Live ice skaters in the Library of Congress?!
Yes. Late last week, American University’s Initiative for Russian Culture, in partnership with the Mariinsky Foundation took over the LOC’s Thomas Jefferson Building to promote greater understanding of the complexity of Russian culture — which includes ice dancing and Tchaikovsky, of course. Most of the guests were actually college students from East Coast universities.
“The IRC promotes better understanding between our people and gives more chances for young Americans to understand Russians – to learn what we are and what we are not. There are so many stereotypes in perception…” prompted Ambassador of the Russian Federation Sergey H. Kislyak in his opening remarks. “Culture doesn’t require translation.”
Listening to a program by the Mariinsky Wind Ensemble and Denis Matseuv tickling the piano ivories, guests nibbled on Russian smoked salmon, Chicken Kiev and Lamb Shashik as they learned about new cultural exchange programs and the opportunity to attend upcoming IRC Films.
Then, ice dancers Kristina Slivchenko (Russian National Figure Skating Gold Medalist), Sarah Cammarata (U.S. Figure Skating Gold Medalist), Lindsay Wolz and Ryan Devereaux waltzed throughout the Great Hall, concluding the Russian Winter Wonderland with a dessert and coffee buffet.
Sweetamix3 captured the ice dancing action here:
*All photos provided courtesy of American University’s Initiative for Russian Culture, video captured by “Sweetamix3.”