National Youth Arts Contest Held in Almaty

ALMATY – The Ninth National Youth Delphic Games were held in Almaty under the motto “Keeping Tradition.” This year, more than 500 talented children from 14 regions of the county, as well as Astana and Almaty came together for this high profile art forum.

The contest opened at the Kazakhstan State Circus with a bright theatrical performance about the history of the contest. The show was designed by the artists of the Abai State Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet, the Kazakhstan state circus and the orchestra of military unit No. 5571 of the Kazakhstan Ministry of Internal Affairs. Young singer, Ali Okapov performed a song that he wrote specifically for the contest.

The history of Delphic Games, which initially was called the Pythian Games, is rooted in antiquity. These great ancient Greek competitions were held in the city of Delphi to glorify the god Apollo, who according to mythology, defeated the dragon Python.

This ancient tradition has survived to this day. In 2000, the first World Delphic Games of modern times were held and included 27 countries. Since 2002, the Youth Delphic Games have been held annually in one of the states of the Commonwealth of Independent States. They have become an international movement of creative artistic thought and a high cultural forum promoting the ideals of goodness and creativity. This is the only competition in the world which combines all types of art.

The first national Youth Delphic Games of Kazakhstan were held in 2005 in Astana. Then, the baton of the contest, which has become their halmark, was taken through the cities of Ust-Kamenogorsk, Shymkent, Taraz, Karaganda and Atyrau. Promoting the development of the Delphic Movement, these events support talented young people, contribute to the preservation and enhancement of the cultural heritage of Kazakhstan and promote tolerance and learning about other cultures in the young. The number of participants is increasing every year, which confirms that Kazakhstan is rich in talented young people and that they are interested in developing their creative potential. All contestants have won regional qualifying competitions.

At the 9th National Delphic Games, these young, talented people competed in 16 areas: phototography, folk instruments, folk arts and crafts, accordion, fine arts, piano, academic singing, violin, TV journalism, saxophone, DJing, pop singing, modern dance, folk dance and web design.

The contest was divided into two age groups – 15 years and younger and from 16 to 21 years.

“This year, we focused on classical genres, primarily on folk instruments and folk crafts, because these most recent Delphic Games were held under the aegis of Keeping Tradition. The new category – DJing – as a new genre of contemporary art will reflect our aegis on one hand and on the other, is a new contest tradition,” executive director of the National Delphi Committee Sazhida Saytbaeva said.

Requirements for participants of these contests are very high and are not any less stringent than those of other world competitions. The jury is also highly qualified: they are mainly honoured artists. The skills and talents of participants of the ninth contest were evaluated by USSR People’s Artist Bibigul Tulegenova, People’s Artist of Kazakhstan Yeskendir Khasangaliyev, Honoured Artist of Kazakhstan Anatoly Gaisin and other well-known figures of art and culture.

The gifted young people impressed the jury with their abilities. The participants of the academic singing contest demonstrated good vocal training and very high potential.

“We are very happy that there are so many talented people in this area able to represent our country,” Tulegenova, the chairman of the academic singing jury said. Fine arts and folk crafts had the greatest number of participants.

The most exciting moment of the contest was the announcement of the winners. Almaty was the first in the number of awards – 20 medals, including 7 gold medals. In second place was the Akmola region with 11 medals, including 4 gold medals. Third place was taken by contestants from the capital who won 3 gold, 8 silver and 5 bronze medals.

Among the holders of gold medals is the Pirouette dance troupe from the East Kazakhstan region, the Shabyt ensemble from Astana, the Neposedy dance group and other participants.

The winners will represent Kazakhstan at the International Delphic Games, which in 2014, will be held in Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan). Kazakhstan’s national team was invited to participate in the first European Open Youth Delphic Games to be held in early May 2014 in Russia as part of the Delphic Volgograd – 2014 cultural project.

The National Delphic Movement is supported by the Kazakhstan Ministry of Education and Science, the general sponsor of the contest is the Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund.