Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Maestro Valery Gergiev Fetes His 60th Birthday with Carnegie Hall Concerts

00 Valery Gergiev. 27.08.13

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Entertainment media reported that maestro Valery Gergiev would celebrate his 60th birthday at Carnegie Hall in New York this October with three concerts featuring music of Stravinsky, Shostakovich, and Rachmaninoff. Broadway World.com reported on Monday that Gergiev, who’s also marking his 25th year with the legendary Mariinsky Orchestra, will conduct an all-Stravinsky program on 10 October, featuring the composer’s famous ballet music from L’oiseau de feu (The Firebird), Pétrouchka, and Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring). On 11 October, Gergiev will conduct a performance of a Shostakovich concerto and the composer’s Symphony No. 8 in C minor, opus 65, followed by the Rachmaninoff Symphonic Dances, opus 45 and a piano concerto on 15 October. The Mariinsky is one of the oldest orchestras in Russia, having premièred works by Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, and Shostakovich, just to name a few. Gergiev first conducted the orchestra in 1978; since becoming Artistic and General Director in 1996, he’s toured with the ensemble to more than 45 countries. winning acclaim for widely expanding its repertoire.

27 August 2013

RIA-Novosti

http://en.ria.ru/russia/20130827/182998034/Gergiev-Fetes-60th-Birthday-With-Carnegie-Concerts.html

The Scandalous Truth About Russian Men

02c 8 March International Women's Day

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Earlier this month, Russian-American journalist Diana Bruk shocked the delicate sensibilities of the American reading public by writing a no-holds-barred account of why she loves (and hates!) dating Russian men. In her essay, published by Salon.com, Bruk talked about how her feminist sensibilities came up against her carnal desires when she dated Russians. She talked about how fun, scary, unpredictable, and exciting it is to date a Russian man if you happen to also be a modern girl who graduated from Sarah Lawrence. She talked about the possessive and aggressive nature of many of the men she dated, and how it combined itself with the sort of passion and tenderness her American lovers frequently lacked. She talked about how the Russian ideal of masculinity is both thrilling and damaging… a kind of conundrum that, to me, immediately brought back the words from that old U2 song, “With or without you / With or without you / I can’t live / With or without you”.

Many Russians were outraged, saying that Bruk stereotyped them. Many other Russians were delighted, saying that Bruk’s incredible honesty about her personal experiences proved once and for all that Russian dudes simply do it better… and not just when it comes to sex. Some Americans were also obviously offended. Other Americans used Bruk’s essay as “proof” that the feminist movement is a bunch of bullshit. What was most interesting to me was seeing the number of commenters who essentially told Bruk that they hope that she eventually marries a Russian… and that he’d go on to knock her teeth out. That, they reasoned, was appropriate punishment for an uppity girl who dared to be open about the fact that she wants “a man who’s a gentleman at dinner and an animal in bed” and that every once in a while, she just wants to scream to an awkward and conscientious Western lover that sex “isn’t a dinner party. You’re not writing an essay. Just let go”.

Like Bruk, I’ve also encountered the notion that domestic violence should be a kind of punitive experience for a woman who’s chosen to associate with the “wrong” kind of man. A reader who disagrees with me on something will dig around on the Internet, find out that I married a Russian, and start sending me hate mail with such charming sentiments as, “I hope he hits you regularly… since that’s the only thing these guys are good for”. At the heart of this issue is the archaic notion of “our women” vs “their women”. A woman can’t belong to several cultures, you see. She must be “claimed” by someone… and to suffer accordingly. This possessiveness isn’t exclusive to Russians by a long shot, and seeing the number of people wishing Bruk ill made me realise that they all protest too much. “Yeah, we think domestic violence in Russia is wrong… and that’s why we hope it happens to you!” Right.

According to the latest findings of Russia’s State Statistics Service, one in five Russian women is abused physically by her partner, whilst a total of 40 percent suffer from verbal abuse. These aren’t numbers to be taken lightly… and the idea that a “real man” must dominate his woman in every way, which is common in Russia, does feed into the problem of abuse, whether we like to admit this or not. Yet, I also think it’s very silly to assume that a woman who wants a man to take charge every once in a while… particularly in bed… is simply asking for abuse. Furthermore, dismissing Bruk’s internal struggle on the subject of equality and desire as a form of adolescent posturing is a cop-out. It amounts to whitewashing the complexities of relationships in general. The strength of Bruk’s piece lies in the discomfort it generates for everyone. Bruk admitted something that she wasn’t supposed to admit… the idea that desire doesn’t deal in absolutes. It’s no wonder people want to see her get her teeth knocked out.

27 August 2013

Natalia Antonova

RIA-Novosti

http://en.ria.ru/columnists/20130827/182993648/Trendwatcher-The-Scandalous-Truth-About-Russian-Men.html

Editor’s Note:

The good news is that a majority of Russian women DON’T suffer abuse from their partners… the bad news is that the minority who do is too large a number. We have a job of work to do…

BMD

27 August 2013. Today’s the Day… Regular Posting of News Articles to Begin This Evening

Filed under: domestic life,internet — 01varvara @ 00.00
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Old Woman And Computer Joke

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Later today, I’ll be starting to catch up on the news missed in the last month. I’ll either have my desktop back, or, I’ll have a proper mouse for this machine (the so-called built-in “mousepad” on the unit is cranky and unresponsive… be warned, they’re on all new laptops). That’ll allow me to grab things off the web to pass on to youse guys. In one instance, it’s not what was reported, but what wasn’t reported! However, Nicky and I have to go out to check out the health of the “baby” (the desktop) and pick up a mouse for this unit. No doubt, we’ll take a nice short little motor as well. It IS summer, after all… and the real world DOES trump the cyberworld…

BMD

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