Fairy Tales on the Kama?
Yes, it's a combination of local history, design, and theater in an unusual place. It uses just the surrounding environment as the stage, the urban environment. It's awesome that Vika Shtanke, who came up with the idea, puts on the Fairy Tales.
So where do we go next?
Then we go to artist Hamza Sharipov's workshop. He's interesting for his view of "Tatarness," of the Tatar people, how he interprets everything so softly, tenderly, like a hug or something. Plus, Hamza has an interesting workshop, and as you make your way through it you can see the sketches that he did, for example, on fabric for the Energetik recreation center, a large, thirty-meter canvas.
After Khamza's workshop we'll walk to the Energetik recreation center to look at the mosaic on the wall and Hanov's sculpture Rugby Players near the Stroitel recreation center; then along Gidrostroiteley Street to the central library and check out the facade, the pyramidal poplars, and Hanov's sculpture Fountain; and then go to the Motherland sculpture, which is also by Hanov.
Then we'll get on the tram. It connects both parts of the city, passing through the Cellular Concrete Plant, from the hydroelectric power station to the New City and back. We reach the Organ Hall. Unfortunately, there's not much going on there, culturally, unless someone like [classical pianist] Denis Matsuev is in town.
We'll take the bus to Azatlyk Square. There was a lot of controversy about this project, but everything worked out in the end. Even these green hills, which people compared to graves, are a popular hang-out place now.
Going further, our path takes us to the Masterovye Theater. My father-in-law, Yuri Mikhailovich Kolesnikov, whom I never had the chance to meet, founded this theater. There's an interesting story connected with it.
Can you share it?
When we moved there, my mother immediately sought out the cultural spots, "magnets" that drew her to them: the art school, where conductor Igor Lerman started out with the Provintsiya chamber orchestra, and the Masterovye Theater. After she had seen all the performances there, she went to find the main director (which was Yuri Kolesnikov, Masterovye's founder) and, when she found him, she simply said, "Thank you."
After a while, Mr. Kolesnikov died. Mom, without even envisioning our future family with Ilya, seemed to be thanking his father in advance for everything.
After the Masterovye, we go to Entuziastov Boulevard to see Ildar Hanov's sculptures The Tree of Life, Awakening, Evolution, and Guardian Angel. At the entrance to the city, near the Borovetsky Bridge, there is another sculpture by Hanov, Energy. For me, they are all the most important symbols of Chelny. Behind The Tree of Life I show off the Business Center 2.18 high rise and we'll walk to the Art Gallery.
There's nothing special on the boulevard, except for some very talented cyclists that hang out there. You can watch them for hours, how they put on shows with their bikes, how they are woven into the urban environment. And it's very harmonious, without disturbing grandmothers or mothers with children.
I recommend eating Ak Batyr corndogs.