Youth Arctic dialogue
During one week a small town of Finnsnes located in the North of Norway was breathing by music and was filled with it. An international festival the “Youth Arctic Dialogue” was held here for the second time.
The participants coming from the Arkhangelsk region and Troms county were speaking the language of creativity in its different types: drum beat, jazz, folk, modern dance and Circus. During seven days young people were sharing their inspiration and experience.
Welcome to Norway!
Before we found ourselves in Finnsnes, we travelled a long way taking a flight from Arkhangelsk to Murmansk then to Kirkenes by a taxi. Although, Kirkenes is often called “Russian Norway” it does not remind of Russia. Small, cozy, clean and too silent. During our walk we have not met a person. The airport was unusually calm as well. The only entertainment during our 5-hour wait was watching Norwegian soldiers with untouc
hed long hair and dressed in new stylish uniform, smiling all the time, at a first glance – very satisfied with their life. There were several girls among the men as well, it turned out that women are represented in all of the troops types. We took a flight from Kirkenes to Tromso, where all the participants were met by the festival organizer – Odd-Halvdan Jacobsen. From Tromso we travelled by a car for around two hours to Finnsness. Within this time Odd-Halvdan managed to tell us everything about how the Northern Norway is connected to the Russian North. For instance, architecture in central Tromso is almost the same as Chumbarovka in Arkhangelsk. Vikings were trying to strengthen cooperation with Pomors already several centuries ago. Then the king of Norway came by a ship to Arkhangelsk intending to establish trade connections, though he was not sure whether the Pomors were friendly or not and did not dare to step on the shore…
Creative dialogue: Norway and Russia.
The organizer of the “Youth Arctic dialogue”, on the contrary managed to establish a very good cooperation bond with Arkhangelsk. According to Odd-Halvdan, it took nearly two years to arrange such a festival. The project was born as a part of a big Norwegian national music contest UKM Arctic-Troms. This is the second year when on the stage of Finnsnes talented and young people from Russia and Norway perform together. - To strengthen relationship between our two countries we decided to make a cultural project. We have been working for a long time with it. Besides, we understood that to reach a positive result we need to cooperate with schools and different educational institutions. We have a long history of cooperation with the Arkhangelsk musical college; our main aim is to establish a spot of talent meeting of the Northern regions – Sais the festival organizer. We can say, that this project functions as a creative workshop. The participants show not only their own performances, but also present common pieces which were created on the go. For example the Folk group of the Arkhangelsk music college was performing with a Norwegian singer Marte Einan.
- At a first glance it seems that it is really difficult to create some performance with the participation of both Russians and Norwegians at least taking into consideration the language barrier. But when we find ourselves on one stage, there are no problems appearing. We all communicate on the language of music – Sais the author of the “dialogue” concert program, famous Norwegian actor, producer and director Alexander Rindestu. The thing that is highly uncommon in Russia is that Norwegians carry out huge festivals in small towns. “Youth Arctic dialogue” is not an exception. The population of Finnsnes is not more than 10 000 people. The city is divided into two parts by a bridge. It is really beautiful at night. Finnsnes has several hotels, rock-cafes and a big cultural center joined with Administration, where the concert was held.
- First of all, although Finnsnes is a small city, but has a very good location – Odd-Halvdan tells, - right in the center of Norway, it is well-established within an easy reach from other parts of the country by airplane, car or ferry. Secondly, here a big cultural center is located; there are no problems with sound or light. And there is one more plus – small cities connect the participants. In the Bolshoj Theatre everyone leaves the place after the concert, here – we are all together.
Before the youngsters became the participants of the festival went through a strict casting, which was held by the Norwegian organizers. They were looking attentively at them already at the performance carried out in Koryazma (the Arkhangelsk region) during summer of 2011. As a result, 36 lucky young performers – a group of drummers “44 DRUMS”, folk group of the Arkhangelsk music college, dance ensemble “Pulse” from Koryazma, piano-player Mariya Poroshina and Youth Circus “Vesar”, which was the participant of the first Festival. Norway was represented by ensemble of piano-players, dancer Torgeir Myrvang, vocalists Haakon Johnsen, Marte Einan and Martina Nikolaisen and a band «EJK».
Three girls from «EJK» performed with a song, which they made by themselves on Norwegian, although most of the songs were in universal English, according to the vocalist of the band Jenny Konradsen, it is easier for them to express themselves in mother tongue. - Our song can be interpreted in a number of ways, but the main essence is that you should always be yourself.
The participants of the ensemble “Pulse” from Koryazma wre very creative, the presented the dance in a new style they made up – office style. T
his is a combination of ballet, modern, pantomime and theatre. - The choreography of the dance we showed is completely made by us. It is called “office” and co
nsists of several parts – explains the participant of ensemble Tatiana Barkalova – one of them is falling in love with your co-worker and getting home after a working day. I think our style is much different from what Norwegians were showing.
A drum band ”44 DRUMS” under the lead of a famous composer and participant of international festivals Oleg Kuznetsov, opened the Festival.
Russians and Norwegians: what’s the difference.
The main difference between Russia and Norway is that, in Norway the young talented people are given freedom to create, in Russia a child is always controlled by a grown-up, who is directing him and tells him how and what to do. Norwegian children usually take the initiative and are always supported
by the grown-ups. At the Festival music, vocal, dance and theatre got linked together; here new types of art were born. In Russia such an art “on-the-age” is hard to understand, because Russians are classics admires. - Not taking into consideration the fact that we are mixing up different styles, the level is not getting lower, on the contrary, it is increasing. For example if it is a piano-concert, it is not obligatory to play just Chopin. The performance should be multisided, in the end the show turns out to be colorful and diverse – expresses his opinion Odd-Halvdan. I asked a lot of Russians and Norwegians – what is the difference between us. We always try to keep the distance and Russians are just direct – tells the vocalist of «EJK» Jenny Konradsen, - You are very polite and at the same time always say what you actually think. Most of Norwegians are very calm, Russians – emotional. We keep everything inside, you – outside. If two Norwegians sit on a bench – one from one side and another on the other side, but if a Russian sits on the bench with a Norwegian, he sits as close as he can. Though, musician are different people – we are very open. - Of course we were flying to Norway, thinking that the people there are completely different from us – shares her thoughts a dancer from “Pulse”Alina Alexandrova – Norwegians are very friendly, hospitable and responsible. Communicating with them for a week, we understood that we are not that different. Still we were amazed by the attitude of the Norwegians to their work – the festival was perfectly organized – everything was strictly according to the plan. Many of us now want to learn the language and we would like to perform with the Norwegians on one stage again.
The dialogue continues.
In October “Youth arctic dialogue” will be continued in Archangelsk. Alexander Rindestu – the director of the festival has already started to work on the program, it will be an Arctic fairy-tale about how the World was born. The Festival will conjoin music, dance and theatre. Participants from Arkhangelsk and tromso will be performing on one stage of the Arkhangelsk Drama Theatre.
Author: Julia Chydyakova
Translation: Ksenia Kipurova.