"Islamey": National Art without Borders  

The creative artists of the State ensemble of folk song of Adygea "Islamey" have finished the season. It turned out to be bright and saturated. On the results and creative plans for the future we are talking with the artistic director of the ensemble "Islamey", People's Artist of Russia, RA, KCR, Honoured Artist of Kuban and the CBD, the winner of State Prizes Aslan Nehaj.

- Aslan Kasimovich, let us recall the most significant events in the life of the ensemble during the season.

- To begin with, the creative season was marked by the 20th anniversary of the crew. We celebrated it new works, staged performances and an extensive touring program. The assessment was given at the highest level - the ensemble was awarded the title of the State Prize of the Russian Government. For high skill in the art honors were awarded the soloist Kazbek Shemirzov, ballet actress Zhanna Ponomarev, choreographer Ruslan Siyuhov.

This season the ensemble has given dozens of concerts. With the full house songs by "Islamey" sounded in Krasnodar, Naberezhnye Chelny, in Turkey. On the proposal of the Head of Adygea Aslan Tkhakushinov artists traveled around almost the whole republic, performed in each area. The performances by "Islamey" became an ornament of the annual festival "Primrose" and rafting competitions "Interralli "Belaya". Already 15 years in a row we have been participating in the festival "World of the Caucasus", having become the hallmark of Adygea.

As a professional composer and artistic director I can safely say: the level of the ensemble in no way inferior to other Russian academic teams. At the same time I want to emphasize that "Islamey" is ready to perform and performs at all venues and give all of its work, often making it free of charge.

And, of course, a great event in the life of the republic and its people was the staging of the first national opera "Distant Thunder Rolling" - the novel by Ishaq Mashbash.

- In your life the opera has a special place. More than 30 years ago, you as a student of the Tbilisi Conservatory, was the only one of the graduates to come to graduation with such a large-scale work. After many years on the initiative of Minister of Culture, D. Gaziyan Chemso and supported by the Head of Adygea Aslan Tkhakushinov your dream - the opera on the big stage – has realized. Full house, standing ovation, the recognition of the audience ... What awaits the opera tomorrow?

- Indeed, the opera was highly appreciated as early as 30 years ago – it’s fragments sounded for the Qualification Commission in the conservatory. It was confirmed today as well - in responses and reviews of professors. Of course, the first national opera goes on, to the people. To do this, we're ready: the performances are rehearsed, professional orchestration recorded, costumes sewed, sets designed. The core of performers make up "Islamey" artists, it is not difficult to involve actors from other teams.

I planned to present it to the stage of Krasnodar, Nalchik, Cherkessk, Moscow. But it does carry a tremendous organizational work, go to the concert halls, selling tickets, doing advertising, etc. As a rule, managers and administrators should be in charge of it. But we will carry out his plan by all means. So far in "Islamey" concert program we have included some excerpts from the opera - the song by Ashyg, wedding scene with the chorus and dancing.

On the stage of our Philharmonic we plan to repeat the opera this fall or early next year. And now we can invite any soloist, even from the Bolshoi Theatre.

At the premiere the Philharmonic Hall did not accommodate all comers. I know that many were going to watch the opera on television, but it was broadcast in a very inconvenient time - on weekdays in the morning. I have discussed this matter with the Director of STRC RA Vyacheslav Zhachemuk. He, in turn, appealed to RTR General Director Oleg Dobrodeev to allocate half an hour of TV time to show the opera on the channel "Culture". I hope they will agree. Television today dictates tastes. But people are tired of cheap pop imposed on them. It's a shame that we, with such a potential, are not able to show them the fine art, our, regional wealth on the TV screen.

- The audience sees only the "front" side of your creative work, but it certainly is hidden behind a lot of problematic issues ...

- What worries me, is first of all, the state policy in relation to culture. In football, which, as we see, does not bring the impact, one invested millions, while the art is in such a deplorable state. For example, our team has neither a building nor even the bus! In other groups the situation is even more pitiable. And low salaries are unspeakable.

The issue of acute shortage of staff is now as never before. The artists, frankly speaking, go grey and the young don’t hurry to associate themselves with art. What can I say, if among the professional tenors in the republic we hear only Czeslaw Anzarokov! And where are the young, especially male voices? We have 22 music schools in the republic, which annually graduate hundreds of children. But their parents believe that the profession of lawyers, economists, etc. is more important, more necessary.

Why do graduates of the College of Arts hesitate to come to the theatre? The answer is obvious - low wages.

One spent big money to repair the Bolshoi Theatre, its artists get a decent salary. And no one doubts whether the country needs it, because the theater – is the face of Russian art, as well as its artists. "Islamey" for our republic is precisely Netrebko and Tsiskaridze. It’s the only one vocal national team in the North Caucasus. Choreographic groups exist in every republic, but there is nowhere else the ensemble, like "Islamey", comprising singing, ballet and orchestra.

Now everything is tied to funding. I am very concerned about the fate of the International Festival of the Circassian culture that we should organize this fall. However, they say there is no money. It's sad. For the Circassians living in different parts of the world, this festival – is not just songs and dances. This is an opportunity to visit the homeland, to touch the national culture, to present the heritage that they have kept in a strange land. We must show that we are not indifferent to them. If you pull the plug on one, then to another, then all that we have now, will gradually decline. This problem is not only ours, but the whole country’s.

- As a creative head you surely have a lot of interesting plans ..

- "Islamey" is unique in its kind, that’s why our tours are planned for a long time ahead. In the near future we are going to perform at the best venues in Kazan, Saratov, at the Friendship Concert in Abkhazia.

But the most important event – is the invitation to take part in the cultural program "Sochi Center", which will be held in August during the Olympic Summer Games in London. In March 2012 the president of the organizing committee "Sochi-2014" Dmitry Chernyshenko sent a letter to the government of Adygea, inviting to present the international community the Circassian culture. In London, leading international and Russian teams will come together, so for us it is not just a matter of prestige, but also the promotion of national art.

Author: Elena MARKOVA
Source: http://www.sov-adyg.ru/index.php?newsid=10575

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