“Lukomorye-“ A Russian Aesthetic Center for Kids in Boston
Ludmilla Starobinets – actress, philologist, and art director of the Aesthetic Center of Greater Boston is a tireless worker. Working on a colossal scale, she creates not only interesting performances where various generations learn not only of the Russian language, literature, and theater, but of culture as well.
All of this takes place in the form of a game at a unique “Lukomorye”
The name “ Lukomorye” is translated from the ancient Russian for “seashore.”
When one comes to the center, they come to Ludmilla and the children’s center.
She is not only the founder of this centre, but she is the centre of gravity for the children and their parents, the hospitable mistress of "Lukamorye:” she is its heart, soul, and even its very center - the very backbone of this entire school of the arts and lessons concerning Russian culture, along with its drama circle, costumes, and productions. It is also necessary to mention the support Ludmilla receives from her family, the people closest to her – her husband and children - Polina and Maxim.
The Russian press of greater Boston has not written of the center, and that is why many still do not know of the existence of this unique corner where children can speak, write, read, sing and do theatrical acting in Russian.
Presently there is a new performance for adults created by adult actors – “Let’s Talk About the Mysteries of Love.”
Here Maxim Starobinets demonstrates with his partners Anastasia Larry and Eugine Vernikovsky, the depth of their knowledge and the skills expressed through their talent, in a concert-play, created and put together by Ludmilla .
My son is being raised in a bilingual family, and yet his Russian is far from the level of the pupils at the curved seashores. Plus, for all these years of living in the greater Boston area, we did not know, that there was such cultural centre. It was only from acquaintances I had learned of this place, and finally had come to know the pupils, parents, and finally Ludmila. I enjoyed reading an article by D. Kukunov in the Russian newspaper concerning Vampilov’s play, wherein important points were analyzed, and a similar center was described as a necessary harbor of culture, not only for Russian culture, but universal and various cultures as well. It would be interesting to take part in some of the theater festivals, since there are certainly similar centers throughout the country. This would help both teachers and children to not only to get acquainted, but share their knowledge, and also to find new friends, and - who knows? Through this exchange, all could do a bit of traveling and get more acquainted with the country as well.
I do not believe that a child who comes to study at the centre needs to be only from a Russian-speaking or mixed family. On the contrary, it is necessary to involve children of various backgrounds who could learn Russian as a foreign language. It is no secret that recently Russia has become stronger economically, so a knowledge of Russian, as one of the international languages, is necessary.
Thanks to this phenomenon, Ludmilla has become a leader, who is also, without original intent, promoting Russian and moving Russian culture forward. That is why I feel that articles in English about the centre are needed in the local press, acquainting not only Russian-speaking parents, but everyone, with the information concerning the centre, its summer camp, and its work. It is not always necessary to become isolated in one culture and feel that one is working alone.
It has been announced that there will be a final performance and discussion of “Let’s Talk About the Mysteries of Love ” in the Fall.
Finally, I would like to wish both “best wishes and all success” to the participants and the art director – Ludmilla Staribnets.
Information concerning the work at the children's centre can be found on its website. www.RussianKidsCenter.com
Published in Russian in “Russian America” newspaper, translated by G. Guzasky