Kamyanitsa 2016 Folk Festival
The international project “Whole life in one bicycle”, which was presented for the first time at EXPO 2015 in Milan, invites you to learn more about the history of a bicycle – a unique means of transport and one of the greatest inventions, which has made the life of European urban dwellers and villagers much easier. The visitors to the exhibition will learn many interesting facts about the life and daily routine of representatives of various professions: a priest, a doctor, a fireman, a baker, a milkman, a tailor and a barber, and the role which the bicycle played in their lives. The exclusive collection, with the youngest bike of about 60 years old, belongs to Maurizio Urbinati from Italy. He has been collecting vintage bicycles with an interesting story for the past four last decades.
The Painter and the City project has become famous thanks to reproductions of pictures by the great artists such as Marc Chagall, Kazimir Malevich, and Nikolai Seleshchuk. You are cordially invited to get familiar with the art of an outstanding contemporary, a representative of Belarusian naive art Valentin Gubarev. For two decades his works have been on display in the famous French gallery Les Tournesols while staying largely unknown to the general public in the home country. The open-air exhibition will feature reproductions of 30 pictures that resemble caricatures. The pictures reflect the everyday life of provincial towns and their residents. According to the painter himself, he likes the spirituality of common folks, who build their life according to their own passions and interpretations of beauty
When: 26 May – 9 September
Where: Yakub Kolas Square, Minsk
For several years, Minsk residents and guests have had a chance to learn more about Belarus’ outstanding landmarks, the uniqueness of which is recognized throughout the world. This year, the open-air gallery has brought together over 100 reproductions depicting the architectural heritage, among which are towns halls, manors, palaces and parks, Orthodox and Catholic churches which have been restored over the past decade in different regions of the country. The authors of the art project are well-known photographers, journalists, winners of the Spiritual Revival Award (2005) Alexander Alekseev and Oleg Lukashevich, who released the album "Heritage of Belarus" in 2004. The album sold over 42 million copies from 2004 to 2014 and became a real sales hit in the history of the national book publishing.
When: from 21 May
Where: Chelyuskintsev Park, Minsk
An exclusive exhibition of French fashion designer Denis Durand Couture, dubbed as the Cannes Festival trendsetter, will open at Mir Castle, one of the most beautiful landmarks of Belarus, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. In 2013 Belarusian theater and cinema stars walked the red carpet of the 20th International Film Festival Listapad in exquisite gowns from the famous Frenchman. This time the exhibition visitors will see 15 splendid evening and wedding attire, including dresses made from Belarusian handmade fabric. The collection will also include items created in cooperation with famous Minsk dress designer Apti Eziev, and also jewelry and accessories from Belarusian designers: clutches, purses, leather and metal headwear …
In 2015 Art Islands project became the largest open-air museum of installations which was visited by around 500,000 fans of contemporary art. The new exposition presents the art works of Belarusian masters: 15 exclusive art objects whose height exceeds five meters, and weight reaches 40 tonnes. Among the most interesting are the gigantic cocoons on trees, a tricycle, an allegory of modern city and birdhouse for thoughts. Visitors can travel back in time and space, embrace nature, immerse in the mystical world and feel the influence of the artificial world, participate in a philosophical quest, and even dance with shadows.
When: 23 June-10 September
Where: Island of Komsomoltsev, Komsomolskoye Lake, Minsk
The project “Free Museum” invites Minsk residents and visitors to get acquainted with the heroes of our time, the people who have made a significant contribution to the development of national culture: scientists, inventors, writers, composers, filmmakers, artists, athletes ... In the historic center of Minsk there is a display of the portraits of famous citizens of Minsk: composer Nikolai Aladov, ballerina Lyudmila Brzhozovskaya, conductor Grigory Shirma, actress Stephania Stanyuta, entrepreneur Mejlah Pupko, neurologist Daniil Markov… All in all, the “live exposition” features 20 reproductions from the holdings of the National Art Museum, many of which are exhibited for the first time.
When: 30 June – 30 September
Where: Svobody Square, Minsk
An exhibition of paintings by Mikhail Savitsky, the Hero of Belarus, People’s Artist of the USSR and Belarus, participant of the Great Patriotic War, tells visitors about the life of the Belarusian people during one of the bloodiest wars in the history of mankind. Mikhail Savitsky, the author of the famous Guerilla Madonna captured the heroism of the people of Belarus in their struggle against the German fascist invaders. One of the most striking pages of his chronicles of the war is a series of 16 paintings “Numbers in the Heart” created based on his personal recollections of the horrors of the German concentration camps at Buchenwald, Dachau, and Dusseldorf. According to the artist, paintings can expose the truly tragic nature of war by influencing people solely through their hearts, emotions and mental contemplation.
When: 28 July – 9 October
Where: Belarusian State Museum of the Great Patriotic War, Minsk
In the first days of September Minsk will play host the Olympic ice hockey qualifying tournament in Group D: Belarus, Denmark, Poland and Slovenia. Matches involving the national team under the tutelage of head coach Dave Lewis, ice will be held in Minsk Arena, one of the largest sports complexes in Europe. In 2014 Minsk Arena was the main venue of the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship.
At the same time Latvia and Denmark will host qualifying matches in Groups E and F where two more teams will compete for the spots in the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
Minsk Half Marathon, which has already gained international recognition, will be a sports highlight of the City Day celebrations and will bring together thousands of athletes and active lifestyle enthusiasts. The race drew over 16,000 participants, including more than 400 athletes from 36 countries in 2015. But this, according to the organizers, is not the limit: this year foreign visitors can take the opportunity and get a free Belarusian visa. In addition to the “crown distance” of 21.1km, the program will also feature the 5km and 10km races. The winner of Minsk Half Marathon 2015 Olga Mazurenok, who placed 5th at the Rio Olympic marathon, will also take part in the event. Aleksandra Herasimenia, the 50m freestyle bronze winner of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, will be another guest of honor.
When: 4 September
The host of the Day of the Belarusian Written Language 2016 will be Rogachev, a beautiful city over the Dnieper. The city takes its roots in the 12th century and is closely related to the names of talented writers, poets, journalists and figures of art. For example, it was here where Vladimir Korotkevich wrote his famous works Christ Landed in Grodno, Ears of Rye under Your Sickle and, of course, The Boat of Despair, a novel about a medieval nobleman from Rogachev. The main themes of this year’s forum is the Year of Culture, the preparations to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Belarusian book printing, and also birthdays of famous writers: Maksim Bogdanovich, Ivan Shamyakin, Zmitrok Byadulya, Ivan Melezh and Kondrat Krapiva. The program will include more than 70 events: the Roads to Holy Places scientific and educational expedition around Gomel Oblast, an international writers’ roundtable, a science to practice workshop, a book and printed press festival, book fairs, presentations of mass media and publishing houses, a feast of literature dozhinki, and perhaps one of the main events of the year – the 2nd National Literature Prize awards ceremony.
When: 4 September
Where: Rogachev, Gomel Oblast
Yekaterina Rozhdestvenskaya, an outstanding photographer, a journalist and fashion artist, daughter of the famous poet Robert Rozhdestvensky, will present her new project, Private Collection, in Minsk in the autumn. The project offers a variety of portraits of Russian politicians, TV presenters, actors, singers and athletes pictured as the characters of the classic art pieces by Durer, Rembrandt, Velazquez, Monet, Renoir, Repin, Surikov, and many others. The exhibition will feature over 100 makeover portraits and will be accompanied by the reproductions of the paintings to help see how close the author is to the original, and to assess the models’ talents in the art of disguise. Among the heroes are Lyudmila Gurchenko, Vladimir Spivakov, Liya Akhedzhakova, Anatoly Karpov, Kristina Orbakaite, Filipp Kirkorov, Inna Churikova, Andrei Makarevich…
When: 8 September - 30 October
Where: National History Museum of the Republic of Belarus, Minsk
The International Theater Festival, which marked its 20th anniversary in 2015, will gather its friends in Brest again. The city over the Bug will welcome 27 theater companies from 17 countries – Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Latvia, Georgia, Armenia, Romania, Moldova, Poland, the Czech Republic, Germany, France, the UK, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan. The festival program will include classic and modern theater productions in both well-known genres (drama, musical, rock opera, street performance) and recently-developed ones: phantasmagoria, Gothic thriller game, school quest and others. The forum will open with the play Twelfth Night by the Maksim Gorky National Academic Drama Theater. By tradition, the Brest theater will present its premiere – Dear Yelena Sergeyevna after Lyudmila Razumovskaya’s play.
When: 9 – 16 September
Where: Brest Academic Drama Theater, Brest Oblast Public and Cultural Center, Center of Youth Creativity, Brest
The 8th edition of the Kamyanitsa Folk Festival will gather experts and amateurs of the Belarusian ethnography at the Museum of Vernacular Architecture and Ethnic Heritage. Headliners of the festival will be the ethno-trio Troitsa and singer Inna Zhelannaya, who will present her album Izvorot (Sharp Turn) recorded in 2014 jointly with American bass guitarist, ex-member of the rock band King Crimson Trey Gunn. The open air concert will feature St. Petersburg’s Ole Lukkoye, Ukraine’s Taruta, and also the Belarusian rock band Re1ikt. This year the forum will be expanded to add modern music. Young Belarusian singer Polina Respublika will perform at the festival. The singer’s debut disc Endless April released in 2015 made it into the list of contenders for a prestigious award.
When: 10 September
Where: Belarusian State Museum of Vernacular Architecture and Ethnic Heritage, Minsk
In July, the Belarusian capital hosted the 2016 Davis Cup Group II Europe/Africa second round tie. The Belarusian team under Vladimir Voltchkov’s tutelage scored a 4:1 victory against Lithuania, which gave them a chance to compete for a place in Davis Cup Europe/Africa Group I. In the third round of Group II Europe/Africa, Belarus will play Denmark (world No. 43) that beat Finland 3:2. Ilya Ivashko and Yaroslav Shilo, who defeated their Latvian opponents in Group II Europe/Africa second round, will play singles rubbers. Andrei Vasilevsky and Alexander Bury will play doubles.
When: 16 – 18 September
Where: Olympic Training Center for Tennis, Minsk
In the Year of Culture, the Gomel-based international choreography festival founded in 1997 will welcome dancers from 40 countries, including Russia, the Baltic states, Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia and Kazakhstan. China, India and Argentina will make their debut. Festival director Pyotr Sverdlov envisages that during the opening ceremony at the central stadium, representatives of different cultures will be presented as threads woven into one huge multicolored fabric symbolizing the unity and friendship of peoples. The seventh Gomel Fire Festival GOFF 2016 and the international ballroom dancing competition Golden Lynx will be held as part of the international choreography festival.
When: 16 – 18 September
This year’s edition of the unique project Race of Legends – Biathlon Stars for Peace initiated by three-time Olympic champion, winner of the Big Crystal Globe trophy Darya Domracheva will draw an ever-larger number of participants and guests. The Raubichi Olympic Sports Complex will once again welcome thirty best athletes from different countries, including French biathlete Florence Baverel -Robert, Norway’s Frode Andresen, and Germany’s Sven Fischer and Ricco Gross, among others. Mass start and mixed relay will be the highlights of the large-scale sports event. When gearing up for the 2016 event, the organizers increased Raubuchi’s seating capacity to 10,000.
When: 18 September
Where: Raubichi National Olympic Winter Sports Training Center, Minsk
Since 2012, the famous wildlife sanctuary Yelnya which has an international status of a Ramsar site has hosted the eco-festival with a romantic name Cranes and Cranberries of Miory District every September. People gather the biggest cranberry harvests in Belarus and see huge flocks of cranes in the sky above one of the biggest high moors in Europe. About 4,000 common cranes and tens of thousands of geese stay here, in the vicinity of Yelnya, during the autumn migration. This year, ornithologists and lovers of Belarusian nature will traditionally explore ecological routes and see cranes in their natural habitat. The eco-festival will include interesting events, namely the photo exposition Podykh Yelni (Breath of Yelnya), presentations of rural estates Zapavetny Kutok (Cherished Places), a fair of artisans Zhuravel-Charadzei (Crane the Wonderworker), a concert of the Praleski band from Latvian Daugavpils, the Miyorskaya Zhuravinka (Miory Cranberry) show, and a master class in the Belarusian cuisine Tsvetsinskiya Prysmaki (Tsvetino Delicacies) featuring Belarusian dishes with cranberry fillings.
When: 18 September
Where: Miory, Vitebsk Oblast
The Arena of Triumph show which will open a new circus season which will have original directing solutions and many surprises. For example, the program will include a performance of the world’s only trained rhinoceros, the fantastic program Shambhala. Training of White Tigers hosted by Honored Artists of Russia Yelena Fedotova and Sergei Nesterov. The show will also feature acrobatic performances directed by Alexander Skokov, trained horses of Olga Dyagileva, a boxing kangaroo of Alexei Poruchayev, the show of performing dogs Spring Jazz of Alisa Nesterova, a young artist of the Old Moscow Circus on Tsvetnoy Boulevard. The show will be crowned by the performance of multiple winner of international circus festivals and the 2011 Golden Clown award Armen Asiryants.
When: 23 September – 16 October
Where: Belarusian State Circus, Minsk
The medieval culture festival invites you to visit the ancient Belarusian town of Mstislavl and enjoy the age of noble knights and fair ladies. As part of the festival visitors will be able to see knight tournaments, equestrian shows and competitions, an archer competition and a castle being stormed and burned at night as the most vivid part of the program. Apart from that, the festival will feature a theatrical performance by the Minsk street theater Vir, master classes on combat arts and medieval dancing, a pub in a monastery, and a craftsmen town. The festival will culminate in a concert of Belarusian folk music featuring prominent bands like Irdorath and Nevrida. Fireworks will be arranged after that.
When: 23–24 September
Where: Mstislavl, Mogilev Oblast
The most awaited festival of the theatrical autumn in Minsk is TEART 2016, which is expected to present 22 shows from nine countries: Belarus, Russia, Lithuania, Poland, Hungary, Slovenia, France, Switzerland, and Germany. The program will be divided into three sections: the international program, the Belarusian showcase Belarus Open, and auxiliary events. The festival will open with a performance of the theater and music project Life of Insects directed by Svetlana Ben and Dmitry Bogoslavsky. The multi-genre kaleidoscope will offer the dancing journey Roots by the National Choreographic Center of La Rochelle, a musical story King Size by Christoph Marthaler and the tragicomedy Measure for Measure by Declan Donnellan. The tragicomedy won a Golden Lion award during the Venice Biennale 2016. The forum will end with the play City. Marriage. Gogol by the prominent Russian director Yuri Butusov. In 2015 the play received a Golden Floodlight award in the nomination Best Play on Large Stage.
When: 28 September – 20 October
The Yuri Bashmet International Festival is one of the key musical events of the year that will once again bring the best performers from all over the world to Minsk. The forum will open with the Moscow-Vienna concert program featuring two outstanding musicians — the violinist Sergei Krylov and the pianist Rostislav Krimer. You will certainly remember International Music Day — 1 October — thanks to world classics such as two fortepiano concerts (Piano Concerto No. 3 by Prokofiev and Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini) performed by the Russian pianist Nikolai Lugansky, who is often called the most romantic musician of our time. As part of the Legends on a Stradivari Violin evening the East-West Chamber Orchestra conducted by Rostislav Krimer will perform together with the famous German violinist Viviane Hagner. A concert by a Grammy Award winner — the chamber orchestra Moscow Soloists conducted by People’s Artist of Russia and the USSR Yuri Bashmet — will be the final accord of the event.
When: 30 September – 11 October
Where: The Belarusian State Philharmonic, Minsk