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New Year and Christmas celebration in Kyiv

A few days before New Year I went to a party at Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Centre (the Ukrainian Film Archive), there was a presentation of the recently rediscovered and restored Ukrainian Soviet avant-garde film An Unprecedented Campaign (Нечуваний похід) (1931).The film was directed at VUFKU Studios Ukraine by Mikhail Kaufman, who was also a cinematographer of a world famous Dziga Vertov’s Man with a movie camera (1929). It’s a silent film, the new soundtrack was created by amazing Ukrainian composer Anton Baibakov. BTW a guide to Ukrainian Soviet avant-garde films of 1920-1930s you can read here 😉 

It was a presentation of a restored 30 min film excerpt, the world premiere will happen in Great Britain. It’s very cool and unusual for our time to find something unknown made by such a famous director, this masterpiece was forgotten for more than 80 years.

Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Centre Kiev

Ukrainian Film Archive kiev

An Unprecedented Campaign 1931 kaufman film

new year party kiev Oleksandr Dovzhenko Centre
The film focuses on the period of Stalin’s industrialization, collectivization, and militarization. In An Unprecedented Campaign Kaufman has moved away from the idea of a mechanical camera-eye that dominated in his earlier films, but still pays more attention to machines (tractors and combines) rather than humans; the film plays on contrasts between the poverty of villages and rhythms of mechanic factories.

An Unprecedented Campaign, dir: Mikhail Kaufman, 1931, VUFKU Studios Ukraine

Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Centre has recently finished renovation of its big building that used to be a factory, and now it is finally open for visitors.

new year party kiev silent film presentation

Mikhail Kaufman film premiere

new year party kyiv Oleksandr Dovzhenko Centre

I’m a big fan of National Theatre Live screenings in Kyiv cinema. I finally saw Skylight production that was directed by Stephen Daldry, and features Bill Nighy and Carey Mulligan. It was amazing; I loved the social and political dimension of a story, both of the main characters make fair points and it’s hard to choose sides.

Skylight NTL prodaction Bill Nighy Carey Mulligan

On the New Year’s Eve I went to СХЕМА party (pronounced as Skhema), it’s a famous series of Kyiv techno raves. Dazed wrote an article about it http://www.dazeddigital.com/photography/article/25212/1/documenting-kiev-s-new-ravers For a few years CXEMA was held in different locations of Kyiv, the latest one was under a Havana bridge on September.

cxema techno party kiev rave

It was very cold that day, -15 C! The party was held in an industrial looking complex of garages, located in front of a Baikove Cemetery and near Kyiv TV Tower. Speaking of Kyiv TV Tower, it’s quite unknown and far away from the city centre… It was built in 1960s, and its unique feature is that all parts of construction are attached by welding only. It was a bit weird to walk to a party alone on a completely empty streets, I was being late so I actually met the New Year while walking towards a party lol. So I guess the rest of a year I’m meant to spend walking. 🙂
Kiev tv tower

I met my friends at the CXEMA party and in the morning we went to the bar Под асфальтом пляж (Pod asfaltom Plyag) and did some more dancing. When I went home on a metro a lovely couple was seating next to me with a box of tangerines and gave me a tangerine, so cute 🙂

new year party bar kiev

new year bar kiev
The rest of a week was very cold, so I finally had an opportunity to watch the 8th and 9th season of Doctor Who. It’s amazing how each time the creators manage to find a perfect actor to play the Doctor; Peter Capaldi is a really great in this role. Screenwriters made him a bit more like Sherlock but each Doctor is supposed to have its own personality so I guess it is fine.

winter in Kyiv Ukraine

The Christmas tree and Christmas markets in Kyiv are located “between two bell towers” of Saint Sophia’s Cathedral and St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery. In Kyiv Christmas and New Year celebration stats on December 19th and lasts up to January 19th.

Christmas tree Kiev Ukraine

Christmas market Kiev

Christmas Kiev Ukraine Bohdan Khmelnytsky

Christmas New Year celebration Kiev

Saint Nicholas Christmas Kiev

In Ukraine we have a Christmas tradition to go from house to house and sing Christmas carols (koliadky and shchedrivky) and perform little skits while the owners of a house are supposed to give carolers candy, fruits or money. My friends and I went to sing Christmas carols to neighbors and friends on Malanka (January 13th), it was REALLY FUN and it really gets you in a Christmas spirit. During Malanka there is a tradition to play a little skit about a goat that dances and sings but suddenly falls to a ground, and the owners of a house should bring some treat to a goat to bring it back to life. 🙂 It’s a fun part that adds interactivity – people run to a kitchen and start to search for a candy or a tangerine to give to a goat. 🙂 One of the song we were singing was Shchedryk  that now is known around the world as Carol of the Bells. Next year we plan to gather more people and make brighter costumes, this year we had minimalistic-total-black-look lol, next year I want more carnival style ^_^ Speaking of costumes, these guys have crazy ones: Beleluya village, Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast and Krasnoilsk village, Chernivtsi oblast.

Christmas carols Kiev

Around Christmas there are many events where you can listen to authentic Ukrainian carols. I went to the festival of Kolyadky at the National Museum of Ukrainian Literature to the Taras Kompanichenko and Khoreia Kozatska concert (I love this band so much!!! )

Taras Kompanichenko and Khoreia Kozatska concert kiev
In one of the museum’s rooms volunteers are making Camouflage net for the army

Camouflage Net army volunteering Kiev

A new take on old Ukrainian Christmas carols

CXEMA https://www.facebook.com/cxemapage/
Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Centre http://www.dovzhenkocentre.org/eng/
Guide to Ukrainian Soviet avant-garde films of 1920-1930s http://seekyiv.com/ukrainian-avant-garde-cinema-of-1922-1930/
Taras Kompanichenko and Khoreia Kozatska https://www.facebook.com/Kompanichenko/
Anton Baibakov https://soundcloud.com/anton-baibakov

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