For the past ten years, "Russian Seasons" has been an opportunity for artists and audiences to experience a different kind of concert. The concept of a festival and "variety show" is designed, as mentioned above, to allow the greatest access for viewers and participants. The professional stage also transcends old boundaries of experienced performers versus emerging artists and strives to allow both groups to commingle and learn from one another. Talent is allowed to shine, no matter how many people know the artist. The ultimate goal is to provide awareness of the tremendous quality and scope of the performing arts in Minnesota to Russian and American communities.
Each festival strives to present high quality performances by well-known artists alongside emerging musicians, dancers and singers. The recognized performers are the core of every festival; they set the bar and provide an example of quality to the emerging artists. Russian Seasons showcases young talent and gives emerging artists a platform on which they can learn from and perform alongside well-established artists. Though the performers may represent different styles and concentrations, each artist displays a degree of professionalism and refinement worthy of a big stage like the O'Shaughnessy Auditorium.
The artistic quality also comes from the stage. Russian Seasons chooses performance halls of high caliber to emphasize the equally high level of artistry that every performer possesses. It makes a difference in the artist's approach to her craft if her audience is fifty people or five hundred. No matter how well-recognized an artist may be, a big stage still gives a certain push for excellence.
The traditions begun long ago and far away by Sergey Diagylev persevere under the artistic direction of Tatyana Dikareva. She brings her own unique immigrant perspective to each of the festivals. A composer and pianist, as well as stage director, Dikareva holds a long record of successful projects carried out in her home country of Ukraine, as well as many events organized in the Twin Cities.
Dikareva's incredible vision has kept her career rolling even after crossing the Atlantic. She gathers the diverse array of artists from around Minnesota for Russian Seasons through word of mouth and the example of success of previous festivals. Her role as an artistic director has included composition of music and dance numbers specific to the Russian Seasons of that year.
Another key factor of the festival is that all the artists selected represent a high caliber of dedication, skill and ability of their chosen performance art. These artists are able to execute a quality performance and shine their own light in the midst of all the other stars who also participate. The core of every festival is a group of performers whose experience and desire for success feeds the energy of the new performers of that year, and the curiosity of the emerging, young artists.
Artists are chosen through community recommendations and active recruitment. The artistic director reviews artists based on:
- professional training
- stage presence and experience
- flexibility of creative abilities and collaborative talent
Emerging artists are chosen based on:
- degree of dedication
- potential for success