The pact was signed by Indian Council For Cultural Relations ( ICCR) Director General Suresh Goel and Russian Deputy Minister of Cultural Relations A. Busygin at Azad Bhavan late Monday evening.
“The Russian festival of culture is a response to the Indian artists and officials who visited Russia in 2011 for a similar festival. Russia will host yet another festival of Indian culture in 2013 as a reciprocal gesture,” Goel said.
The copy of the pact made available said Russia will bring to India “soloists from the Bolshoi, Marinsky and Mikhailovsky Theatres, St Petersburg folk ensemble ‘Barynya'” – the troupe of the Russian Academic Youth Theatre and a photography exhibition.
The festival will end with a ballet gala at Siri Fort Nov 1.
The Indian Council for Cultural Relations will provide hospitality to 65 artists during the festival. “We will get several high quality groups from Russia. An exhibition of art and photographs is an important aspect of the festival because it will connect Russian art to the Roerich estate (in Kullu district in Himachal Pradesh),” Goel told the sources.
The Roerich estate in Himachal Pradesh has 8,000 artifacts, including 37 rare paintings by the Russian painter-thinker, who settled in India to paint Himalayan landscapes.
The ICCR has several international festivals on its agenda this year and the next to bolster cultural ties with countries like Germany, Australia and Canada, the director general said.
“We are trying out several new initiatives in cross-cultural exchanges to create a common language,” Goel said.
“At the opening of the Delhi International Arts Festival (DIAF) Oct 26, we will get Qawaal groups from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan and host them with dervishes (Sufi dancers) from Turkey at the Purana Qila. The two things that India shares with South Asia and West Asia are Sufism and qawaalis,” he said.
Sufism has developed in each country in different ways, he said.
The director general said that “the Russian festival was also a similar initiative to explore the connections and commonalities between the cultures of India and Russia, both of which have rich cultural inheritances”.