Dialogues on history and culture. Starlight head wreath of Lesia Ukrayinka
November 5-6, 2015 the Kharkiv Region Coordination and Methodology Centre for Culture and Art (CMCCA) hosted the workshop named ‘Dialogues on history and culture. Starlight head wreath of Lesia Ukrayinka’. The workshop was co-organised by the ‘Kharkiv platform for culture and tourism development’ NGO and the ‘Culture of Dialogue’ action group (Kyiv), with the support of OWEN e.V. – Mobile Academy for Gender Democracy and Peace Development as well as the Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations (Germany).
November 5th, 40 participants attended the workshop, including art directors, methodologists of Kharkiv region recreation centres, and CMCCA methodologists. The event was also attended by Alessandro Nanni, the observer of the Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The second part of the workshop was held in November 6th for the soon-to-be cultural workers, students of the Kharkiv State Academy of Culture.
In her welcoming speech at the beginning of the workshop, Liubov Miakinnikova, the CMCCA Vice Director for Culture, Leisure, and Art,wished the participants interesting and fruitful work.
The workshop programme was very intense and dynamic. It contained master classes in text analysis and plasticity, performance, and dialogues. Innovative forms of non-formal education were used. For example, in order to make acquaintance and establish the dialogue-oriented atmosphere the ‘My names’ exercise was used (participants in turns told how they are called by their parents, friends, and colleagues).
The workshop was based at the work place of the prominent Ukrainian writer and cultural activist Lesia Ukrayinka. February 25, 2016 is her 145th birthday anniversary. Her poem The Forest Song has earned her recognition as a brilliant poetess. Before discussing the role and place of this literary work in the past and at present, Nataliya Roman (Kyiv), the certified coach, mediator, dialogue facilitator, and volunteer of Psychological Crisis Service of Ukraine told the participants about what is called a properly constructed dialogue, the dialogue principles, the reason why this method can be used to communicate on the topics of history and culture, as well as the way in which to carry it out. A little later, participants were split into groups to analyse the texts of Lesia Ukrayinka. They were encouraged to look for parallels in the text during a master class by Mariya Zabelina, the leading methods specialist of the CMCCA Department of innovative cultural projects and international cooperation.
‘The Emotions Dance. Unveiling of The Forest Song mystery characters’ master class was run by Olena Shabalina, PhD in History of Arts, associate professor and head of the Modern Choreography department at the Kharkiv State Academy of Culture, President of the ‘Experimental Dance in Ukraine and Worldwide’ NGO. The master class participants trained using flexibility exercises to establish a dialogue with their bodies. They practiced listening to their bodies in order to improvise and unveil the images of The Forest Song mystery characters in their own unique way using plastic and dance movements.
After the master classes the workshop participants together with Nataliya Roman and Oksana Buhaichenko, the Head of the CMCCA Department of innovative cultural projects and international cooperation and the Vice Chairman of the Board of the Kharkiv Platform for Culture and Tourism Development NGO, talked about how historical context influenced the interpretation of this The Forest Song, and how the political situation in Ukraine was used to change the understanding of this work from children’s fairytale to political manifesto. Finally, the participants discussed how they hadt discovered new interpretations of The Forest SongWe also talked about the innovative approaches to dialogue in culture, as well as to culture in dialogue.
The highlight of the workshop was ‘The Starlight Head Wreath’ performance by the students and professional actors of the Kharkiv State Academy of Culture. It was based on the final action of The Forest Song. Halyna Heiko and Yan Kharytonov, the winners of various international competitions and festivals, reconstructed the dialogue of the main féerie characters. The award winner of the international contests and festivals Volodymyr Heiko performed the flute part, present in Lesia Ukrayinka’s The Forest Song. The workshop participants read and interpreted the text while ballet dancers performed plastic improvisations and invited others to join them. Halyna Heiko first performed the Zhurba song within the performance (music by Y.Povolotskyi, lyrics by W.Olkhovyi). At the end of the workshop all participants joined the performance.
Other highlights of this workshop were looking at the place Lesia Ukrayinka’s writing has in the history of our people as well as in the life of each participant; the cacademic dialogue facilitation and innovative techniques of non-formal education, and also the opportunity for the organisers to compare different interpretations of the content.
The feedback from the participants at the end of the event proved the need for dialogues on culture and promotion of the culture of dialogue.
Source: Centre for Culture and Arts
Translation by Halyna Stasevych
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The Art dialogues were held within the ‘Future needs memories: Ukrainian dialogue on history and memories’ project implemented by Foundations of Freedom INGO / The Ukraine Action: Healing the Past programme, OWEN e.V. Mobile Academy for Gender Democracy and Peacebuilding, and the Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations (Germany).
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