The theme of the central venue of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2019 from 6 to 8 June will be the fairy tales of Alexander Pushkin. This year marks the 220th anniversary of the poet’s birthday. The decorative idea was implemented jointly with the All-Russia Museum of Decorative-Applied and Folk Art and PS CultureStudio architectural bureau.
Characters in Pushkin’s works painted by artists of the town of Palekh will decorate not only the business spaces of the ExpoForum Convention and Exhibition Centre, but also the venue of the Official Reception on behalf of the Forum’s Organizing Committee. Palekh is a famous ancient centre of lacquer miniatures, whose artists often take inspiration from Pushkin’s works. Palekh paintings are not only used to decorate household items and souvenirs, such as caskets, small trunks, plates, brooches, powder boxes made of papier-maché, but also often in book illustrations.
“This year’s St. Petersburg International Economic Forum will not only be the largest business communication platform, it will also provide participants with a unique opportunity to explore the cultural heritage of our country. We are very glad that, at the SPIEF 2019 venue, we will be able to draw the attention of St. Petersburg’s guests to the motifs of the world-famous works by the great Russian poet Alexander Pushkin. It is symbolic that the Forum will be held very close to the Imperial Lyceum of Tsarskoye Selo, where the poet studied and wrote”, stressed Ekaterina Ivanova, Director for creative projects of the Roscongress Foundation.
Alexander Pushkin’s works are often used as a basis for theatrical productions. The first dramatic performance based on Pushkin’s play Mozart and Salieri took place in St. Petersburg on the stage of the Alexandrinsky Theatre in 1832. The following operas and ballets based on the poet’s works have been staged: The Tale of Tsar Saltan and The Golden Cockerel by Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov, Ruslan and Lyudmila by Mikhail Glinka, Boris Godunov by Modest Mussorgsky, The Stone Guest by Alexander Dargomyzhsky, and The Fountain of Bakhchisarai by Boris Asafyev. Pushkin’s fairytales have been staged since the 1920s and Russian children’s theatre has grown out of these performances.
The cultural programme of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum includes an exhibition entitled ‘Russian Seasons: Dedication to Alexander Pushkin’, which will be hosted by the SPIEF 2019 partner, the Russian Seasons International Cultural project, and prepared in cooperation with the St. Petersburg State Museum of Theatre and Musical Art. The event is also timed to coincide with the anniversary of Pushkin’s birthday and the Year of Theatre in Russia.
The exhibition will feature 12 sketches for the scenery and costumes of characters from the famous operas of the late 19th – first third of the 20th century: The Golden Cockerel, The Tale of Tsar Saltan, Boris Godunov, Ruslan and Lyudmila, which are based on the works of the same name by Pushkin. The costumes were designed by talented Russian artists such as Alexander Golovin, Yevgeny Ponomarev, Viktor Hartman, Mikhail Bobyshov, Konstantin Korovin, Ivan Bilibin, and Natalya Goncharova.
In total, more than 100 events will be held in St. Petersburg as part of the SPIEF Festival of Culture, including concerts, exhibitions, film screenings and charity events. During the Forum, the city traditionally becomes the cultural centre of the country.