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Arts & Culture 24 December 2012 32 714
Peterhof is one of Russia's most famous and picturesque tourist attractions, drawing millions of visitors to St. Petersburg every year. RTDoc went to the Russian Versailles to marvel at a Napoleonic ball, learn the history of the many Peterhof’s statues and find out how a trick fountain can make tourists get wet.
Many young girls dream of becoming ballerinas, but only very few are prepared to apply the all-out effort and make the sacrifices that this dream demands. The famous Vaganova Ballet Academy in St.Petersburg welcomes the most talented and determined young dancers, but it makes them no promises.
The International Tchaikovsky Competition, first held over 50 years ago, is a highly prestigious award in the classical music world. It attracts well-established and less well-known musicians from all over the world. They all come hoping for glory and international recognition though only one can win.
The National Agricultural Exhibition Centre in Moscow, known as VDNKh, is a unique heritage of the Soviet era and a magnificent architectural and park complex unparalleled in the world. Built in the late 1930s to showcase the victories of collective farming, it boasts the works of the best artists and sculptors of the time.
For years, music was banned in Afghanistan as sinful, but now one school for children is planting the seeds for traditional Afghan music’s rebirth. Conservative views have left their mark, however, and the school and its young musicians face threats from some elements in society.
Becoming a professional ballerina is a journey that begins at a young age and is extremely competitive. We meet young girls devoting their lives to the profession, as well as the women, who end up on the very top, performing on stage at the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg.
Every year, crowds from around the world flock to the small Serbian town of Guca, for its famous, annual trumpet festival. The lively, upbeat music makes for a great summer event and gives less-known bands a chance to get noticed and make it big. But behind the fun and carefree festive atmosphere, few people see the gruelling demands placed on the musicians dedicated to their art.
While violence in Gaza continues unabated, local children and teenagers still pursue their everyday interests. RTD follows students of a Gaza City music school who have lived through three major military conflicts since 2008. Despite their experiences, they remain hopeful that peace will eventually come. Until then, they seek comfort in music.
Few places in the world still teach fine arts the old way, where form is everything, but the St-Petersburg academy of fine arts is one of them. It’s the oldest art school in Russia and students from all over the world dream of studying within its ancient walls, they believe it’s a place that sets the gold standard in teaching classic art.
The creative vision of one man transformed a community of farmers into a centre of modern art. Russian artist Nikolay Polissky turned his village into an artistic colony, where residents are the co-authors of his monumental nature-inspired sculptures. Twice a year, the village holds the largest Land-Art festival in Russia - Archstoyanie.
The Moiseyev Ballet is a world-acclaimed folk dance group. Its members are dedicated to carrying the legacy of its great founder to audiences the world over. But in doing so, they have to be prepared to sacrifice their health – and personal ambitions – in order to keep their ballet the best of the best.
Music is their life. It’s their best friend that cheers them up in difficult times. And it's their gift to others. They perform in the streets and on the trains. They sing in bars, often for free, and dream of a big break. Meet the happy-go-lucky street musicians of Moscow.
The Nigerian “dream factory”, Nollywood, became the second largest film industry in the world after India in just two decades. Its annual film production even surpasses Hollywood’s. What is its secret? RTD filmmakers travel to Lagos, to see how Nigerian movies are made.
London based artist, Alexander James took his entire studio across a whole continent to produce a new collection for an exhibition in Moscow. The new working environment proved to be a challenge in more ways than he could have ever imagined. Despite the obstacles though, the artist never loses sight of the objective, reaching it though is another question.
Inspired by Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace and its opulent ball portrayals, James Brown decides to delve into the Russian ballroom culture. He learns the dress code of a traditional ball, its etiquette and even a fan language: a code that female ball-regulars used to communicate with their admirers.