Ilze Liepa is a ballet dancer, People's Artist of Russia, Laureate of the State Prize of the Russian Federation, Laureate of the Prize of the Government of Moscow in Literature and Art, President of the charity fund ‘Culture for Children’.

When the Federation Council held a ceremony Public Recognition: Woman of the Year 2016, Ilze Liepa won an award in the nomination ‘Charity Unlimited’. The journalists of the Eurasian Women’s Community interviewed her to know her impressions and view of culture.


– What emotions do you have after being awarded?

– Valentina Matvienko is a remarkable person. It was astounding to talk to her face to face. She is just amazing! I admire her mind, the breadth of her political views and the subtlety of humor. I am happy that it was Valentina Matvienko, who approved our project.

– What are your charity projects aimed at?

– I am sure that culture can protect our children from the aggression of their environment. The propaganda of sin has never been as strong as it is today. Even without the Internet and the TV, the child is still exposed to it. For example, when seeing advertising in the street. Only education of artistic taste can protect children. 


– At what age should we start bringing this culture up in our children?

– Since birth. It is very important to follow the child’s interests. One of our projects is related to dancing. Our task is not only to involve more children in it but also to inspire their interest in dancing. Russia is a country of the ballet. This is our national treasure. Some of our young amateur dancers then turn into superstars of the ballet.  It is for them to promote Russian dance art all over the world.


– Can art influence on public policy?

– When Muses talk, the guns fall silent. We witnessed violent political actions in London. However, at the same time the public applauded the Russian ballet in particular the project of my brother called ‘Russian Seasons’. Culture builds bridges in any political confrontation. Dancing is something that goes from heart to heart, it is a language that needs no translation. That is why our project is global and extremely important for our country.

– What achievements of the past year are you proud of most of all?

– Our charity foundation established the National Prize of Children's and Youth Dance ‘Sacred Spring’. In addition, there is a project aimed at reviving Russian ceremonial balls. We hold these balls for children aged from 9 to 15 years, for cadets and young ladies. We turn dancing evenings into a deep educational and patriotic program. We specially prepare balls, where we speak about the history of our motherland and its culture. And we see the result which is the inspired faces of our children.

– What would you wish women of the Eurasian Women's Community?

– To be women. According to the balls tradition, women should be able to be led like in a dance. Even Shakespeare in ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ wrote that women’s main strength is their ‘weakness’. 

Agata Korovina, news agency of the Eurasian Women’s Community

Translated by Nikolay Gavrilov