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Maslenitsa (Russian Shrovetide) celebration with IZBA Club



“We awaited Maslenitsa, gave her wine and pancakes,

We thought she would last for seven weeks, but she dashed away as if it were a single day.

She tricked us, made us open our wallets,

took away all cheese and butter, brought us to a dark corner

where the Great Lent is waiting – stretching up to summer.”

Russia used to sink into a whirl of wild merriment for seven days every year – Maslenitsa was the merriest celebration of the year and was eagerly awaited. With boisterous joy, singing and dancing people banished the cold winter. They stuffed themselves with pancakes, cheese and butter ahead of the fasting of Lent. Hot and round, Russian pancakes symbolised the sun and were thought to bring closer the warmth of Spring.

Today the whole of Russia and the Russian diaspora endeavour to revive the tradition of this happy celebration. We are going to do it in a special way – with ancient ritual songs and traditions, experiencing the culture that gave us this exciting festival.

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This evening session is intended for adults (parents with older children are also welcome). In English and Russian. There is a family session run in Russian only on Sunday, February 26. 

Tickets: £20 adult/ £12 child; children under 2 years old free.

"Ждали мы Маслену, поджидали, и блина, и вина ей дали,

Думали: она - семь недель, а она - как один день.

Обманула - провела, деньги только растрясла,

Сыр да масло унесла, в закоулок завела,

А там великий пост - аж до лета мост! " 

Дорогие друзья, приходите всей семьей праздновать самый веселый праздник года в наш русский деревенский музыкальный клуб ИЗБА: с традиционными песнями и обрядами, с весельем и блинами. Мы встретим и проводим Масленицу по всем правилам, вместе сделаем куклу, наедимся блинов, прокатим детей на санях, а Масленицу с горы, напоемся, наиграемся и напляшемся. Отмечаем Масленицу укреплением связи с той культурой, которая дала нам этот замечательный праздник. У нас вы встретите Масленицу наполненную смыслом, традициями и пением.

Билеты: £20 (взрослому)/£12 (ребёнку)

Polina Proutskova has been researching and singing Russian and other musical traditions for over 15 years, conducting field research in various regions of Russia. IZBA Club at Pushkin House was founded by Polina as a the place to celebrate Russian holidays with fun, knowledge of traditions and good singing. IZBA is now in its forth year and continues to celebrate Russian holidays with adults and children, in Russian and in English. IZBA Club has given rise to a vocal studio (regular rehearsals open to everyone) and IZBA Voices vocal ensemble which performs in concerts around London. Polina also initiated LADO - a festival of Russian Traditions - an annual festival of all things Russian at Pushkin House. She is active as a vocal coach and a PhD candidate at Goldsmiths and continues to advocate for less well-known aspects of Russian musical culture.

Zinaida Petruchenia is a specialist in Russian traditional arts and crafts, costumes and cuisine. She participated in numerous workshops and seminars in Russia on various aspects of traditional culture. She was born in Uglich in the heart of Russia, grew up in a village and carried her love to the agricultural way of life and to village traditions through all the years and all the countries she traveled.

Watch IZBA Club and Polina Proutskova on YOUTUBE.