The difficult year 2020 is coming to an end. By the end of the year, even the artists have already resigned themselves to the fact that there are fewer festive events, and on their pages in social networks they share the advantages of the forced quarantine. Anastasia Volochkova and Prokhor Chaliapin decided to create a New Year mood for the readers of “MK” this year, dressed in their favorite winter characters – Santa Claus and Snow Maiden.
In an interview with our reporter, the artists told why they like to play New Year’s characters and what kind of trees they prefer, and also reminded us of how our Santa Claus differs from the American Santa Claus.
– Did you believe in Santa Claus and Snow Maiden?
Santa Claus: – Of course I did. And in Santa Claus, and in the Snow Maiden.
True, when one day in kindergarten I accidentally saw how Santa Claus turned into our teacher after the Christmas tree, I still had some doubts about his existence. But then I thought: after all, Santa Claus is one, and there is not enough of him for everyone, so he just needs helpers. And I liked this explanation so much that I believed for a very long time that Santa Claus existed.
Snow Maiden: – I believed in kindergarten, but from the age of five I was obsessed with the idea of becoming a ballerina, so I had no time to celebrate the New Year. (Smiles.)
– What gifts have you dreamed about under the tree?
Santa Claus: – I dreamed that Santa Claus would give me a real railway for New Year, so that I could ride it around the yard and garden in our private house in Volgograd. But Santa Claus gave me a toy railroad “Ogonyok”. It was, of course, impossible to ride it, but playing with it was still a great joy. I still dream about it sometimes.
Snow Maiden: – Once in St. Petersburg in the House of Trade I saw a toy cat. She was big, she was decorating a shop window. I dreamed of a live kitten, but told my parents that I wanted a toy, like in that store. And they gave me a little toy cat, but I was very happy with her too: I understood that my parents could not afford more. This cat became a talisman for me.
And when I turned ten, a miracle happened. Dad came into our small apartment on the outskirts of St. Petersburg, opened the door and stood on the threshold for a long time. He opened his jacket and I saw the blue eyes of a white Angora kitten. The marquis was handsome, but deaf from birth. Although this did not prevent him from becoming a mystical gift for me. He lived for 18 years, went on tour with me, traveled and died in my mother’s arms. But I wasn’t really expecting any gifts. Since I knew that all the money I earned my parents gave to teach me ballet art, because from the age of 9, in addition to the ballet school, every day I studied with a private teacher.
– Who were you at the children’s matinees?
Santa Claus: – Both Bunny and Piggy. My mother made me the costumes of these heroes, but the most interesting of all, of course, were the masks that complemented these costumes. I still have photographs, still in black and white, from these kindergarten matinees. And I put on the costume of Santa Claus several times, and played this role with pleasure. I liked to speak in an imperious, menacing voice and generally to be the main figure at the holiday. And by the way, don’t be confused: it was Santa Claus that I liked to be, and not Santa Claus. Let me remind you of the differences between Russian Santa Claus and American:
Santa Claus has a blue camisole or a red toe-length fur coat, white felt boots, warm mittens and a hat. Santa Claus has a red jacket, pants, black boots, light gloves and a nightcap with a pompom.
Santa Claus has a long beard; Santa has a short one with a shovel.
Santa Claus holds a staff in his hands; Klaus has nothing.
Santa Claus has a white belt or with a trim to match the color of a fur coat; Santa has a buckle belt.
Santa Claus has glasses; Santa Claus sees well.
Santa Claus moves in a sleigh pulled by three horses; Santa Claus rides in a reindeer cart.
Santa smokes a pipe; Santa Claus leads a healthy lifestyle, does not smoke or drink.
But with the Snow Maiden, everything is much simpler: we have one for the whole wide world.
Snow Maiden: – In kindergarten I was a Bunny. And when I was already dancing at the ballet school, my first appearance in the opera Morozko at the Maly Opera House in St. Petersburg was the role of Bunny. And I will be the Snow Maiden especially for your readers. I love this look!
– Do you believe in horoscopes?
Santa Claus: – I believe. I am a Sagittarius, and I correspond 100% to all descriptions. And I can break wood, and do stupid things, but sincerely and without anger. (Smiles.)
Snow Maiden: – To be honest, no. Today the stars will converge like this, and tomorrow it will be different. I think everything is individual, and a lot depends on our actions. After all, it is a true truth that everything comes back to us like a boomerang – both evil and good. I am sure that good actions change our horoscope for the better.
– What tree do you have at home?
Santa Claus: – I don’t put the Christmas tree on the New Year now. Several years ago, after the New Year, I flew to hot countries for a month, and when I returned home, my tree dried up and crumbled to the floor. While I was carrying it out, I sprinkled the entire corridor with needles, so that the whole apartment was littered with these needles for several years (and they are dry and very sharp).
Snow Maiden: – I have a gorgeous artificial tree 4 meters high at home. Fortunately, the house allows that height. We have been putting it on for the fourth year since I moved. And this beauty stands before my birthday. Professional designers help me decorate it, but the finishing touch is always with me. It seems to me that decorating a Christmas tree is a very pleasant and soothing process. I hung up some toys and made a wish. But the most important thing in the tree is garlands and glowing lights. There is a huge Christmas tree in the area between the main and guest houses, it is also decorated with garlands. And in front of my house there are two fantastic Christmas trees. The house itself is also covered with New Year’s illumination. It turns on automatically when it gets dark and stays on until the morning.
– What gifts do you like to give?
Santa Claus: – I love giving fabulous porcelain houses. I like to give New Year’s toys with the year marked. I have a 2001 Christmas toy. This year I moved into my apartment in Moscow, where I still live. This toy for me is a symbol of a new stage in my life.
Snow Maiden: – Yes, very different: perfumes, candles, which I myself love, cosmetic sets, scarves, T-shirts … In fact, the New Year in terms of financial expenses is a natural disaster, to be honest. And even more so now, when everything is so complicated. But what worries me even more is not money, but time, which is not enough for anything. Therefore, my assistants help me. They look after what I would like, send me photos, coordinate and purchase gifts.
For my daughter Ariadne and those closest to me, gifts, of course, I buy myself. Frankly, my daughter loves all sorts of gadgets – so there were iPhones and other new electronics that she wanted. When she was fond of filming and photography, I gave her a video camera. All kinds of tripods and accessories for photographic equipment. She used to give trips to horse clubs, and much more. Yes, I spoiled my daughter very much, did not refuse her anything. I always wanted my daughter to have what I lacked in childhood.
– What would you wish our readers in the new year?
Santa Claus: – I would like to wish the readers of “MK” health, happiness, respect for themselves and their loved ones. There is also the ability to appreciate small joys, of which there are actually many in our life. We just don’t always notice them. I wish you all good, love, faith and hope!
Snow Maiden: – Always smile in any situation. And it will really save the world. If there is no reason for the holiday, then think of it yourself. Love and be loved, take care of your beloved people, appreciate them and cherish them. I want there to be peace on our earth, so that each of us has enough room in our souls for kindness, so that each of us can share something good with a friend. So that even in difficult times we all do not become embittered, but rallied.
I want to thank my subscribers, viewers and just all people who are not indifferent to my fate for their support. Who lent a helping hand in a difficult moment. I am grateful to everyone, even my spiteful critics, since they are also not indifferent to my fate. Before my birthday on January 20, I want to go to my beloved Maldives. I will again delight you with new photos from there.
And also I congratulate all readers of “MK” on such a huge date – 101 years of the newspaper’s existence! Happiness and prosperity! And on my 45th upcoming anniversary, I will raise a glass to you and my favorite newspaper MK.