The 110th Birth Anniversary of Svetoslav Roerich at the IRMT
At the Himalayan Roerich Estate in Naggar there was celebrated the 110th Birth Anniversary of Svetoslav Roerich, the younger son of Nicholas and Helena Roerich. The Indians and Russians united in honoring the artistic and human genius of Svetoslav Roerich gathered around the sacred fire burnt in memory of this prominent artist repeating after a pujari-priest the wonderful words of Shanti-puja – a prayer for peace and good, a prayer of blessing. “Indeed, only peace leads to happiness, gives hope for success and well-being. May this wonderful blessing guide all our doings, all our creative activities and our hopes,” Svetoslav Roerich wrote.
Svetoslav Roerich would always attach an exceptional importance to upbringing a man of Future, a perfect man. And he considered art as the primary tool on this path. It’s not by chance that the main participants of the jubilee celebration were the students and teachers of the Helena Roerich Art Academy for children of the International Roerich Memorial Trust.
Before the musical program, there was the solemn opening of the children’s painting exhibition “Master of mountains” presenting works of winners and participants of the same-named competition having taken place on 5 October at the IRMT among Indian and Russian children dedicated to Nicholas Roerich’s jubilee. A wonderful sense of color and harmony, the grandeur of mountains and brightness of nature featured in the works of even the youngest painters are stunning. But the most amazing thing is that you can feel the presence of Nicholas Roerich, his spirit and his feeling of the Himalayas in those paintings.
The music performance dedicated to Svetoslav Roerich traditionally started with the prayer to Goddess Saraswati. Then girls performed an Indian classical dance kathak (from the sanscrit “katha” – a story, a tale) that originated in old Northern India temples and got enriched with new elements at the epoch of Great Moguls. Its movements are full of grace and gentleness, and its foot rhythm patterns are complicated.
Then the so much loved Russian song “Katiusha” was sung followed by a slow Indian song. The children also sang “Prekrasnoe daleko” in a surprisingly touching and pure way and then vibrantly performed the national Rujastani dance and the lovely dance of the Kullu valley “nati.”
Upon the performance, the ceremony of awarding the best Academy students and young teachers with diplomas and prizes was held. All the students were presented with Certificates of participation in various art competitions and performances.
To finish up the festive celebration, all the Academy students and IRMT guests were shown a video dedicated to Svetoslav Roerich’s artistic work – his beautiful paintings bringing forth the light of wisdom, kindness and beauty into our life.