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Art with soul

You simply have to watch this to believe that a bit of sand could be turned into art of such emotional depth.

I am simply left speechless by the performance artistry of this young Ukranian woman.

PS: I owe many thanks to Sharon Shannon for making me aware of this.

20 comments to Art with soul

  • hennesli

    I saw this and was almost moved to tears – totally amazing act.

    the girl is pretty damn hot too

  • Mesmerising and wonderful. Thanks, Dale.

    P.S. And what a total BABE!

  • tdh

    I tried the website wap.talant.stb.ua, and got an access-denied-labeled webpage listing various acts. Sure enough, I was unable to click usefully on any of them.

    Simonova could easily take that show on the road, even without that one act’s special significance to citizens of the former Soviet empire. Here are several more acts (need to follow some links). Will Letterman book her before Conan (not that I watch either)?

    For a show with a Ukrainian name (verb form), the show appears to have a Russian flavor, from what I can see of it. I hope for Simonova’s sake that judged contests nowadays are less rigged than they were a decade or so ago. (The act reminded me of what IMHO is the best museum in St. Petersburg, the Repin Institute, nee Institute of Fine Arts. There was some pretty good Soviet-era art in a closed-off section of the circular gallery on the second floor. OK, maybe it’s tied with the Russian Museum, despite being much smaller. But it reminds me more strongly of WW2. And, not to encourage tourism to an aggressor kleptocracy, it’s a short walk from a great zoological museum.)

    I read a few of the thousand-plus comments at YouTube, and found some useful.

    What is Simonova’s full name? BTW, one video rendered the apparent surname “Simonoff.”

    But: wow.

  • Keeley O'Lomb

    Yes, yes, very pretty, I’m sure, but Rolf Harris said it all first and better over 40 years ago.

  • lucklucky

    “This video is not available in your country due to copyright restrictions.”

    Any hint, keyword that let me check this in another place?

  • Steve B

    Posted by Keeley O’Lomb at August 20, 2009 01:44 AM

    That’s not really the point thought is it? It’s the amazing medium being used rather than the message that is so impressive.

    I’m somewhat in awe of the practice she must have put in to be able to pull that off. And yes it was more impressive, moving and meaningful than any “modern art” I’ve ever seen.

    Unlikely to see this sort of thing on Britain’s got Talent 2010 though I must say!

  • Unlikely to see this sort of thing on Britain’s got Talent 2010 though I must say!

    Steve B, surely you jest? I mean, how can this compare to one of THE transcendental cultural moments of the 21st Century, i.e. a fat Cypriot bloke dancing around in a blonde wig?

  • watcher in the dark

    We have performance art, but our best may be turning a light switch on and off, or floating a shed down a river.

    But Sandy, she got talent!

  • tdh

    Evidently Simonova was the winner.

    I thought I heard “Bravo!” rather than “Brava!” from the audience. Despite the “o” sound as in and presumably influenced by Italian, the Russian appears to be an adverbial rather than adjectival form; this and, per Dal’, the French (intermediary) borrowing would explain the apparent substandard usage.

    The final was worth watching, too. But it would have been nice to know the story behind the baby Anastasia (?; Nasten’ka?), for whom Simonova urged help, um, ensconced in the video.

    If this Rolf Harris is the one mentioned above, it’s not clear what he might have said better. At least I can’t tell what he might have said yet.

    There was a children’s show host in Philly years ago who told stories while drawing swiftly on an easel. Sand painting would lend itself equally well to the telling of fairy tales and other children’s stories, and as a like centerpiece of a children’s show, could help raise children’s entertainment well above the level of decades of brain-scrambling pabulum like Howdy Doody, Romper Room, or Sesame Street. At least this seems to be where Simonova’s heart lies. But I suppose it’d be a niche market in the US.

  • tdh: in Russian when ‘o’ appears in a non-stressed syllable, it is almost always pronounced as ‘a’ – not so in Ukrainian.

  • tdh

    If I read this correctly, Simonova-Paskar’ of Evpatoria was trained as a psychologist and as a print artist.

  • Operalad

    I only wish I understood the accompanying song’s lyrics. It obviously had a great deal of meaaning for the audience. The beautiful melancholy of the Eastern European soul has never been more eloquently displayed.

  • Operalad

    Watched it again.
    I’ve been in the performing arts for nearly 20 years and I’ve never seen performance art so moving, so beautiful and so well executed as this. Right down to the lighting and extinguishing of the candle. The choice of music (again, the song in native tongue and its relationship to specific images, had young and old alike in the audience in tears) was sensational. Obviously there were some images that had a specific resonance for the audience and I would like to, in time, also discover their significance.

  • Operalad, the music is not one song, obviously… It’s a medley of Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters”, a (violin?) solo that I cannot place, the original radio announcement about the invasion by German troops of USSR, and several Russian (not Ukrainian) songs that reminisce about the suffering that WW2 brought – in a very gentle, poetic way – personal (not national) suffering, lost love, sacrifice that is not forgotten, imagery of the fallen living on as cranes (birds), which resonate very deeply within Russian folklore and culture.

    If I may say so… even though I am not Russian, I used to be fluent in Russian, and long ago lived with Russians and watched/read enough to have some measure of appreciation of how much more moving this performance would be to a Russian audience than to us. Hat off to young Ms. Simonova (although I suspect her original name might be Semyonova).

  • Operalad

    I had the Metallica picked (by Apocalyptica the scandinavian Cello quartet, I think)

    It was the song(s) in Russian that seemed to have such a profound effect on the audience. Wish I knew what the lyrics were.

  • What a gorgeous young woman.

    I only now saw it with the speakers on. The first song is this one. The other two are sung by this man, whose voice was a huge part of the “soundtrack” of my childhood (please ignore the rather daft comparison to Crosby and Sinatra, their unquestionable greatness aside). The last song is this one (scroll down to the revised translation + transliteration). The second is my all time favorite (and most likely not only mine). It is called Dark Night, here’s my feeble attempt at something I almost never do, not being a poet myself:

    Dark night, only bullets
    are whistling across the prairie,
    Only the wind is humming along the wires,
    And the stars are blinking dimly.
    On this dark night I know you are not asleep, my love,
    You are by the crib, wiping a tear.

    How I love the depth of you sweet eyes,
    How I wish I could press my lips against them.
    Dark night is dividing us, my love,
    And the troubled black prairie lay between us.

    My faith is in you, my dear friend,
    This faith has kept the bullet away on a dark night.
    I am happy and calm in a mortal fight,
    Since I know you will greet me with love, no matter what.

    Death doesn’t scare me, we faced it in the prairie before,
    Here it is, hovering above me right now.
    You are waiting for me, sleepless by the crib,
    And that is why I know that I am safe from harm.

    The preview shows weird formatting – please ignore it if it shows.

  • Operalad

    Thanks Alisa. That last one “Cranes” was the song I was referring to. With the translation, I understand now why the audience and judges were so moved.

  • Phillip Meese

    WoW I’m speechless Thanks to Laura Jean Simms for sharing this Beautiful moment in my life. When the war started and her design started to flow incredible..

  • Vijay

    Simonova’s name is Kseniya

  • Prema

    Simply WONDERFUL. First time I see such a splendid art.
    It seems incredible that you can transmit deep feelings throughout the sand.