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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Cannes Welcomes Russian Culture Festival

The French Cote d'Azur, a favorite watering hole of the Russian rich and famous since long before the October Revolution, will play host next month for the second year in a row to a Russian arts and culture festival called "Russia ? A New Century."

Organized by the Academy of Russian Culture with the sponsorship and support of the Russian Federation Ministry of Culture, UNESCO and the Russian Cultural Foundation, last year's festival proved a resounding success. The events included a panorama of movies by young Russian directors, a retrospective of the films of the distinguished actress Inna Churikova, with Churikova herself on hand to introduce them, music from prize winners of the 1998 International Tchaikovsky Competition and a fashion show featuring the work of designer Slava Zaitsev.

The 1999 version of "Russia ? A New Century" promises a still broader look at present-day Russian culture, stretching beyond cinema, classical instrumental music and haute couture to opera, ballet, jazz, folk art, native cuisine and even space exploration.

The events will run from Aug. 19 to 25 in the resort city of Cannes. Opening and closing gala concerts are scheduled to be held in the famed Palace of Festivals, home to the Cannes Film Festival.

On hand from the world of cinema will be director Nikita Mikhalkov, who also incidentally serves as president of the sponsoring Russian Cultural Foundation, with a retrospective showing of five of his own films. The festival will also feature the work and presence of a host of other established film-world talent, including Yelena Safonova, Yevgeny Menshikov and Nikolai Fomenko, as well as a display of recent films from three new directors ? Dmitry Meskhiyev, "Female Property," Vasili Pichul, "The Sky in Diamonds" and Grigory Konstantinopolsky, "8 1/2 Dollars."

Included in the cinematic side of the festival will be a concert of music from popular films, with, among others, pianist Lyubov Timofeyeva. Her appearances in Moscow, after a long absence abroad, proved a highpoint in last spring's concert season. Audiences will also have a chance to sample the current Russian jazz scene by way of a group under the leadership of Moscow's popular saxophonist, Igor Butman.

Hailing from Moscow, the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Musical Theater will perform ballets "Don Quixote" and "The Ghostly Ball," as well as Tchaikovsky's opera "Eugene Onegin" in the still-fresh staging conceived by Konstantin Stanislavsky himself nearly 80 years ago.

Other dancers at the festival will include a group of youthful artists from the Dance Academy of the Natalya Nesterova University of the Humanities. And the even younger, highly gifted instrumentalists from the Vladimir Spivakov Foundation, who last season amazed audiences both in Moscow and on tour in the United States, will perform.

Among the festival's other diverse attractions will be a specially constructed seaside restaurant featuring traditional Russian cuisine prepared by chefs from Moscow's Metropol Hotel, a display of fashions by young Russian designers under the auspices of "Russian Silhouette," a foundation run by Nikita Mikhalkov's wife, Tatyana, an exhibition and sale of Russian arts and crafts, a conference on the protection of artistic rights and a public meeting between Russian and French cosmonauts.

Having entered into a long-term cooperation agreement with the city government of Cannes, the Academy of Russian Culture is determined to create a permanent base in the south of France. In the tradition of Sergei Diaghilev's famed "Russian Seasons" in Paris and Monte Carlo earlier this century, it looks forward to returning to Cannes for many more Augusts with fresh displays of Russia's artistic and cultural achievements.

Travel and tickets to "Russia ? A New Century" can be arranged through the festival's official agents, Inna Tour. Tel. 742-1717/3030.