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Presentation of presidential prizes to young culture professionals and for writing and art for children

April 6, 2018, The Kremlin, Moscow

Vladimir Putin presented 2017 Presidential Prizes to young culture professionals and 2017 Presidential Prizes for writing and art for children and young people.

Prizes for young culture professionals have been awarded to:

Dina Velikovskaya, animated film director, for her contribution to the development of Russian animation;

Sofya Kondratyeva, head of the Museology Department at the Divnogorye National Architectural-Archaeological Museum-Reserve, for creating and implementing innovative museum projects;

Denis Rodkin, soloist with the State Academic Bolshoi Theatre, for his contribution to preserving, promoting and popularising the achievements of Russian choreography.

Prizes for writing and art for children and young people have been awarded to:

Vladimir Retsepter, artistic director of the St Petersburg Pushkin State Theatre Centre, for educational activity;

Alexei Rybnikov, composer, for his contribution to the development of Russian music;

Vladimir Chikishev, director of the Nizhny Novgorod boarding school for deaf children, for implementing the School–Theatre–Home single educational space programme and for creating the Piano Theatre.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, friends.

Welcome to the Kremlin and congratulations on your prizes.

Today, prizes will be awarded both to young art figures and recognised professionals who created outstanding writing and art for children.

The fact that these prizes will be presented as part of one ceremony symbolises the continuity of our rich cultural traditions and, of course, the unique capability of Russian literature, art and music to awaken the feeling of beauty in the new, young generations.

A huge role in the formation of young talents is played, without any exaggeration, by the magical, enchanting music of Alexei Rybnikov. For almost half a century his stunning melodies have been included in the golden fund of Russian art; they sound in more than 80 animated and feature films. Many became classics, and the whole country knows and loves composer Rybnikov. Alexei Rybnikov continues his creative work. The main spectators at his musical theatre are children, and the company mostly consists of young artists.

Vladimir Retsepter has headed the St Petersburg Pushkin State Theatre Centre for over 25 years. His plays are a model of the theatrical development of Russian and foreign classical drama. In fact, this is a new educational format that helps modern schoolchildren to understand the meaning of the best samples of world literature and to get answers to questions of concern for them.

Devotion to art and unlimited spiritual generosity – this is how Vladimir Chikishev’s activity can be characterised. For 30 years, he has been helping children with hearing impairment to create, revealing their artistic nature and strengthening the desire for an active, full life.

I am certain that today’s winners of prizes for young art and culture professionals also had such empathetic, passionate and experienced mentors.

I have no doubt that VGIK teachers are proud of their talented student, animation director and artist Dina Velikovskaya. The main subject of her work is the family and relations within the family, which are sometimes very complicated. Her works show us a world of love and traditional values, which is why both adults and children enjoy them so much.

Sofya Kondratyeva is working to encourage people to feel at one with our homeland, Russia, which is our huge extended family. She has been awarded a prize for developing and implementing innovative museum projects about the Palaeolithic Age and unique underground dwelling systems. Sofya Kondratyeva not only supervises research and museum activities at the Divnogorye Museum Reserve in Voronezh but also represents Russia at the International Union of Speleology (UIS).

Denis Rodkin has greatly contributed to the preservation and growth of our national choreographic legacy. A principal at the famous Bolshoi Theatre, he is one of the leading ballet dancers of the new generation. His talent and skills have helped him to master both classical and modern dance. This virtuoso universalism is fresh evidence of the extremely high standards of the Russian ballet school and the enduring value of its world-famous traditions.

Friends, you come from different generations. You began your creative careers in different periods of our history. But all of you have a keen feeling of the times. You see what is truly good and important for people, and you awaken their desire for creation and knowledge. You awaken lofty sentiments in them.

You are also united in your loyalty to the Russian culture, its noble humanitarian mission, and its importance for the survival of Russia and the Russian people. You serve culture honestly and selflessly, and your achievements have added many bright and inimitable pages and facets to our culture.

I wholeheartedly wish you further creative success, and all the best.

Thank you. Thank you very much.


Vladimir Putin: Friends,

I once again wholeheartedly congratulate you on winning these prizes. Congratulations to our winners, nearly all of whom spoke about their families today, about their teachers and their children. The first winner we celebrated today spoke very well about a code that makes us special. This code is developing from one generation to another, and each generation adds a tiny new element to this code, making it even stronger and more sustainable and viable. You are making a huge contribution to this.

Thank you very much.

April 6, 2018, The Kremlin, Moscow