Despite being many miles from the ocean waves, Krakow will host its 29th International Festival of Sea Shanties this month. Between 25th and 28th February, Poland’s capital of culture will welcome music groups and performers from across the world to pay homage to the big blue and the world of old ships.
After relatively humble beginnings in 1981, the festival is now one of the biggest shanty celebrations not only in Poland but also in Europe. Every year people from all over the country – and from further afield – drop anchor in Krakow to sing about sea adventures and voyages.
The four-day festival will welcome almost eleven thousand people who will take part in a number of shows, concerts and performances. In past years, the festival has proved to be a launching pad for some of the most popular shanty groups and artists including Stare Dzwony, Packet, Ryczące Dwudziestki, and Mechanicy Shanty.
‘Maslenitsa’ is a Russian folk celebration that takes place just before Lent and is similar to what we know as Shrove Tuesday but instead lasts for a week. Following last year’s successful inaugural event, the 2010 Maslenitsa Festival promises to be a vibrant and entertaining celebration of contemporary Russia and its rich cultural heritage.
The main stage welcomes a variety of folk, pop and rock performers invited from Russia as well as leading Russian groups based in the UK. The programme includes folk and romance songs from the acclaimed ethno-folk group Pelageya; the Terem quartet, which brings together disparate musical trends with traditional musical instruments – including the domra, balalaika and accordion; the group After 11 from the folksong theatre ‘Russian Song’, founded by the famous folk diva Nadezhda Babkina, focusing on polyphonic (multi-voice) singing; Dmitry Danilenko, the recent winner of a ‘grand-prix’ at the international ‘Slavyansky Bazar’ festival of arts (2009); the instrumental folk group White Day celebrated throughout Russia for its balalaika and rock performances; the talented young singer Alexa Pol who has taken part in many festivals and was a winner in last year’s Russian song contest in London; and the charismatic bluesmen from St Petersburg, Billy’s Band. There will also be performances by a folk dance group from the Tatarstan Republic (which represents culturally diverse regions of the Russian Federation) and the Russian Orthodox Church Choir of London.
For those already thinking of their summer plans, one destination and event is particular is right up there: The Garden Festival in Croatia. Set in a stunning 900-year old fishing village on the Dalmatian Coast, it is an area of true beauty, one which festival goers explore to indulge in fine food, adventure and fun, all framed by the festival itself, which again takes place across the first and second weekends of July from 2nd-11th July.
The lineup is indeed taking shape to be the most inspiring yet in the Garden’s esteemed history, with everything from NYC deep disco from Metro Area jousting with the sublime sounds of Floating Points, one of the most talked about acts of 2009 for a string of revered releases and remixes, through to Leeds’ finest deck devil, Dave Beer. One of Scotland’s finest, The Revenge, is set to unleash his fine disco cuts, and since his Resident Advisor podcast his stock has risen even further. Two of the north of the border’s other favourite sons, Subclub’s Harri and Domenic, make their inaugural trips to Petrcane. London’s Horse Meat Disco also star, themselves enjoying their most fruitful year yet, and two late night specialists, Sebo K and Seth Troxler, bring a tech-noir edge to nocturnal proceedings. Of course it’s not just all about the new boys; some already legendary Garden guests also return, including Greg Wilson, Henrik Schwarz, Kelvin Brown, Terry Farley, No’ Fakin and a great deal more also star.
Croatia itself has enjoyed a bumper year as a travel destination, offering everything from secluded coves and deserted stretches of pristine beach to historic and vibrant cities, succulent seafood and an enriching culture of old and new. Many of those who attended one or more of the weekends this year also took time out to explore some of this inspiring and seductive country too. Visit gb.croatia.hr/Home for more info.
What’s what at The Garden festival 2010: the story so far 2020 Soundsystem • Bonobo • Crazy P • Henrik Schwarz • Killer Whale (The Arthur Russell Project) • Tensnake • Trojan Sound System DJ SETS: Adam Regan • Adam Shelton • Ame • Andy Blake • Basement Boogaloo • Ben Terry • Bobby Beige • Borja • Christophe (Redux) • Daddy G • Dave Beer • Dave Jarvis • Deano Ferrino • Discomendments • Dixon • Dolan Bergin • Dom Chung • Ed Cotton • El Diablos • El Harvo • Electric Minds • Emma Chibuku • Faze Action • Faith • Felix Dickinson • Filthy Dukes • Floating Points • Florian Keller • Futureboogie DJ’s • Geddes • Greg Wilson • Hang The Dj • Harri and Domenic • Horse Meat Disco • Ichisan & Nakova • James Hillard • James Holroyd • Jamie Jones • James Hillard • Jimpster • Joe 90 • Karen P • Kelvin Brown • Kid Bongo • Matty J • Metro Area (Darshan Jesrani) • Nick Shaw • No Fakin DJ’s • Ole Smokey • PBR Streetgang • Pete Herbert • Phat Phil Cooper • Qool DJ Marv • Red Rackem • Rub n Tug • Sam Redmore • Sean Brosnan • Sebo K • Seth Troxler • Shur-i-kan • Smith and Mudd • Soul Jazz Sound System • Ste Hodge • Stu Patterson • Subb-An • Terry Farley • The Revenge • Tirk • Tristan Da Cuhna •Yam Who?
Also, Argonaughty Boat Crews are confirmed! Ahoy there me hearties! There will be 20 voyages over the ‘Double Whammy’ period so get your cutlass polished ready, as mutiny, booty and plunder are not far from these here distant shores.
Weekend 1 Argonaughty Buccaneers: Tirk* Sub Club* Asylum/Hang The DJ* Mulletover* Crazy P* Faith* Below*Futureboogie Crews to include Greg Wilson* Harri & Domenic* Junior* Telford* PBR Strretgang* Geddes* Crazy P Soundsystem* Terry Farley* Stu Patterson* Dave Jarvis* Joe 90* El Harvo* Kid Bongo
Weekend 2 Argonaughty Bucaneers: Trojan/Andy Blake* Resident Advisor* Leftoot* Innervisions Crews to include Trojan Sounsystem* Andy Blake* Sebo K* Seth Troxler* Adam Regan* Bobby Beige* Daddy G* Ame* Dixon* Henrik Schwarz
Barbarellas After Parties Confirmed to Date: As per usual there will be some top club nights and hosts planned for next year’s after parties in Barbarellas Discotheque; the opening party will be on the 1st July and is the official start of the 2010 season. Barbarellas will be open from 23.00hrs until sunrise throughout the ‘Double Whammy’ event in 2010 – expect some very, very special guests.
Weekend 1 Club Hosts: Sub Club* Mulletover* Horse Meat Disco
Weekend 2 Club Hosts: Futureboogie* Resident Advisor presents* Freerange
Croatia on Tour: If you want a taste of Croatia in your home country, think about heading to one of the The Garden Festival European Tour Dates starting this February:
Saturday 6th Feb London UK, The Star Of Bethnal Green
Friday 12th Feb Ljubljana Slovenia, K4 with Crazy P Soundsystem and Futureboogie
Friday 12th Feb Brighton UK, Life (tbc) with Horse Meat Disco
Saturday 13th Feb Zagreb Croatia, A secret location with Crazy P Soundsystem and Futureboogie
Saturday 20th Feb Sofia Bulgaria, venue tbc with Crazy P Soundsystem and Futureboogie
Friday 26th Feb Birmingham UK, The Hare And Hounds with Crazy P Soundsystem and Futureboogie & after party with the Revenge
Saturday 27th Feb Nottingham, The Maze with The Revenge
Saturday 6th March, The Deaf Institute with El Diablos Social Club and The Revenge
All gigs will feature Garden friends and family, spreading the good word across the continent in anticipation of what is going to be a fantastic summer… Keep checking The Garden Festival for updated information www.thegardenfestival.eu
Before he arrived in Hollywood to leave his indelible (and inimitable) mark on timeless comedies like Trouble in Paradise and The Shop Around the Corner, Ernst Lubitsch created an expansive body of work in Germany that proved to be as varied in its tone as it was sophisticated in its measure of man and woman. Yesterday the Masters of Cinema release this box set: a collection of six recently restored works from the silent phase of Lubitsch’s career, casting new light on the director both as a fully-formed comic master, and as a virtuoso of cinematographic technique.
ICH MÖCHTE KEIN MANN SEIN (1918)
One of the first collaborations between Lubitsch and the exuberant Ossi Oswalda, Ich möchte kein Mann sein [I Wouldn’t Like to Be a Man] is a concise sketch of society life in three acts. When Ossi’s uncle goes away on a business trip, a new guardian steps in to tame the distractable niece. But Ossi finds a way out of the house and into a grand ball by way of a brazen cross-dressing scheme, and triggers what is perhaps Lubitsch’s most twisted finale.
DIE PUPPE (1919)
“Four amusing acts from a toy-chest” — so reads the opening title of the comic masterpiece Die Puppe. [The Doll.] adapted by Lubitsch and co-scenarist Hanns Kräly from a libretto by A. M. Wilner (based in turn on a tale from E. T. A. Hoffmann). Ossi Oswalda stars in a double-role as both the mischievous daughter, and automatonic creation, of a wildly coiffed “dollmaker”. When a wealthy baron decides the time has come for his prudish nephew to take a wife, an uproariously ribald plot unwinds into what is perhaps the world’s first-ever sex-doll comedy.
DIE AUSTERNPRINZESSIN (1919)
As Die Austernprinzessin. [The Oyster Princess.], Ossi Oswalda makes another turn as a plutocrat’s rambunctious daughter, now the heiress of a global oyster empire, devoting her wiles once again to the service of man-ipulation. A comic high-point in the master’s oeuvre, Die Austernprinzessin. showcases the trademarks of the “Lubitsch Touch” and its ten-fingered dexterity, resulting in a film that is simultaneously clever, concise, and risqué.
Georgian food is a real favourite in Russia and across Eastern Europe in a similar way that the British are fond of a good Indian curry. In much the same way, Georgian cuisine provides some vital flavours and spice sometimes missing from East European cuisine. So, when I noticed a Georgian restaurant in Kensington, just minutes from where I live I knew I had to visit it. My meal at Ket (also a Georgian restaurnt) in St Petersburg was by far one of my favourites during my stay there, and if I was to eat a meal half as good in Mimino as served in Ket, I would be a happy customer indeed.
Located on High Street Kensington, with its entrance lying on Allen Street the restaurant has a relatively basic facade. However, a staircase leads diners down into a basement which is anything but basic. On arrival the staff are helpful and friendly (and not simply because I somehow managed to slip off the final step and literally fall into the arms of a waiter). The atmosphere is, as to be expected, lively, with many Russians and other East European ethnicities enjoying a good night out. While the decor is dramatic and visitors cannot fail to be shocked by the large round table with giant, wooden, carved chairs fit for a feast in a forest.
The menu is not vast but contains every traditional Georgian favourite and is sure to keep every diner going long into the night, if not the next day! The starters are simply incredible and lead diners on a veritable culinary adventure. Warm Lobio (red beans with walnuts and spices), Sulguni cheese (served with spring onions, radish and herbs) and Imeruli Khachapuri (flat bread stuffed with special cheese) provide the ideal way to begin a dining expedition. As these dishes are so tasty, not to mention particularly generous in size and rich in flavour, diners must be careful to leave room for their main course! It is not easy, trust me!
As part of the much-anticipated Russian Season, the BBC is set to unravel the rich and fascinating world of Russian art for the first time in a three-part series on BBC Four. The Art Of Russia is the story of a nation’s destiny – revolution and human conflict on a scale unparalleled in any other European country’s history of art.
Emerging from the most conservative of cultures into the most radical, Russian art triumphed against the odds. This is the country that gave us Malevitch’s Black Square – a precursor of Rothko intensity – and the Faberge Egg… at the same time!
Episode one celebrates the great age of the icon, when Russia was at its most intense and inward looking. Travelling to the northern wastes, art critic, Andrew Graham-Dixon, discovers the country’s most moving icons, the little known folk ‘Lubock’ art, antique Russia of the countryside, and Peter the Great’s artistic revolution.
Audiences are now be able to re-live one of the defining moments in post-war history as the BBC Archive releases its latest online collection documenting the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall. The collection reveals the history of the Berlin Wall from its post-war creation to the huge popular uprising that saw it torn down in 1989 and focuses on the impact of the Iron Curtain on the lives of East and West Berliners. Broadcasts spanning the period from the Soviet Blockade in 1948 to the formal reunification of Germany in 1990, and explores how one city came to represent the political stand-off between East and West during the Cold War will now be available
Published just weeks before the world celebrates the 20th anniversary of the fall of the wall, the collection will enable the public to witness footage not seen in decades and hear first hand accounts of one of the most defining moments in history. It also explores what the consequences of this were for citizens united by family, employment and friendship but divided by a 27-mile-long fortified concrete and mesh barrier.