Culture News Politics Society, 30/12/2016

For the Light which Overcame the Darkness (+video)

Today the first Vertep festival promotional video has been presented.

The organizers of Vertep Fest have already made the list of participants and started to make an agenda for January 13-14. Almost fifty vertep crews from 18 regions of Ukraine will play hundreds of nativity performances in Kharkiv for two days of Vertep Festival.

In addition to the participants from Poltava region and western Ukraine theatre groups from Donbas are also joining the festival. The actors are coming from two villages in Luhansk region, Vrubivka and Toshkivka, and craftsmen are from Bakhmut, Donetsk region.

Impressive concerts will be held near Opera House and near the monument to Taras Shevchenko, the plays will be performed in the Church of St. John the Evangelist, at schools, hospitals and in government offices, in shopping centers and supermarkets.

The most exciting event will be the parade of participants, as two colorful columns will march along Sumska street from Maidan Svobody and Maidan Konsyitutsii to meet each other. And the festival of food will provide hot meals of Slobidska Ukraine cuisine.

Unlike the Western European tradition, where Christmas theatre is closely connected with religious beliefs, Ukrainian nativity play has always been an independent people’s theater, where an old story was interpreted according to actual events. Thus in addition to the traditional roles of King Herod, wise men, angels and demons today’s Verteps theatre include modern characters of bad Bribetakers and Berkuts (riot police force, which name became synonymous with police brutality during Euromaidan) and good Students and Volunteers opposing them.

“As this is the eternal story of the light which overcame the darkness”, the organizers explain.

The festival is funded by charity donations from people and organizations.