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¹7 (2014)
Tunnelling Towards Hope

28 February - 6 March 2014

Ukraine History

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.


Ukraine Today
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.


Ukrainian Culture

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.


Kyiv Culture

When the Clock Strikes Midnight...

Christmas may take a backseat to the bigger show that is New Year in Kyiv, courtesy of it falling on 7 January according to the Julian calendar, however like everywhere else in the world, celebrations of Christmas in Ukraine are generally a family affair. And with family in mind at this most wonderful time of year, What’s On compiles a list of Kyiv’s greatest festive shows that offer fun for you and all your nearest and dearest.

 The revolutionary spirit is crossing paths with the festive spirit here in the capital. However, for a dose of the latter you’re spoiled for choice.

Ice Show
Ukraine’s Main Christmas Tree 2013–2014, hosted at Palace Ukraine (V Vasylkivska 103), tops not only our list, it is justly tagged as the number one children’s show nationwide, demonstrating the joint effort of Kyiv’s best scriptwriters, directors, musicians and composers, as organisers say.
This year they will present the story of an ordinary boy – a computer game addict – who hates having to walk the dog and playing flute, but instead spends all his time in the virtual world. He doesn’t know yet that this world has something in store for him – on New Year’s Eve our hero will plunge into a whirlwind of amazing and dangerous adventures. The boy will rush to help Santa Claus save the Kingdom of Time (to make sure the new year arrives, of course), which has been captured by the queen of monsters.
Dragons, sorcerers, princesses, cartoon characters and Cossacks all play a crucial part in the show, as do acrobats, conjurers, dancers, actors as well as stunning video projections and visual effects. The action begins as soon as children enter Palace Ukraine – they will be immediately entertained right in the lobby, an hour prior to the big show itself. Kids can also take part in fun contests and sing and dance around the Christmas tree together with traditional Ukrainian Did Moroz his granddaughter Snihuronka, and other fairytale creatures.
Ukraine’s Main Christmas Tree 2013–2014 will run from 25 December until 10 January at 11.00 and 14.00. Tickets: 150 –290hrv.

A Frozen Classic
We can’t imagine the holidays without the beloved Christmas tale The Nutcracker. Though going through many interpretations, the story never fails to strike a chord with audiences young and old. In addition to the ballet performed at various theatres around town (see below), this year’s incarnation is an ice show Nutcracker XXI Century, featuring the Russian Ice Miniatures Theatre.
Set up in 1986 by the legendary Igor Bobrin, former figure skater and European champion, he created a brand new genre combining ballet with its ice equivalent. His theatre offers unique performances that have no cultural, language or age barriers and it has won the hearts of millions around the globe.
So, the story begins on Christmas Eve, when everybody is in a rush to buy gifts. What is the best holiday present? A book? Or, possibly, a toy Nutcracker? Though not the most handsome chap, he is kind, resolute and brave, and will fight against the Mouse King and his grey army to protect his beloved Masha (Clara, in the original). When the drama of battle ends, the audience can take a breath and make a trip to the Land of Sweets. The Nutcracker and Masha meet new friends – dancing bonbons from Spain, Arabia, Asia, Russia and more. The spell is broken with good triumphing over evil and the Nutcracker transforms to a young and handsome prince.
Featuring gorgeous costumes, magnificent settings, favourite characters, wonderful music by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, and modern choreography – it will definitely have the whole family in awe.
Catch Nutcracker XXI Century at Palace Sport (Sportyvna Pl 1), on 22 December at 16.00 and 19.00. Tickets: 60 –270hrv.
You can never have enough of The Nut­cracker – there are at least four more performances running in Kyiv during the Christmas season. The first is a classical take – a ballet-fairytale hosted by National Ope­ra The­atre of Ukraine (Vo­lodymyrska 50) through 28 –31 De­cember at various times (check the calendar). Ti­ckets: 30 – 600hrv. The second is presented by the Tchaikovsky Conservatory (Horodetskoho 1-3/11) on 28 December at 11.00, 14.00, tickets: 120 –350hrv. The third performance will be staged at Kyiv Theatre of Opera and Ballet for Children and Youth (Mezhyhirska 2) on 27, 29, 31 December and 2, 8, 10, 12 January, tickets: 40 –200hrv. Last but not least, comes a musical show at Ivan Franko Drama Theatre (Ploscha I Franka) on 28 December and 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 12 January at different times. Tickets: 15–70hrv.

Live Puppet Show
The Tchaikovsky Conservatory will also accommodate a series of seasonal treats for families – for the first time ever, the Moscow-based comic theatre To Li Luidi, To Li Kukly (Whether People or Puppets) comes to Kyiv to present their show Super Christmas Tree on Clowns’ Island.
The performance has been highly acclaimed in many countries worldwide, winning numerous prizes and awards – the best Moscow New Year Programme 2009, first prize a the Beijing Comedy Festival 2010, special prize of the Odesa Clown Festival – Comediada 2011, just to name a few. The show, the creators say, is like a resort in the Canary Islands where you are promised relaxation and a plunge into a sea...of laughter. You are invited to a wonderland, featuring gigantic “live” puppets – Did Moroz, Snihuronka, Santa Claus, clowns Lily and Jojo, merry gnomes, dragons, snowmen, and kindly tigers – that sing and dance to entertain the crowds. Clowns’ Island boasts another miracle – a unique Christmas tree that can dance and speak. Apart from lots of fun, children will take home sweets and candies.
The show runs from 2 to 8 January at 12.00 and 15.00. Tickets: 60 –380hrv.

The list of Christmas family events is endless and caters to every taste – decide for yourself:
Happy New Year Party or Masha’s and Vitya’s Adventures
Musical fairytale
21–30 December (except 25 December) at 11.00, 15.00
Tickets: 50–270hrv, free – children up to 3
House of Officers (Hrushevskoho 30/1)

Christmas with Pippi Longstocking
Interactive theatrical play
21–30 December, 2–5 January at various times
Tickets: 100–300hrv
Premier Palace (Shevchenko Blvd/Pushkinska 5-7/29)

Galactic Adventures
New Year interactive show for children
21–30 December, 2–6 January at 11.00, 13.30
Tickets: 250hrv
State Aviation Museum of Ukraine (Medova 1)

School of New Year Wonders
Popular science show
21 December at 13.00 and 8 January at 15.00
Tickets: 80–150hrv, free – children up to 5
Central Artist House (Artema 5)

New Year Miracles by Baron Munchausen and Did Moroz
27–30 December, 2–8 January at 11.00, 13,00
Tickets: 40–120hrv
Central Artist House (Artema 5)

Grand New Year Show
27 December – 9 January at 10.00, 13.00, 16.00
Tickets: 50–180hrv, 44hrv – fan-zone
October Palace (Instytutska 1)

Fiksiki New Year Show
28–31 December at various times
Tickets: 80–200hrv, free – children up to 5
Central Artist House (Artema 5)

Narnia Legends – Sequel
New Year 3D interactive show
New Year Security Agents
2–5 January at 14.00
Tickets: 60–230hrv, free – children up to 5
House of Officers (Hrushevskoho 30/1)

Grand New Year Bubble Show
Soap-bubble theatre
2–3 January at 15.00, 17.00
Tickets: 80–150hrv, free – children up to 5
Central Artist House (Artema 5)

Masha and the Bear. Here Comes the New Year!
Show based on a popular cartoon
4–7 January at 15.00, 17.30
Tickets: 80–200hrv, free – children up to 5
Central Artist House (Artema 5)

Grand New Year and Christmas Feast for Adults and Children
7–12 January at 18.00 (folk festivities start at 17.00)
Tickets: 50–140hrv
Palace Ukraine (V Vasylkivska 103)

New Year fairytale
8 December at 14.00 and 10 December at 11.00, 14.00
Tickets: 15–70hrv
I Franka Drama Theatre (Ploscha I Franka)

by Anna Azarova

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    Ukraine Truth
    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

    Pulling Strings
    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.


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