The Russian Community Centre, located in Wooloongaba, Queensland, is the main central facility for the vast Australian-Russian population living in Brisbane. It is home to many specialty Russian clubs that help promote the Russian culture and traditions in Australia. The centre also has a number of its halls available for hire to the general public.
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Russian Community Centre, Brisbane, Australia
Russian Community Centre, Brisbane, Australia  Advertisement Russian Community Centre, Brisbane, Australia
Russian Community Centre, Brisbane, Australia
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Queensland Russian Community Centre
Brisbane, Australia

19 Lotus St.,Woolloongabba 4102
Phone +61 7 3391 3432
Email: enquiries@qldruscentre.com
Website: www.qldruscentre.com
Russian Community Centre, Brisbane, Australia
Russian Community Centre, Brisbane, Australia

Our years are flying by, as birds are...

My heart throbbed, such as at the first date of a girl in love, when announced that the airplane went to the lower and we landed in Brisbane. Waiting for baggage and customs clearance are already behind and I am going to the waiting room, where my relatives - sister Galina and brother-in-law Alex, are waiting for me. My heart went pitter-patter when we met and yet ahead is an exciting meeting with friends, with the Russian folkloric ensemble “Samotsvety", of which I was fortunate to be a member for more than three years.

Five years! Five years have passed as a single moment. At first glance, it seems that nothing has changed since then, except for we have grown older and wiser passing the five-year life path, adding each to our own age another period of time.

I knew almost all about the folkloric ensemble "Samotsvety" from phone conversations I had with my sister plus I watched and listened to their performance at their 10th anniversary’s concert on disk which was brought to me to Russia. I was startled, how grew the creative potential of the ensemble, how many new and complex songs in their repertuare and how professional was their execution. Also, by how many new, beautiful costumes the members of the ensemble made in their free time and how much love, creativity, fantasy and time they invested in them. I watched and listened to the recorded performance of the ensemble with great pleasure proud of their success and proud that I was part of this group/ensemble some time ago.

As in the past, the ensemble’s rehearsals are on the same day and at the same time, every Thursday night at 7pm. No one knew about my arrival, even the best friends. That has proved to be a pleasant surprise for those who I knew, and for me a joy of meeting them again and communicating with dear to my heart people. At this time, the rehearsal was not quite the usual. After a short period of time, the members started to discuss details of the entertainment preparation for the "Pancake Party/Maslenitsa" scheduled to be held in the Brisbane’s Russian Community Centre on 9th of March 2013.

I would like to note that the ensemble had previously actively participated in the preparation of the evenings by the Russian Community Centre on a number of occasions, and of course, were engaged this time.

Already after a few minutes, I felt as I never left the ensemble and still was one of the members of folkloric group, as though as there were no all those past years spent apart.

Rehearsal started, and I was watching the events on the stage. The roles are distributed, some are skomoroxi, others are Winter and Maslenitsa, there are dance, which involve most of the members of folkloric ensemble "Samotsvety" and dance by the dance studio "Màximî" who have their rehearsals/lessons in the Russian Community Centre. In a word, that was as in any professional theatre. One can only say, that these people are contributing their own time free of charge, ahead of may be their families and themselves. By contributing their time they understand importance of what they are doing and that people like that. At the same time they enjoy doing it themselves, otherwise the ensemble, supervised by Alla Ýkzarkho with her genuine enthusiasm in her free time and free of charge for the past 13 years, most likely would not have existed . The ensemble is always ready to participate in all activities, where they invited.

For example, on Saturday 9 February 2013, the ensemble was invited to perform in Ipswich, plus a few other performances are scheduled in the near future. But right now, rehearsals for Maslenitsa with proposals, disputes, laughter, jokes and even anecdotes continue, especially that there is only short period of time remains until celebration of "Maslenitsa".

The committee of Russian Community Centre decided to organise a working bee on 9 February 2013, idea of which belongs to House Manager Wayne Tilli.

On the day, there were about 30 people gathered in the Russian Community Centre. There were the members of the committee: President Vladislav Êîsså, deputy chairman and the House Manager Wayne Tilly, Alla Ekzarkho, Galina Pavlova, Elena Proskurina, Irina Goldobina, Svetlana Remington, a member of folkloric ensemble “Samotsvety” Natalia Kromina with her husband Vasily Kromin, Alexe Pavlov, as well as Adam Rotaker. Head of the dance studio "Màximî" Olga Shikina invited parents of the children attending the dance studio and parents have responded by participating in the working bee. They are: Alena Alan, Yulia Kovalyova, Elena Myazote, Larissa Urumashvili, Tatiana and Ruslan Pantuxini, Olga and Alexander Karavaevi with their daughter Alina and Sudnitzin family. Also came to help new members of the Russian community who recently arrived in Brisbane, for example, Elena Sartakova.
The work has begun as planned. Cob webs, walls, doors, windows, fans and air conditioners have been cleaned. Ceiling fans and ramp for wheelchairs have been fixed and the new door, adjacent to the kitchen hall, built. Stuff held for years in the backrooms, change room and in the kitchen have been sorted out and cleaned. Everyone was engaged and by 1pm a lot has been done.

By this time the table was set up for lunch in the main hall. Committee members prepared lunch for everyone. Galina Pavlova and Irina Goldobina made piroshky, Svetlana Remington cooked sausages and Alla Ekzarkho eggplants. The owner of the Deli store "Ruski Way", Galina Fendon brought a huge pot of Russian soup called borsch and rye bread for lunch, which was in truth the royal and a well-deserved.

I have already mentioned, that the ensemble had a performance scheduled for that evening, therefore, the members had to leave in order to prepare equipment, costumes and themselves for the concert. A few of the members of the committee stayed to complete the remainder small tasks. A House Manager Wayne Tilly, was pleasantly surprised by the activity of the Russian community.

All rubbish was put on the truck provided by the sponsors and the truck was filled up to the top. The Committee members have decided to send thank you letters to the sponsors for their support.

An hour before the commencement of the performance, the members of the folkloric ensemble “Samotsvety” were at the designated meeting place in Ipswich. While Vasily Kromin set up equipment, Tatiana Keating, Konstantin Rusakov and Vladislav Kosse arranged their musical instruments and ladies prepared their three costumes for the concert planned to be in three separate parts.

The hall slowly filled with the audience sitting at tables. I was part of them and was taking pictures.

The organisers of the evening who were dressed in Russian national costumes and were serving Russian cuisine, announced the beginning of the ensemble’s performance.

With emotion and inner trepidation I listened to voices of my SAMOTSVETIKOV, how good they are in bright costumes, how harmonically and professional their singing accompanied by the button accordion, guitar and Russian folk instruments! It was nice to know that I was not the only one listening, seeing and understanding it. The audience absolutely loved the performance, they clapped hands, moved in tact with music. One of the women in a wheelchair, first, moved hands in the tact but then, left the table in the passage and started to dance by wiggling/moving wheelchair from side to side, making the movements with her hands and body to the extent possible. It looked spectacular. Definitely, people need such concerts/performances, because, good performances raise people’s mood. To me, time has fled by.
When the last song of the program was sang, the audience applauded for a long time and requested more songs. Robert Woodhouse, the only Australian in the ensemble singing in Russian language, sang on their request. The audience pleasantly applauded for a long time and did not want to let the ensemble go asking questions and checking out the costumes.

One more busy Saturday in the life of folkloric ensemble "Samotsvety" has ended. Every member was tired but satisfied by the work done and, of course, the evening amongst of grateful audience.

Ahead is Sunday with the housework and other things to do and then again the working week, and rehearsals, rehearsal for the coming “Maslenitsa” and other scheduled performances.

I wish you all, my dear SAMOTSVETIKI, patience and prosperity in your noble endeavour! I am sincerely proud of you!

Raisa Chebotova
Brisbane





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