Children from 80 countries gathered for the Live Classics contest

The May session in Artek featured the final of the Fifth Live Classics International Junior Recitation Competition. The winners included representatives of Azerbaijan, Macedonia and Ukraine.

Live Classics is a competition in which children from different countries recite their favorite literary pieces. This time more than 10,000 children from 80 countries took part in the international competition, and 150 finalists from 32 countries came to Artek. The three-week session in Artek included acting workshops and meetings with performers and writers. Representatives of ten participating countries – Azerbaijan, Israel, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Macedonia, Moldova, New Zealand, USA, Ukraine, and France – made it to the super-final.

The best reciters were selected by two juries, one made up of adults and the other of children. The children's jury included the winners of the Live Classics National Junior Recitation Competition. The adult jury members included film director Yegor Konchalovsky, actress Nelly Uvarova, State Duma member Larisa Tutova, actress Zoya Berber and film director Boris Grachevsky.

The 2017 winners are Alexsandr Enenberg  (Ukraine),  Ivana Zlateva (Macedonia), Igor Shtofenmakher (Azerbaijan).

The Audience Choice Award went to Damir Amalgedin from Kazakhstan.

Handing out the Artek award, Artek Director Alexei Kasprzhak noted: “We came up with this contest so that not only those who are now standing on this stage, but other children, too, gain an insight into and sensitivity for books, so that books become theirs Real Friends.”

“I am shocked and also very happy about the victory,” shared the winner of the competition, Alexsandr Enenberg  from Ukraine.  “I chose the book Pinega Pushkin by Boris Shergin for the competition because it is very emotional – like black on white. I thought it was right for me because it fits in with the way I see the world. My dad helped me prepare, he is a theater director, and so it was probably much easier for me to reveal the character’s nature.”

Ivana Zlateva from Macedonia recited an excerpt from Gennady Cherkashin’s The Doll: “I never expected such a good response from the audience. For me, the adult jury’s assessment was most important, because they are people of the art, they have experience, and they know what makes a good recital,” she said. “I learned a lot about Russia, its beauty, the history of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War. I really enjoyed Victory Day, which I celebrated here for the first time in my life. It’s great how people here love their country, how proud they are. Now the Russian language has become special to me.”

The fourth-grader Ivan Blondo-Shvab  came to the competition from France. “I have never participated in contests before,” he said. “And as I was reading Valentin Postnikov’s story, Bridegroom from 3-B, I was thinking only about the text. It was very important for me how people reacted to my recital. They supported me. Of course, I really wanted to win, but most important of all, I came to Artek.”

Alexsandra Ket'ko from New Zealand says that Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, which she chose to read at the contest, has taught her never to give up, to work on herself and overcome every difficulty with a smile. “Artek has taught me the same thing. Every day you need to work and work here. I understood here that everything is up to us.”