For sure, many of you were thinking of visiting Russia at least once in a lifetime. However, inspite of curiosity to explore new places and cultures your life routine hasn´t let this dream come true yet! This year you have a great opportunity to make it happen thanks to the first edition of I´M YOUR DJ in MOSCOW city.
Obviously you´ve been asking yourself a lot of questions about kizomba in Russia. In order to help you to decide whether it worse going or not, first of all, I have spoken to Svetlana, the organizer of IMDJ- M directly from Russia:
– How it all started? How the idea of the festival was born?
When I took a decision to stay in Paris as much as my visa allows me, I realized I did not want to dance in Russia anymore, because the level of dancers and DJs is low, not taking into account those who often dance or mix in Europe.
Many dancers wanted to know why I stopped going to local parties in Moscow. How could I transmit all those emotions I have in France, to people, who (some of them) have even never travelled abroad in their lives due to whatever reasons? They do not know another kizomba atmosphear, how it feels to dance with the best dancers and to the best music.
Then I had a genius idea: why not to transfer that entire atmosphere to Russia, particularly to Moscow so that people themselves could experience it all on their own, but not based on someone´s stories!
I decided to introduce to them a new concept, which is a non-stop music festival. Therefore, I went to talk to Mike (e.g. Mike Events), who already had such a festival in France!
When exactly a year ago in Paris our conversation took place, we did not have to persuade each other to do IYDJ in Moscow! Hence, to organize the IMDJ-Moscow Edition it was a mutual and quick decision! Mike wanted to go out with his brand outside of France, and I wanted to make my dream come true – to show Russian dancers, who do not have a foreign passport, what it’s like to dance to great music with quality dancers! Thus, we started together preparing for this festival!
– How is the preparation going?
In Russia, everything is different! Since I am Russian and often live in Moscow, I am more involved with organizational issues in Russia, when Mike and Alex in Paris. Sometimes it can be difficult to solve something quickly and accurately, because the European mindset is very different from the Russian people! The way of thinking and concepts are different, but the goal for all of us is the same – to get the best result!
– Is it difficult to get a Russian visa?
Many Europeans are afraid of visa problems. And in vain! In order to get a Russian visa, you need to collect no more documents than we Russians do for a Schengen visa! Believe me, there is nothing terrible in this! You can always ask for help the IYDJ team or any travel agency to learn how to hand over all the documents, if you have no time to collect and file them yourself. It can take you to make a visa only up to two days! Therefore, we very much hope that there will also come to Russia a large number of excellent dancers, not just taxis, who will perform their duties on the dance floor for 24 hours a day!!!
– What is the current situation in kizomba in Russia?
In Russia, there are a lot of girls who perfectly dance kizomba, especially those who travel regularly to different European festivals. Nevertheless, Russian men rarely travel abroad. They prefer to stay at their level without improving it, believing it´s quite enough, which is very sad. Even for them European taxi-girls are invited now for the first time to Russia! I really hope that after IMDJ, the Russian guys will have the incentive to progress!
– What place does kizomba take in your life?
Until I started living in Paris for months, kizomba was an integral part of my life. I have visited more than 40 festivals in 2 years in different countries! Now I am back in my real life, and kizomba became more like not even a hobby, but my job.
I completely plunged into kizomba as a job, because I decided to organize not only large-scale festivals, but also with another organizer in Russia to do every first Saturday of every month a mini event! My goal now is to improve the quality of this sensual dance in Russia.
I take it easy, not as a drug addict, who I was before! :)) Visiting every day in Paris good parties, I began to be overwhelmed with it. Therefore, now I can easily do without dancing, when I return to Moscow. I have a lot of work with the festival, and thus kizomba, as a dance, took a backseat! The festival is on the first place.
– What is for you the compensation of all the effort and time spent on this festival?
My dream is, as I already mentioned above, to bring a Parisian atmosphere to Moscow and show Russian people who do not sing it from Russia what it is like to dance in Europe to the best music with high-quality dancers! This is what motivates me and makes me happy! My compensation is my personal emotional satisfaction!!!
Aaaaand… afterwords I asked some of my earopean friends – kizomba teachers, DJs and taxi dancers – who are going to Russia for this 1st edition, what their expectations are and how they imagine this trip. Let´s see what they say:
I do not have any specials expectations. I mean, I know IMDJ (the concept)
The fact that it is in Russia is of course exciting. New country I have never been to, so it is quite like holydays. I know that the organization will be ok!
I just hope that the venue and the places where the events will take place will be beautiful. Because I think it’s part of the adventure: people go to Russia, I think in their minds it is linked to something different that they seen before in other festival. They want to live a special experience. In association with the concept of IMDJ, which is non-stop dancing festival, I think that the expectations are high.
I imagine this very well, I love to travel and discover new things and new environments.
I hope and I expect from this trip to exchange, share with a different culture, history, and a different mentality, but with a common passion, the Kizomba. I was invited to come to this festival. I accepted with pleasure, to meet new people, to discover, to visit a country, an atypical city.
- Do you like dancing in Russia?
Yes. Very good level of the followers. Great atmosphere and nice people.
- Is it somehow different from European parties and festivals?
It is different. In Russia, they really love to dance and respect the dancers.
- What are your expectations?
I don’t expect anything different then the other parties. Just more dancing.
- Is it difficult to get a Russian visa?
It’s not simple to get the visa. But if you got all the papers, you are usually not denied.
- Some advice to your colleagues who will go there for the 1st time?
Do not abuse the Russian courtesy.
I am going to Moscow because I am curious to see this country, as I love travelling.
Moreover, I´m sure that IMDJ is a sure bet. It has been a year since I work as a taxi dancer for them.
The festival falls on my Birthday (October 16). There is nothing better than this to have a memorable birthday!)
This is the first time I travel to Russia. It´s easy and fast to a visa; it takes about 10 days.
This is my first time in kizomba outside France. I expect a lot of novelty for this festival especially on the level of women, their way of creating music and their way to move. I have always dreamed of going to Russia, so it is the perfect opportunity. I also hope to discover new kinds of vodka because I like this drink very much.
My journey will be summarized in 3 crucial points: kizomba, vodka and the mentality of the Russians. Finally, for the visa it is easy, a structure called “Action visa we help from A-Z”, so no problem on this side.
Ryan Blanken (DJ Ryze):
My expectations as a DJ are to be able to challenge myself, since I am on a line-up with so many other great DJs. Therefore, I really want to do my best, and hopefully will be able to be invited again. And as a dancer, I just want to enjoy myself.
I imagine it to be an amazing festival, because for me Mike Evens (and his group) are one of the top organizers in the Kizomba scene.
It is my first time visiting Russia. It was not very difficult for me to get my visa. Of course, I did not know how to apply for one, but they had people helping me do so.