|On the cover|
Tunnelling Towards Hope
|28 February - 6 March 2014|
A Stronghold of Rulers and Rebels
With the recent death toll jumping to nearly 100 and 1,000 injured, Hrushevskoho Street, one of the strongholds of EuroMaidan’s three-month-long protests, made headlines around the globe. It was here, on 19 January the country’s stand against government corruption, abuse of power, and the violation of human rights turned from peaceful protest to all-out revolution. Having witnessed much over the years, Hrushevskoho is a street with a history, and not only care of recent days.
Acelebrity using their status and intelligence to influence public views and opinion is rarely seen in modern society, even less so in Ukraine. Here, the majority of celebs use their time, effort, and money to enhance or further their career rather than put their name to something that can do good for others. However, as EuroMaidan intensifies, some are making themselves heard – and they fall either side of the EuroMaidan divide.
It used to be that when rebellion and revolution occurred, the intellectual, creative, and spiritual elite would be front and centre.
When Walls Can Talk
People have been writing on walls since the dawn of civilisation, we call it graffiti, and ranges from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings. Sometimes it is merely the creator wanting to leave his or her mark; sometimes there is an underlying social or political reason. And it is due to the latter that graffiti has exploded across Kyiv in recent months. Anti dictator messages aside, we peel back a few layers of paint to look at graffiti in the city in general.
Ride the New Wave
|Top-notch singers from all over the world take to the stage on 24 July to showcase their vocal talents at the New Wave song contest. Open to any artist from any continent, this year’s competitors come from as far away as Nigeria, Mexico and China!
In 2002, the first New Wave song contest was held in Jurmala, Latvia. The initial idea came to Russian and Latvian composers Ihor Krutoi and Raimonds Pauls, and whether inspired by Eurovision or not, they created a pretty interesting contest for young and talented performers.
Since that time the number of applicants and the audience has grown dramatically, as more and more singers have sought the recognition the contest affords. In the first two years, victory went to Russian singers, for the next two, Latvia took the gold. Only in 2005 did Ukraine achieve its first success, and even though Tina Karol didn’t quite win, she was awarded a special prize from the festival’s muse, legendary Russian pop diva Alla Pugacheva. We got it four years later, however, when Jamala brought home first prize.
This year, rumours abounded that New Wave had been cancelled. Fortunately for all its contestants as well as its audience, it was rescued with funds from the Latvian government, and continues to roll up some fabulous talent onto the beautiful shores of Jurmala.
Three Russian representatives are going to Jurmala this year, which include IOWA, W/ and singer Niloo. IOWA, formed three years ago in Belorussia featuring Katya Ivanchikova, is an acronym for Idiots Out Wandering Around, who play pop-rock just like their colleagues from W/. In contrast to the Russian bands going to Latvia, singer Niloo is going solo. Born in Uzbekistan, her appearance reflects eastern beauty while her voice has the ability to touch the deepest corners of any soul.
This year, Ukraine will be represented by Maria Yaremchuk, 18-year-old winner of the Holos Krainy II (Voice of the Country II) talent show and daughter of popular 70s folk singer, Nazariy Yaremchuk. Maria’s talent comes from her father. But putting in the work over the years, she has since come into her own, giving her every chance of coming back home with the coveted prize!
Young and talented singer Diana has tried out in song contests many times. She was one of a few finalists in the show Lithuanian Talent 2011, took part in War of Choirs that same year, got to the semi-finals in the national selection of Eurovision 2012, and finally became Young Talent of 2011 at Person of the Year 2011. It’s her credentials that give Diana a good shot at glory this year!
Italian Costanzo Del Pinto has been singing since childhood. At nine, he won his first award, and at 16 recorded his first album of covers. At the beginning of this year, he received his first international award, as author of the best, unreleased songs at the Hopes of Europe International Festival in Sochi. He is coming to win and ready to do everything for it.
Vocal Jazz quintet Framest will be competing for their country this year. Created in 2005, the quintet perform a capella, as well as with live musicians. There were 17 bands vying to represent Latvia in the qualifying rounds, but Framest did the job best and it is they who will be playing in Jurmala.
Eleven singers and bands from Kyrgyzstan competed to get to the finals of New Wave this year, but it was Bek Israilov who managed charm the judges. At the contest, the singer wants to perform I Believe I Can Fly, by R. Kelly, and is sure that will provide the necessary wind beneath his own wings.
Little is known about Finnish duet Cristal. Finland, however, has pedigree in Eurovision, so let’s see if that can will help them make some waves at New Wave.
Boys band Be-Do-In seem to be a nice bunch of happy-go-lucky guys singing happy songs. Always smiling and positive – that’s what we can say about them, and wish them and their upbeat approach all the best. They will be sure to make the most of this opportunity.
Twenty-two-year-old Oleksandra Bartashevich has attempted to make it to the finals of New Wave a couple of times, and only this year has made the big break. Will the Belarusian pop diva be able to take it even further? You’ll have to watch to find out!
Trio Los Rumberos de Massachusetts describe their music as a mixture of flamenco, rumba, reggae and Latin rock. Last year, a friend of the band told them about New Wave and helped the trio apply for the contest. Noticed from the 18,000 other applicants this year, they’ve come to have a good crack at the crown.
This year China is coming to the contest to, with Han Hua, who will be adding a little Asian spice to the pot. Studying in Russia, she enjoys singing pop as well as the ethnic songs of her motherland, and was even a guitarist in a Chinese rock band. Now, that’s an interesting metamorphosis.
Popular for his blues tunes, Suren Arustamyan sings, he plays guitar and he definitely wants to win. Two years ago, Suren took part in Armenian TV show Super Star 4 and even played together with Deep Purple at their concert in Yerevan. Leading his own blues band Arsa, he’ll be coming to Jurmala on his own, with one and only mission: to win.
Michael Blayze – Nigerian artist, born in England, now living in Moscow – has decided to take New Wave to another level this year. Showing the world the true party animal he is, his show will definitely be one to watch.
Ayala Eligoola is a big fan of jazz and R’n’B. Her YouTube channel has a couple of interesting cover versions of Adele and Beyoncé, both huge stars in their own right. Let’s see whether Ayala can live up to their major world status at Jurmala.
New Wave 2012 Show Programme
Official Opening Gala Concert by CIS stars
Special Guest: Tom Jones
First Day of the Contest and Pop Concert: contestants sing popular international hits
Special Guest: Rick Astley
Second Day of the Contest and Rock Concert: contestants sing popular national hits
12.00 – New Wave Cup Beach Football: contestants compete against stars
18.45 – An evening with composer Konstyantyn Meladze, popular CIS artists perform
21.30 – Muz TV Night Disco Party
12.00 – Tennis Tournament between contestants and stars
18.45 – Third Day of the Contest and Day of Premiers: contestants present new songs written specially for New Wave 2012
Special Guest: Lara Fabian
Closing Gala Concert and Award Ceremony
Special Guest: Nelly Furtado and Sumi Jo
New Wave 2012
24 – 29 July
For more information visit www.newwavestars.com
Can’t make it to the real thing? Keep your eye on the Ukraina channel where they’ll be showcasing the whole competition!
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“Kicking Butt” Ukrainian-style
Sochi’s Dark Side
A New York Slice of Kyiv
A Battle of the Beats
|Rights We Didn’t Know We Had
Throughout EuroMaidan much has been made of Ukrainians making a stand for their rights. What exactly those rights are were never clearly defined. Ukraine ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1952. The first article of the Declaration states all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, they are endowed with reason and conscience, and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. The ousted and overthrown Ukrainian government showed to the world they don’t understand the meaning of these words.
| Kyiv Culture|
Located on Hrushevskoho Street – the epicentre of EuroMaidan violence, home to battles, blazes and barricades – children’s favourite the Academic Puppet Theatre had to shut down in February. Nevertheless, it is getting ready to reopen this March with a renewed repertoire to bring some laughter back to a scene of tragedy. Operating (not manipulating) puppets is a subtle art that can make kids laugh and adults cry. What’s On meets Mykola Petrenko, art director of the Theatre, to learn more about those who pull the strings behind the show.