Exhibition timed to the International Ballet Day started working on 2 October 2020 in the reception area of the Ministerial Committee of the Palace of Europe in Strasbourg. The exposition is incorporated into the program of the international cultural project 'Russian Seasons'. The organizer is the international news agency and radio 'Sputnik France' that has prepared more than 20 photographic compositions capturing dancers in the interiors of modern Moscow and St. Petersburg. The photographs are made by the Sputnik's special photo correspondent, two-time winner of the World Press Photo Award, a well-known war photo reporter working with the operational news agenda, Valery Melnikov.
The exhibition was opened by a virtual ceremony with the participation of Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the Council of Europe Ivan Soltanovsky and the photographer Valery Melnikov. Speakers accentuated the special role of art and culture in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.
Ivan Soltanovsky congratulated the audience on the International Ballet Day and noted that, apart from the beauty of the 'Ballet and Architecture' exhibition that combines ballet, architecture, and poetry, this event reminded about the relationship and interaction of Russian culture with cultures of other European countries. He asserted that isolation is unacceptable neither in culture nor in other areas, and that only together we are able to move ahead now-a-days. The Permanent Representative expressed his hope for the development of Russian-European cultural ties, which is especially important in the context of today's complex international relations and restrictions related to the pandemic. In conclusion, Ivan Soltanovsky thanked the SPUTNIK agency and everyone who contributed to the implementation of this wonderful project.
'For me, the project 'Architecture and Ballet' is quite an experimental thing, as I am mostly engaged in the news coverage. On the one hand, it is a journey into the world of beauty, ballet, fine dancers, on the other, to the world of architectural history. In the course of shooting, I tried to select locations that are connected in one way or another with recognized architectural monuments, constructions, interesting ancient sights in the two main cities of Russia ,' commented the photographer Valery Melnikov.
'So long as Europe and the entire planet keep on their efforts to overcome the repercussions of COVID-19, it is becoming increasingly important to find an opportunity to enjoy the cultural works that inspire at all times. But in doing so, let us not forget the spirit of togetherness, as well as the magical power and duty of European culture. The Council of Europe has always understood that culture can bring people together, find unity in diversity ,' stressed the Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni.
Photos of the 'Ballet and Architecture' exhibition in Strasbourg can be also viewed on the website ( https://coe.mid.ru ) and in the social networks of the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the Council of Europe.
'The 'Russian Seasons' Festival reverts to the long-awaited real-life format. We are pleased to introduce the photo exhibition by Valery Melnikov that demonstrates the Russian choreographic tradition and the country's unique architecture ,' added Director of the 'Russian Seasons' INPO Alexey Lebedev.