Dash Arts in collaboration with BGS presents The Colour of Pomegranates; a biography of the Armenian troubadour Sayat Nova (King of Song). One of the greatest masterpieces of the 20th century, Sergei Parajanov's film reveals the poet's life depicting his coming of age, discovery of the female form, falling in love, entering a monastery and dying, all framed through both Sergei Parajanov's imagination and Sayat Nova's poems. The film was illicitly smuggled out of the Soviet Union in the 1970s for its UK premiere at the ICA. We are delighted that before the film at 8.05pm there will be a pre-show discussion with Donald Rayfield and Bill McAlister in discussion with Dash Art's Artistic Director Josephine Burton.
BILL MCALISTER Born Yorkshire 1940. Father William Katz Nelson killed in Spitfire in Battle of Britain. Childhood in Canada. Educated at St. Edwards School Oxford and University College London. BA Hons Psychology & Philosophy. Early career: community activist founding playgroups, adventure playgrounds, Housing associations, Almost Free Theatre, Community Bus Company, Trade Union of Father Xmases etc. Director of Battersea Art Centre. Director (ICA) Institute of Contemporary Arts 1976-1990. Cultural Policy Director Soros Foundations 1990-95. Awarded: Order Chevalier Des Arts et Des Lettres. Honorary Citizenship of Commonwealth of Maryland. Independent Arts producer and Trustee of various educational and cultural foundations. Baptism in film-making at age 74 with Georgian film ‘Pret a Vivre’ and film about street dogs in Istanbul ‘Taskafa’. Lives in Islington and has a passion for tennis, mushroom foraging and fishing.
DONALD RAYFIELD Born 1942, educated at Dulwich College and the University of Cambridge, Donald Rayfield has been most of his life a lecturer and then Professor of Russian. In 1973 he first visited Georgia and has since then written a history of Georgian literature, edited A Comprehensive Georgian-English Dictionary and recently published a history of Georgia (Edge of Empires), which will soon be published in a Russian edition. He is also the author of a biography of Anton Chekhov and a study Stalin and his Hangmen, both of which have been translated into other languages, including Russian. He has translated a number of Russian and Georgian poets, playwrights and prose writers and written on a various topics in comparative literature. He is now an emeritus professor, but continues research. He lives in Kent and has a passion for horticulture, especially exotic trees.
At 7.30pm alternative singer and multi-instrumentalist THéKO (Parajanov) will transport us into an intimate poetic landscape shaped with tales and notes of her own human tragedies and quixotic moments, with ukulele, djembe and guitar adornments. Her stories are dispersed through her multilingual Georgian, English, Russian, Portuguese, French, Italian, Arabic, Turkish tongue and will be the perfect warm up to this extraordinary film.