Cyprus Mail

A gala of two cultures

By Maria Gregoriou

The Cyprus-Russia Gala will be held for the ninth year at the Presidential Palace on September 12, where artists from both countries will unite to give everyone present a great show.

Not only is the event considered to be one of the most important cultural and social events of the year, it also has a charitable cause as it supports the Radiomarathon Foundation.

The line-up for the night includes dancer Svetlana Zakharova who is one of today’s most distinguished ballet stars, the Russian folk duo Bayan Mix, singer and winner of The Voice of Russia Contest, 2014, Alexandra Vorobyova, and Russian singer Anton Belyaev along with the popular band TherrMaitz.

The Cypriot talent for the evening includes singer John Karayannis who represented Cyprus in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, Maria Elena Kiriakou who also took part in the Eurovision contest for Greece and was the winner of The Voice of Greece Contest last year, singer/ songwriter Doros Demosthenous and the dance group and choir Diastasis.

Zakharova is a prima ballerina with the Bolshoi Ballet who studied at the Kiev ballet school and the Vaganova Academy in St Petersburg.

She has played Giselle, Odette-Odile in Swan Lake, Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, Nikia in La Bayadère and Medora in Le Corsaire. The dancer has danced in all the Mariinsky’s major tours, and as a guest star with The New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Paris Opera, La Scala in Milan, English National Ballet and the New National Theatre in Tokyo.

Bayan Mix – Sergei Voitenko and Dmitry Khramkov – has been on the music scene since 2005. Their vitality has caught the attraction of listeners worldwide and in 2009 they received the public cultural award, the Silver Award for Service to Art.

The duo have toured all over the world, taken part in numerous international festivals, and performed at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010.

Vorobyova is one of Russia’s most successful young female vocalists. A protege of the legendary singer-composer Alexander Gradsky, she graduated with honours from the Russian Gnessin Academy of Music, where she specialised in pop-jazz vocals.

Her powerful vocals have made her songs great hits on social media and have won her millions of admirers across Russia.

Belyaev started performing with TherrMaitz three years ago and already they have become one of Russia’s most successful indie bands.

They have performed at festivals, Miss Universe 2013 and Bosco Fresh Fest.

TherrMaitz became the first band to have three songs at the top of the iTunes chart at the same time. And to add to their success, last year the band’s concert at the Ray Just Arena attracted a crowd of 5,000 fans, and they were awarded the title of Most Popular in the national Event of the Year awards.

Karayannis has become a popular face on our TV screens ever since he represented us in the Eurovision Song Contest with his song ‘One Thing I Should Have Done.’

The singer studied music from a very young age and has taken part in and won numerous music and talent competitions across the island.
Kiriakou, who is also known for her performance at the Eurovision Song Contest this year, won her first singing competition at the age of 12, and made her stage debut in Stavros Sideras’ rock opera Pygmalion the following year.

She has worked with some of the big names on the Greek music scene, including Antonis Remos and Alkinoos Ioannides. She has recently released her first studio album, Dio Ageli sti Gi.

Demosthenous studied voice at the National Conservatory of Athens. He has performed with the Orchestra of Mikis Theodorakis, the Orchestra of Colours, the Manos Hadjidakis Music Ensemble and the Ossipov Orchestra. The singer has recorded a number of albums including I Kardia Mou Pethimont, Amorgos, and One for the Road.

The Diastasis Cultural Association was formed in 1984 by a group of art lovers to support and promote the performing arts. It runs a permanent choir and dance group, a children’s choir and a youth dance group.

Performances range from traditional music and dance to specially-commissioned works and songs from musical theatre and cinema.

The gala tickets are already on sale and are said to be selling fast. Book your seat or a table from ticket hour and be warned that doors will close at 7.30pm so don’t be late.

Ninth Cyprus – Russia Gala
A gala with performances from Greek and Cypriot singers and dancers, including dinner. September 12. Presidential Palace, Nicosia. 7.30pm. €100. Tel: 77-777040

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