New Year’s Eve Ball
The New Year’s Eve Ball for young people solemnly opened at the Palace of Independence on 27 December.
Taking part in the ball were more than 330 young men and women from various parts of Belarus. These are gifted students of universities, vocational schools, cadet schools and the Minsk Suvorov Military School who have shown academic excellence, scholarly distinction and demonstrated creativity and discovery at art competitions, youth and community projects and sports.
Among the attendees at the Grand Ceremonial Hall of the Palace of Independence were Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko, State Secretary of the Security Council Aleksandr Volfovich, Deputy Prime Minister Igor Petrishenko, Deputy Head of the Belarus President Administration Igor Lutsky, Culture Minister Anatoly Markevich and Education Minister Andrei Ivanets, Minsk Mayor Vladimir Kukharev, Chairman of the Central Election Commission and Head of the Public Advisory Council on Education Igor Karpenko.
The tradition to hold a New Year’s Eve Ball was revived in Belarus in 2018. The Palace of Independence has become its permanent venue. The ongoing ball is a journey through the history of music and dance culture of Belarus.
All those present were warmly greeted by Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko. “This is the only day of the year when our Palace of Independence looks so different. Just a few hours ago, important political, economic and security matters were discussed in the offices and halls of this building. Now the atmosphere of music and dance has taken up the reins. The atmosphere of youth. It is important that all this happens once a year and only for you,” the head of state remarked. “When I see very beautiful, happy young people, I think with gratitude about your parents, teachers, professors,” the president said.
According to the head of state, they should be given credit for the fact that these young people are now at the Palace of Independence. “Because they raised and educated you. They taught you to set the right goals and achieve them. And remember: revere your parents and teachers. Everything you have is due to them. Tomorrow you will begin your own journey but this journey will start from the place where your parents put you. Keep this in mind. You must respect those who helped you become who you are today. There are no random people here, you are the best representatives of our youth,” the president said addressing the ball participants. “You have worked hard in the past year, achieved outstanding results in the academic field, sports, and taken an active part in the volunteer movement, which is very important,” Aleksandr Lukashenko added.
This evening the doors of the Palace of Independence opened for you, active young people with a sense of purpose, said Aleksandr Lukashenko.
“Tomorrow you will perhaps step into big politics. And you will be responsible for everything that will be happening in our state. And if this Palace of Independence is a symbol of our statehood, then you are a symbol of our future. This means that you will shape the future. Those who are not ready for this yet, who have not comprehended it yet, please, get ready. Whether you like it or not, the future is in your hands,” the Belarusian leader emphasized.
The head of state congratulated the participants of the ball on the coming year and said a few words about the outgoing year: “For some it was calm, for others it was stormy, and for some it was just like another year. You have a few more days left to make this year unforgettable. Step into the new year with dignity, so that it will be something to remember, something unimaginable.”
People’s Artist of Belarus Vladimir Gromov is the one who runs the ball. He welcomes guests and introduces the dance masters.
Traditionally, the ball kicked off with a polonaise of debutants, i.e. young, unmarried persons. Young ladies hold a bouquet of fresh flowers. The program continued with one of the most popular dances, which is also called the king of dances and the dance of kings - the waltz. After several dances, the couples regrouped for the polka. This fiery dance is compared to a fun game and is a mandatory element of any ball.
The young people demonstrated their dancing skills at a quadrille and a complex, but brilliant and energetic mazurka. The evening continued with a fascinating galop and chaconne based on elements of a gavotte and a minuet. The classical part of the ball ended, as befits centuries-old ballroom traditions, with the midnight quadrille that was performed by all the dancers.
After that the guests continued with modern rock and roll, mambo, boogie-woogie, lambada, twist and other dances.