The Fifth International Performing Arts Festival and Contest “Stars of The Albion. New Talents World”, organized by the International Music Academy and Producer Agency Musica Nova, under the patronage of the World Association of Performing Arts, took place at Richmond Art School in London.
This time the festival was different from the previous ones in that it gave opportunities not only to singers, musicians, and dancers but also to other creative people - theatre practitioners, artists, craftsmen, filmmakers, and photographers - from thirteen countries to demonstrate their work during the three days of the festival. Various artists from Russia, Great Britain, Latvia, Armenia, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Israel, Poland, India, Iran, Germany, Denmark, and the USA were joined together in this true celebration of the magic of art.
The festival was opened by the performance of “The Divine Comedy” by Dante Alighieri, directed by the Russian director Sergey Soloviev and performed by the wonderful actors Igor Lamba and Marianna Semenova. It was a really powerful start to the festival, as the director managed to create a gripping and profound performance out of one of the most complicated pieces of literature in the history of mankind. There was an interesting combination of narration and pantomime in this performance, together with elements of Butoh theatre. The true revelation for the audience was the finale of the performance when we first saw the images of hell as tragedies of both the twentieth and twenty-first centuries projected onto the screen at the back of the stage and then saw the actors in their costumes walking in slow Butoh movements among Londoners. This brought the subject of Dante’s timeless piece directly into our time.
Igor Lamba impressed the audiences not only with his powerful yet almost silent performance in “The Divine Comedy”, but also with two pantomimes, “The Soul of a Clown” and “A Lesson in the School for Clowns”, and two very successful master classes, received the Grand Prix of the festival.
Other winners in the theatre category were Marianna Semenova with her one-man show “Between the Two Worlds”, based on Marina Tsvetaeva’s poetry, and Tatiana Dittrich’s Goodge Street Theatre with their performance “Prediction”, which took second place in the drama category. It was great to see professional and amateur performers given an opportunity to perform on the same stage and enrich each other with their experiences.
The addition of theatre performances and an exhibition of talented artists and photographers to the musicians and dancers brought the festival onto a different level, as it created the true synthesis of art, thanks to the executive producer and director of the festival, Evgenia Terentieva, who enabled this successful experiment to take place. People were leaving the Art School inspired and impressed with the variety and quality of the art presented.
Sharon Blair won first place in the Fine Art category with her emotional portrayal of homeless people. Elena Sivachenko won the hearts of the judges and the viewers with her mosaic and stained glass piece.
The strongest category in the festival was traditionally that of the singers, many of whom were pupils of Evgenia Terentieva, the composer, pianist, singer, and the director and owner of the International Academy Musica Nova. More than twenty young and more mature performers from different countries demonstrated their professionalism and dedication and felt like true stars, as their competition was taking place on a large stage accompanied by a spectacular video show of stars and galaxies. The first prizes in the different age categories among the singers were awarded to Emily and Shelly Gluzman from Israel and to Ekaterina Alieva and Alihan Ishumratov from the UK. The performances were judged by a very respected jury panel, which included well-known theatre critics, directors, actors, and musicians. Among them were the composer, singer, and head of the department of modern music at the Academy Musica Nova Alexa Pol, the actor Oleg Hill, the actress, director, and drama tutor Elena Knight, the theatre critic Natalia Kolosova, the choreographer and actress Katrina Vasilieva, the director Tatiana Dittrich, the artist Tim Cunliffe and the photographer Zbigniew Mroz.
At the end of the festival, the participants were given diplomas, memorable presents, trophies, and money prizes. Never before had the festival welcomed such a great diversity of performers, who enriched each other with the opportunity to explore the cultural traditions of different countries and for some of them to have a taste of what it is like to perform among professionals. Although the festival was considered as experimental by the organizers, it proved to be a true success, and we look forward to new events organized by Evgenia Terentieva and her International Music Academy and Productions Agency Musica Nova.