Contact: Sheryl Cannady (202) 707-6456; Donna Urschel, (202) 707-1639

November 8, 2013

Library Exhibit Showcases Russia’s Influence in Music and Dance

Interactive Display Travels to Russia’s Mariinsky Theatre in 2014

Russia is the birthplace of some of the world’s greatest classical composers and choreographers—Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Dmitri Shostakovich, Igor Stravinsky and George Balanchine, among many others. The Library of Congress will celebrate the universal influence of these artists’ work, along with that of other notable Russian performers, in a new interactive digital display—"Russian Influences on Music and Dance in America"—opening in the James Madison Memorial Building today, Nov. 8.

This new multimedia exhibit will illustrate how Russian-born composers, conductors, musical performers and dancers have impacted America’s musical and cultural landscape through clips from the Library’s vast collections of films, television programs, video and recordings. The materials in the interactive—representing dance, choral and orchestral concert works and American musical theater and popular song—will explore three themes: Russian Dance in America, Russian Music Translated into American Popular Culture and Russian Music in America.

The 33 clips showcased will be viewable on touch-screen kiosks with headphones and sound sticks. A secondary screen on the kiosks will offer contextual information about the performances and artists.

The audio visual materials are among millions of collection items stored and preserved in the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation. The exhibition will also feature historic digitized manuscripts from the Library’s Music Division collections.

"Russian Influences on Music and Dance in America" will be on display through Friday, Jan. 31, in the lobby on the first floor of the Library’s James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Ave., S.E., Washington, D.C. The exhibition is free and open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

After its run in the United States, the exhibition will travel to the historic Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia in the spring of 2014. The Mariinsky Theatre has presented some of the world’s most renowned artists for more than two centuries.

"The music and audio visual collections of the Library of Congress contain a wealth of original scores, films and sound recordings that document the long and mutually enriching relationship in all areas of the performing arts—a relationship that exists between Russia and America," said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington, who is also a scholar of Russian culture and society.

"Russian Influences on Music and Dance in America" has been made possible through the sponsorship of the Library’s Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation and the Music Division, and the generous support and personal involvement of James Madison Council Member Susan Carmel Lehrman.

"I am honored to help bring this incredible display to the attention of the American people, and in particular, to American and Russian students," said Lehrman. "By showcasing the cultural influences and contributions made by Russian émigrés on the American culture, this interactive exhibit will remind audiences from both countries of the deep cultural bonds that we share and enjoy."

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. It seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs and exhibitions. The Library also preserves the nation’s largest collections of television, radio and sound recordings and related materials. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at www.loc.gov.

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PR 13-172
11/08/13
ISSN 0731-3527

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