President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, friends,
I am delighted to welcome you ahead of Cultural Workers' Day.
As is traditional, we are holding this ceremony to award prizes to people of art who have dedicated their talent, knowledge and experience to the younger generations, as well as prizes to young professionals whose art has already evoked some response.
One of them is stage director Aidar Zabbarov. A successor to the traditions of Russian psychological theatre, he almost immediately won recognition of the audience as well as his eminent colleagues. His graduation production earned six Golden Mask nominations and marked the beginning of a truly triumphant tour of his productions at the most prestigious theatrical venues.
Young sculptor Yekaterina Pilnikova, too, is continuing the best traditions of Russian art. Her rare talent was manifested in her student works and later fully revealed in a series of sculptures portraying outstanding figures of Russian culture; she was awarded the prize for those projects.
Another young professional, ballet dancer Sergei Polunin, is already a recognised star who has written a page in the world history of choreography. Only I don't see him here.
I have to note that he, too, actively supports young dancers, finds talented dancers and helps them grow. He does this both as the head of the Sevastopol Academy of Choreography, and through his own charitable foundation.
Two more winners of the prize for art for children and young people are dancers – Viktor Gotsulenko and Larisa Feoktistova, the creators and long-time heads of two dance companies that have the same name, Radost [Joy], which is such a good name. For several decades, they have been preserving and popularising folk dance traditions among children. Their teams – one in Crimea, in the south, the other in the north, in Murmansk on the Kola Peninsula – are popular schools of aesthetic and spiritual development, that have trained more than 6,000 children.
Alexander Galibin’s films provide moral guidance to the younger generations. He won the love of millions of viewers as a brilliant and profound actor, but his talent also extends to filmmaking, and as director, he chose to make films about family, childhood, and raising children.
I would like to say special words to Inessa Kovalevskaya, a truly popular culture and art professional who actually created the musical cartoon genre. A music expert, director and writer, she is an example of dedication to her profession and amazing zest for life. She never stopped exploring art for more than half a century and that search bore truly unique fruits.
Inessa Kovalevskaya is someone we should thank for the singing characters in the Town Musicians of Bremen, for the Lion Cub and the Turtle, Small Motorboat and The Port, and other beautiful cartoons everyone loves; for her idea to create screen adaptations of masterpieces of folk and classical music, to use the simple and magical language of animation to introduce children to the world of real high art.
I could talk about each of today's winners for a long, long time. But no words can express more about you than your work, your contribution to Russian culture, to the development of Russian society, to shaping the younger generations. They have made a selfless contribution of exceptional artistic and educational value, imbued with true talent, hard work and boundless love for their native country and its people – something that unites all generations of professionals in theatre and cinema, fine and musical art in Russia.
I congratulate everyone on their well-deserved awards and wish them great creative successes, new achievements and all the best.
Vladimir Putin: Friends,
Once again, I congratulate you on today's event, on winning the prizes.
In closing, I would like to say a few words.
First, I noted the words of gratitude addressed to teachers, as one of our young winners said. Everyone is grateful to their teachers, this is clear. In this regard, here is what I would like to emphasise: this underscores the continuity of generations. This underscores that in all areas, including art, the continuity of generations creates the effect of an endless river of talents and creativity, and this never stops, it is a continuous stream.
Despite the turbulence in the world, in the country, creativity always lives on, is always with us, always supports us. This is the great strength of our people; this is one of the fundamentals of our existence.
Our colleague from Crimea said that we are far from each other: one company is in Murmansk, the other is in Crimea, but we are guided by the same principles in our work. We educate people, our young citizens, in the spirit of patriotism and love for the Fatherland. Yes, this is true, the principles are the same, but the creative approach is probably always different. This diversity is the great strength of our art.
Congratulations and you all the best!
Thank you very much.