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Museum of Russian Icons Presents DAY OF BALLET and Birch Tea Lecture and Ceremony This Month

Learn more about the exhibitions here!

Museum of Russian Icons Presents DAY OF BALLET and Birch Tea Lecture and Ceremony This Month

The Museum of Russian Icons presents a "Day of Ballet," featuring tours of the exhibition Swan Lake: 145 Years of History and Triumph, ballet demonstrations, family activities and a dance workshop, on Saturday, January 14, from 12-2pm. On Saturday, January 28, the Museum presents a Birch Tea Lecture and Ceremony, held in conjunction with the exhibition Tree of Life: Birch Through the Ages.

A DAY OF BALLET

Saturday,January 14, 12-2pm | Free with Museum Admission.

12:00-1:00pm
Interactive Tours: Discover ballet history through the exhibition "Swan Lake," including figure drawing, coloring pages for families, and a demonstration of the "Swan Hands" dance technique. These programs are free with museum admission.

1:00-2:00pm
Basic Elements of Ballet: Explore the basic positions, movements, and postures of classical dance. Students will learn a small composition from the dance of the Swan Princess from the ballet Swan Lake. All bodies, ages, and abilities are welcome! Limited to 20 participants; registration, at
https://museumofrussianicons.ticketing.veevartapp.com/tickets/view/list/basic-elements-of-ballet, is required.

Yana Veselova, curator of the Swan Lake exhibition, was born in Novosibirsk, Russia, and graduated from the Russian Academy of Business and the Novosibirsk College of Culture and Arts with a degree in choreography. A teacher of folk and ballet dance, Yana has been dancing and teaching for over 25 years.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Clinton Cultural Council, supported by the Mass Cultural Council.

BIRCH TEA LECTURE AND CEREMONY

Saturday, January 28, 1-3pm | Members $40, Nonmembers $50 | Limited to 25 participants, registration required by Friday, January 20

Birch is considered the sacred tree of the Slavic people and has been used throughout the centuries in various ways. Marina Smirnov, creator and owner of Finist natural beauty products, will lecture on the many applications of birch in Slavic culture - from making banya brooms out of birch twigs, to the health benefits of drinking birch juice. Afterward, participants will enjoy a birch-themed tea ceremony using birch bark containers that hold tea leaves, sugar, and other condiments, washing hands with birch tar soap and sipping some birch juice while waiting for the water to boil and tea to steep. To learn more about Marina's work, visit https://www.finistdesign.com/

Exhibitions Currently On View

Artists for Ukraine: Transforming Ammo Boxes into Icons

Through February 13, 2023

The Museum will dramatically showcase three Ukrainian icons painted on the boards of ammunition boxes by Oleksandr Klymenko and Sofia Atlantova, a husband-wife artistic team from Kyiv who created the ongoing project "Buy an Icon-Save a Life." Developed in response to the 2014 Russian invasion of Ukraine, the project started when Klymenko encountered empty wooden ammunition boxes from combat zones and noted their resemblance to icon boards (doski). By repurposing the panels, the project strives to "transform death (symbolized by ammo boxes) into life (traditionally symbolized by icons in Ukrainian culture). The goal, this victory of life over death, happens not only on the figurative and symbolic level but also in reality through these icons on ammo boxes."

Exhibitions of the ammo box icons have been staged throughout Europe and North America to raise awareness of the ongoing war in Ukraine. In addition, sales have provided substantial funds to support the Pirogov First Volunteer Mobile Hospital, the largest nongovernmental undertaking to provide medical assistance to the Donbas region. The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 strengthened the resolve of Atlantova and Klymenko to continue painting icons on boards taken back from the frontlines.

A goal of the installation will be to help raise monies for the Pirogov First Volunteer Mobile Hospital in Ukraine.

Tree of Life: Birch Through the Ages

November 10, 2022 - January 29, 2023

The birch tree serves many purposes in Slavic culture - it is a versatile material for traditional crafts, an ancient symbol of sorrow and renewal, and a representation of the land and people. Centered around six unique icons created by Siberian artist Vladimir Tulyak from layers of birch bark, this installation combines representations of birch in Slavic art, poetry, and craft. Seen together, these works connect the birch motif's traditional, pagan roots and its later uses in Christian belief and contemporary Slavic life. Curated by Simone Tricca.

Swan Lake: 145 Years of History and Triumph

An exhibition of photographs, costumes, and historical documents from a private collection

November 10, 2022 - January 29, 2023

The stunning image of ballerinas in white tutus dancing in unison enchants audiences across the globe. Yet, when the ballet was first staged in Moscow in 1877, Swan Lake was met with a tepid response. Many critics felt the production was indistinct and forgettable; composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's inventive and intricate composition was deemed noisy and undanceable. Twenty years later, in 1895, a fully-realized production mounted by St. Petersburg's Mariinsky Theatre generated a new appreciation, helping to shape it into one of the world's most famous ballets. A compelling story of tragic love set to a glorious score, Swan Lake has come to be known as the quintessential classical ballet.

As part of an educational project, "Ballet of the 20th Century," organized by collector Yana Veselova, this mini-exhibition works to preserve the memory of the choreography and ballet dancers of the 19th and 20th centuries through original black and white photographs, costume pieces, and theater playbills from Australia, England, France, Russia, and the United States; featuring famed dancers such as Maria Tallchief, Alexandra Danilova, Frederic Franklin, Anna Pavlova, Galina Ulanova, Maya Plisetskaya, Anthony Dowell, Antoinette Sibley, and more.



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