year will exactly be a year of Assembly of Peoples of Kazakhstan.

Irina Ivanovna Sokolova, the Chairman of Almaty branch of the Russian Community in Kazakhstan, told me about the very beginning of the Cinema Ball idea and who has implemented it:

- In Almaty branch of the Russian Community in Kazakhstan there is a youth branch. And it is just headed by Olga Nagaeva and Oleg Belov. Our council meeting has decided to hold charity Social Ball in order to raise funds for sewing costumes for the Russian Community, and spend a wonderful festival to afford pleasure to people.

- Some announcements called this ‘Cinema Ball’. And you say ‘Social Ball’... Which is correct?

- This is two-in-one, both Social Ball and Cinema Ball. As you have seen, we have made presentation of films about Kazakhstan and Russia, which have been directed by Oleg and Olga, and at the same time held the Social Ball. We had a dance, attended the great concert.

- And who was involved in inviting participants of today's event?

- We did this together. The schoolchildren, who were present today, always participate in our annual events, such as Pushkin’s Summer and others. High school and junior school students from the Schoolchildren's Palace, along with adult participants, of course.

- Everybody enjoyed a lot these little dancers. What is the name of their team?

- Surprise Ensemble has performed Gipsy, and German, and other dances. It was lovely that we have seen so many beautiful items on the programme representing arts of different Kazakhstan’s peoples.

- Totally agree with you that these great performances have created a wonderful multicultural atmosphere. We would like to see the Kazakhstan’s Peoples Festival held in the same vein, in the spirit of the national idea, which – as the President Nazarbayev put it – should come from the people. And the idea-doctrine is that Kazakhstan is a Common House of Peace and Prosperity for all the peoples living in it...

- And it is an example for other states – how people of every type should live in peace and harmony, - Irina Ivanovna added immediately. – You have seen, even today, we had Kazakh, Russian, Ukrainian, Tatar, Caucasian, Greek, Moldavan, German and other dances and songs performed.


- Do you think the today's event could be a pilot version of similar but a huger event?

- This is a great idea; I have to say that it has turned me on. It is necessary to be implemented.

- Kazakhstan has never seen such type of balls, - as Olga Nagaeva rated the held event. – Keeping to beaten tracks is not for us!

I would like to add to Olga’s words that the Social Cinema Ball arrahged by the youth branch of the Russian Community has been actually held as a Ball of Kazakhstan Peoples’ Friendship. And it was an excellent one!

Photo by Irina Masalskaya

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