Russian all day

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Borsch, Vodka & Tears. Prahran.
Borsch, Vodka & Tears. Prahran.

They come cocooned and steamy, smoking away in their little porcelain bowl. Plump and endearing, rustic Russian beans served with white cheese, a chunk of lemon and avocado can not be spooned to my ravenous mouth faster. The day’s hunt for an new apartment has been both taxing and vexing so we eat rapidly. Spoon in one hand, crisp rye toast in the other. Borsch Vodka and Tears, with it’s interior worthy of an Art Nouveau absinthe drinker, has long been a favoured haunt of mine although I’m hardly the one to play with the diabolical Artemesia Absinthium even if I am grateful for the productivity it inspired in beloved artists and thinkers (Vincent Van Gogh, Oscar Wilde, Charles Baudelaire, Paul Verlaine, Rimbaud and Hemingway were all known consumers of the so called Green Fairy).

That being said, after perusing apartments in the South Side of Melbourne, I’d not have been suprised if the urge to knock back a shot of absinthe had hit me. We spent our day trawling coffin like apartments. I shuddered at entrance ways reminiscent of a Konzentrationslager , walkways that would cripple my soul and kitchens that would definitely cripple my appetite.

But then we find her. A charming fronted Art Deco apartment, resplendent with bay window and window seat, aged but gleaming wooden floors and a small room perfect for my singing studio. The apartment is resonant, the acoustic good. This is an abode for music, art and gastronomy. We cross our fingers…

An unexpected tip off on the classical radio network, the car radio default, sets us off to the Art Centre spontaneously instead of driving home. After all we’ve been Russian all day, it seems fitting to attend.There we immerse ourselves in director Anna Melville’s production Stravinsky in Music, Words and Dance.

John Stanton as Igor Stravinsky. Hamer Hall.
John Stanton as Igor Stravinsky. Hamer Hall.

Actor John Stanton personifies Stravinsky well, with a convivial Russian accent, despite his antipodean origins. He weaves dialogue direct from Stravinsky between the poignant bow of violinist Ji Won Kim, the dexterous touch of pianist Hoang Pham and the pulsing steps of dancers Natalie Abbott and Matthew Day. Opening with The Firebird: Berceuse and concluding with Petrushka: Danse Russe set for violin and piano, Ji Won Kim and Hoang Pham make a formidable ensemble with tight intonation from Ji Won balanced by clear musical phrasing and intention.

Natalie Abbot and Matthew Day- Elegy. Stravinsky.
Natalie Abbot and Matthew Day- Elegy. Stravinsky.

Melbourne has been all abuzz this week with The Russian Festival- Celebrating 100 Years of the Rite of Spring. The festival will culminate in the once contentious Rite of Spring, this Tuesday evening at Hamer Hall, 8pm featuring the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Diego Martheuz.

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra's Concert Series Propaganda.
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s Concert Series Propaganda.

One thought on “Russian all day

    Patricia said:
    August 11, 2013 at 12:53 am

    Sounds like it was a hectic day, but interesting! Here’s hoping the flat comes off. xo

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