Thursday, April 2, 2020
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The 16th War and Peace charity ball was held in London late on Thursday night.
About 360 guests, among them the pick of the Russian émigrés - the descendants of the noble families which are well known in Russia' history, gathered at prestigious London hotel Dorchester. The guests wearing luxurious attires and suits many of which were copies of the fashionable garments of the early 19th century found themselves in a luxurious atmosphere similar to that which Leo Tolstoy described in his novel War and Peace. The program and menu of the ball were drawn up precisely after the patterns of the year 1812. As the founder and organizer of the ball, Count Andrei Tolstoy-Miloslavsky - a direct heir of the great Russian writer, told RIA Novosti, "it is a traditional ball which holds a special place in the calendar of similar events." The anthem of Great Britain God Save The King, the Greek anthem and the Russian God Save The Tsar sounded in the hall where all the guests had assembled at the beginning of the party, and were followed by an Orthodox prayer and a blessing. The menu of the party's supper included salmon with vegetables, rassolnik with a cabbage pie, beef Stroganoff with rice and vegetables, and Russe Charlotte with a berry sauce. Time for the principal event of the party - the ball itself whose program consisted of 24 different dances - came after that. Famous melodies from Tchaikovsky's opera Eugene Onegin and Glinka's opera Life for the Tsar, a march and the waltz of flowers from Tchaikovsky's opera The Nutcracker, and a waltz from the War and Peace opera by Prokofyev were performed. A traditional auction, in which expensive jewels, a supper at an expensive London restaurant and several trips abroad, as well as pictures, sculptures and other authors' works of art figured as lots, was also held in the course of the party. The artists of the Russian Soul artistic company, led by Lyudmila Nikolayeva, were invited to the ball as guests of honor this year. They recently performed in London within the first festival of Russian culture Russian Winter in Trafalgar Square. Following the Russian nobles' tradition, the organizers of the event held it for charity purposes. "Our ball is absolutely a charity one and does not pursue any commercial aims," Count Tolstoy noted. The money thus raised will be spent on assistance to three organizations - the Russian Orthodox church of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in the London district of Chiswick, the Life Action Trust charity fund, and, for the first time this year, the Archangel Michael Russian Orthodox Church in the Spanish city of Altea.
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