Yalta recently hosted the 12th All-Ukrainian Lesia Ukrainka Competition of Professional Reciters, which gathered young performers from various regions of the country. The jury was presided over by the well-known actress Raisa Nedashkivska, who came to the Crimea despite a leg fracture. “I so revere Lesia Ukrainka, a talented poet and woman whom hardships failed to break, and her works that I had to come to Yalta,” Nedashkivska admitted. The actress presented the local Lesia Ukrainka Memorial Museum with an extremely beautiful embroidered cloth that she hung on the poet’s portrait.
According to tradition, the 16 participants, jury members, and a host of Lesia Ukrainka aficionados laid flowers at the poet’s monument before the start of the competition. Yalta’s culture authorities granted permission to hold the contest in the hall of the Cultural Center. The Krym TV and Radio Company delivered live broadcasts of the recitations, including those by Kyiv native Denys Shcherbyna and Maria Matina from the Crimea. The two granted interviews in different languages, Denys in Ukrainian and Maria in Russian, but both of them recited Lesia Ukrainka’s poems in superb Ukrainian.
This celebration of poetry, as critics dubbed the Yalta competition, played down linguistic differences: the Tatar, Ukrainian, and Russian participants showed a profound understanding of Lesia Ukrainka’s oeuvre through their talented performances. Many competitors became friends, and the competition was marked by a warm creative atmosphere.
Nedashkivska admitted that there were some very strong contenders at this year’s competition. All the reciters were brilliant and showed originality. The Kyivites were the most successful. But a contest is a contest: the grand prix was awarded to Nadia Aliunova, a young actress of the Kharkiv Philharmonic, while the first prize was shared by Denys Shcherbyna, a student at Kyiv’s Karpenko-Kary University of Theater, Cinema, and Television, and Krystyna Nalyvaiko, a student in the Acting Department of Zaporizhia University. The jury awarded the second prize to Roman Liakh and Tetiana Kazantseva (students from Karpenko-Kary University in Kyiv). The third-prize winners were Valerii Velychko, a student at Karpenko-Kary University, and Vlada Kotelchuk, a student at the Dnipropetrovsk Theatrical College. Ruslana Suleimanova from Symferopil was awarded the prize in the nomination “For the Love of the Ukrainian Word,” while the audience prize went to Dnipropetrovsk student Borys Reva. The jury awarded prizes and titles as well as cash.