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A special reporter of "Gudok" has visited the Festival of Arts. Thousands of people from foreign countries, almost all 9 'muses' come to Vitebsk every July. And a great show begins! Many artists of different genres from different countries give their performances, art exhibitions and international music contests are held, theatre performances and films are presented.

"This Festival is called "Slavianski Bazaar" not by chance. There is a kind of Slavonic aura here. It's oriented neither towards West nor the USA. And upon the whole everything is nice here: pleasant atmosphere, friendly audience", said Valeriy Leontiev.

The last Festival, however, has comprised many contrasts. They appeared during the opening ceremony of the XVI International Festival of Arts "Slavinski Bazaar in Vitebsk-2007", when after an official part (speech of Alexander Lukashenko, reading out the greetings of the Presidents of Russia and Ukraine, bestowing the Award "Through Art - to Peace and Understanding" upon Sofia Rotaru, People's Artist of the USSR, Ukraine and Moldavia) Irina Dorofeeva entered the stage to perform a pop song about jealousy and envy, which is more appropriate for being performed in restaurants.

And then again pop music, performed by Verka Serduchka and Boris Moiseev, followed the works of fine art, performed by St. Petersburg State Academic Boris Eifman Theatre of Ballet and Patricia Kaas. It reminded a mixture of shchi with Chanel. And 6000 spectators who gathered in the Summer Amphitheatre, which can be called unique now, had to lsten to this cultural soup'.

The Summer Amphitheatre has been turned into a modern complex: new light and sound equipment and huge TV screens have been installed, more than a thousand seats have been added, and the roof in high-tech style has been made!

To cut a long story short, there is nothing like in Europe. And if Dmitry Koldun had won "Eurovision-2007" Award, Vitebsk could host the next "Eurovision"!

By the way, thanks to "Slavianski Bazaar", Belarusian music has developed greatly. If earlier we had only two zests', which are "Pesnyary" and "Syabry", now we can add Angelika Agurbash, Natalya Podolskaya, Petr Elfimov, Dmitry Koldun to the list of celebrities.

Young stars also keep up with them. At least, they are always the leaders at "Eurovision" contest. In 2005 Kseniya Sitnik was a Grand Prix winner. In 2006 Andrei Kunets took the second place.

This year Andrei Kunets has presented Belarus at the International Children Music Contest "Vitebsk-2007", and won the Grand Prix.

While contests add some kind of intrigue to the Festival; everything is predictable, concerning celebrities. It's especially true about Russian representatives, because every year they are the same. But judging by the fact how tickets are sold, we can see that Vitebsk audience is tired of them.

For example, there were many vacant seats at Alla Pugachyova's solo concert last year. Though this year Patricia Kaas and Anita Tsoi made the program a little bit diversified. But they performed only a few songs. Only Valeriy Leontiev got an honour to perform a solo concert within the framework of the Festival program.

But judging by Lyubov Kazarnovskaya concert, which took place 3 years ago, Vitebsk audience prefers classical music. The singer was planning to visit Vitebsk this year with a specially prepared program "Chagall in Music". But the organizers didn't want to accept her terms and arrange her concert on days, suitable for a famous opera diva.

Another strange thing is that Marc Chagall's anniversary wasn't the highlight of the Festival. He was mentioned, but only incidentally.

There have been about a hundred events during the Festival. And one of them, the "City of Craftsmen" is always attended by many people. This festival of clay, fire and masters' is held every year.

While music at "Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk" has a dominant position, other kinds of arts are also highly appreciated here.

Yakub Kolas Theatre and the Cultural Official Centre "Vitebsk" always gather full houses during the festival days. Nothing strange! During the Festival you can watch the performances which enjoy a great popularity in Moscow. For example, this year St. Petersburg State Academic Boris Eifman Theatre of Ballet has presented a performance-ballet "Anna Karenina". Unfortunately, Ukrainian theater art hasn't been presented at the Festival.

But Ukrainian television has carried out direct broadcast from the Festival for the first time. And the cinematography of this country was presented by two films; one of them was "Zaporozhets za Dunaem". All in all, people saw 9 films, including "Kuka" by Yaroslav Chevazhevsky and "Dyuymovochka" by Leonid Nechaev.

"It's a great Festival! The first Festivals I even recorded on tape. With the flow of time, however, the Festivals are becoming more hit and pop oriented, but still they keep the spirit of unity", pointed out Vladimir Gostyukhin, People's Artist of Belarus, the Honoured Artist of Russia.

Truly, not taking into account all drawbacks and contrasts of "Bazaar", people, once having visited the Festival, want to come back again. The reason is that this place possesses some magnetism and the Festival promotes Slavonic culture with its fascinating spirit!

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