Highlight: ballerina Maria Yakovleva will perform in tribute to the legendary Anna Pavlova ( )
Tuesday 16 February 2016 12:35
London’s growing Russian expat community are helping spread their culture and challenge negative stereotypes, according to the organisers of one of the country’s top arts festivals.
The Winter International Arts Festival, currently under way in Sochi, was inspired by the BBC Proms and wants to match the Edinburgh Festival in global reach and standing.
Now in its ninth year, it started shortly before Sochi was chosen to host the 2014 Winter Olympics and has grown from a classical music showcase to include theatre, ballet and contemporary music. This year’s festival features the works of Shakespeare and Byron in a bid to increase the number of British and European visitors, with future plans to scrap visa restrictions for them.
Other highlights include a gala concert The Immortal Swan in memory of Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, with a performance by Maria Yakovleva. Festival creator Dmitry Grinchenko said that while the diaspora in London helped dispel the idea that all Russians are oligarchs, he hoped a better understanding of his country’s culture would help the world understand the “real face of Russia”.