Inetrnational Centre of the Roerichs


Nicholas Roerich’s Birthday Celebration in the Green Theatre of the IRMT


The festive program dedicated to the 145th Birth Anniversary of Nicholas Roerich which started with puja at Nicholas Roerich’s Samadhi, hoisting the national flags of India and Russia, grand opening of sculptural portraits of Nicholas and Helena Roerich and with opening of the Russian artist Lola Lonli’s exhibition, continued on the ground of the Green Theatre of the IRMT.

The real gift of the celebration was Russian artists’ exhibition named “Disciples on the Path of Master”. The visitors and guests of the Roerich Trust had a rare opportunity to see a few original paintings by the artist B.A. Smirnov-Rusetsky (1905–1993) as well as the art works of his disciples and followers. By his contemporaries’ recollections B.A.Smirnov-Rusetsky dreamt his paintings to be taken to the Himalayan Roerichs Estate and now we can say that his dream has come true. The art show of private exhibits was arranged by the President of “Dostoyaniye” fund Natalia Pivovarova in the context of the 10th Himalayan expedition of the children’s creative association.

Boris Smirnov-Rusetsky was one of the first Russian cosmos-artist, member of “Amaravella” group whose ideological and creative inspirer was Nicholas Roerich. The encounter with Roerich happened in 1926. “The significance of this encounter was so great that for the last 60 years I haven’t estimated, realised and fulfilled everything... It was an encounter with the genuine Master of art and living.” Smirnov-Rusetsky truly revered his Master’s injunctions. As the artist himself used to say, in his creative works he strived to express that deep meaning and great unity which fills the whole creation and connects the flower with the star, the stone with the cloud, the stream with the ocean.

At the exposition there were presented some paintings by his close students G. Galutva and Z. Gribova for whom Boris Alekseevich himself had become a true Master, as well as the art works by the contemporary artists V. Karlov, N. Melnikova, A. Melnikov, T. Molodykh, L. Shestakova and others. Following the Master’s path they reflect the idea of the unity of the man and the Universe, the harmony and beauty of the world, they convey the nature transparency and the sense of complicity with the cosmic rhythms.

The festive program on the stage of the IRMT Green Theatre started with ceremonial kindling the lamp. The Indian and Russian IRMT curators Mr Ramesh Chandra and Mrs Larisa Surgina presented the guests with elegant caps “topi” – traditional Kullu Valley gifts. The Russian Federation Ambassador greeting was delivered by Mr Mikhail Ktitorov, the first secretary, in charge of culture group in the Russian Embassy in India. On the occasion of Nicholas Roerich anniversary congratulation speech was made by Mr Hari Chauhan, the scientist, archaeologist, curator of the Himachal State Museum in Shimla. On behalf of the Vice-President of the International Centre of the Roerichs (Moscow) A.V. Stetsenko and on her own Mrs. Nataliya Cherkashina, director of the Non-Governmental Museum named after Nicholas Roerich of the International Centre of the Roerichs (Moscow), congratulated the audience.

The students and the teachers of the Helena Roerich Academy of Art for children, IRMT, took an active part in the festive program. The folk Himachal songs, fiery Rajasthan dances and colourful dancing show presenting the cultural traditions of Kullu Valley performed by them caused much applauds from the audience. The Russian children song “Walking cheerfully together in open spaces” was sung by the Indian kids along with the Russian guests – volunteer group of the International Centre of the Roerichs headed by T.M. Merges, the coordinator of the festival “Russia-India: from Heart to Heart” for children and youth.

The participants of this festival from Indian side were kids and youth of the Kullu Valley, taking part in the painting competition in the IRMT twice a year. The winners of the contest “Nicholas Roerich – Master of the Mountains” which was held in the Roerichs estate on October 5 were asked to come on the stage for the awarding ceremony. It should be noticed that this year it was not so easy to choose a winner, because the mastery of our participants is growing from contest to contest!

The performance of the dancing ensemble “The Obraz” (the creative director E.V. Golub) from Kaluga, Russia, became the bright event of the festival. The ensemble is a Grand Prix awardee in numerous contests as well as a winner of international contests in Hungary, Greece, Italy. The day before, on October 8, the young dancers made a performance on the opening Dussehra festival in Kullu, and then they were applauded by the numerous spectators in the Roerichs Estate. Skilful classical ballet dances, fiery Russia folk dances, world-famous “Kalinka-malinka” caused a storm of ovations and delight.

By tradition, the festive day ended with the traditional merry Russian-Indian round dance “nati”. The celebration dedicated to the 145th Birth Anniversary of Nicholas Roerich became another sign of a deep mutual understanding between our nations, a symbol of friendship and cooperation, acknowledgement of the great uniting power of Culture.

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