25 April, 2012

Kick like a girl

The WOA centre Dnipropetrovsk hosted the special showing of a documentary film “Kick like a girl”.
The guests of honor at the event were Mr. Douglas Morrow and Ms. Tracy Noonan, Olympics Soccer Champion player.
Ms. Tracy Noonan, a famous American sportswoman presented the film.
The documentary tells the story of 6-9 year old girls playing soccer in a team named “Cheetahs” against boys’ teams.
The film triggered the discussion about the nature of competitiveness in sports and in life in general.
The audience comprised from the WOA English Speaking Club members and students of English from the partner Universities of Dnipropetrovsk. They asked numerous questions to our American guests.
Number of participants 45 persons.

24 April, 2012

Bad News Bears

The WOA center hosted the Special Showing of the classical American comedy “Bad News Bears” (1976).
The movie was presented by Mr. Daniel Cisek, Deputy Press Attaché (US Embassy). Mr. Cisek introduced the audience to the plot of the movie which deals with the “national pastime” of America – the baseball game.
Mr. Cisek added that the film was a favorite for several generations of American kids because it referred not only to sport, but to the notion of “participation” which is an important feature of the American way of life.
The film is about an aging, down-on-his-luck ex-minor leaguer who coaches a team of misfits in an ultra-competitive California little league. Shunned by the more competitive teams (and competitive parents), the Bears are the outsiders. Realizing the team is nearly hopeless, the coach recruits a couple of unlikely prospects: a sharp-tongued and skilled girl-pitcher and a bike-riding trouble-maker. With them on board, the team starts gaining more confidence, and the Bears start winning games.
After the movie showing we had a discussion with Mr. Cisek. He was asked to explain certain scenes and jokes which were hard to understand for the Ukrainian spectators. A true product of the mid-70s, the film includes several scenes that would most likely no longer be allowed in a PG-rated film today. Most of the questionable dialogue was used for comic effect.
The Ukrainian audience commented on the things that they particularly liked about the movie. Some people were struck by the relevant use of classical European music from the opera “Carmen” by Georges Bizet. Others were charmed by the children acting in the movie. For better cross-cultural understanding the spectators suggested to our American guest to watch some classical Russian-speaking comedies about the competitiveness in sports.
The event was quite educational and provided the Ukrainian audience with some insight into the American culture.

Have a look at more pictures, please

Soundtracks
"Carmen"
Written by Georges Bizet
The Bad News Bears is a 1976 comedy film directed by Michael Ritchie. It stars Walter Matthau and Tatum O'Neal.
A city councilman and attorney filed a lawsuit against an ultra-competitive Southern California Little League which excluded the least skilled athletes (including his son) from playing. In order to settle the lawsuit, the league agrees to add an additional team - the Bears - which is composed of the worst players.
Mr.Buttermaker ,an alcoholic and former minor-league baseball player, becomes the coach of the unlikely team, which includes (among others) a near-sighted pitcher, an overweight catcher, a foulmouthed shortstop with a Napoleon complex, an outfielder who dreams of emulating his idol Hank Aaron, and a motley collection of other "talent".
winning games.

The Bad News Bears was filmed in and around Los Angeles, primarily in the San Fernando Valley. The field where they played is in Mason Park on Mason Avenue in Chatsworth, California. In the film, the Bears were sponsored by an actual company, "Chico's Bail Bonds." One scene was filmed in the council chamber at Los Angeles City Hall.
The film was notable in its time for the amount of vulgarity (including profanity and ethnic slurs) placed into the mouths of the various child actors who played the principal roles .Most of the questionable dialogue was used for comic effect.
A true product of the mid-70s, it includes several scenes that would most likely no longer be allowed in a PG-rated film today.
In his 1976 review, critic Roger Ebert called the film "an unblinking, scathing look at competition in American society."
The film inspired two sequels, The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training and The Bad News Bears Go to Japan, a TV series, and a 2005 remake.

 


Zydeco Music in Dnipropetrovsk

America Days in Dnipropetrovsk.
Terence Simien and his band represented
Zydeco Music  in Dnipropetrovsk.

The concert was a great and enjoyed by all!
  
 Have a look at more pictures, please

23 April, 2012

Music of Louisiana: the Story of Zydeco Roots Music


At the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Library the Photo Exhibit “Music of Louisiana: the Story of Zydeco Roots Music” was open for public in the framework of “America Days in Dnipropetrovsk”. The Exhibit was provided by the Embassy of the United States to enhance US ties with the region.
The exhibit was presented by Ms. Susan Cleary, the assistant of the US Cultural attaché  in Ukraine. The highlight of the event was the presence of the Creole musician, the Grammy Award winning Terence Simien who is a prominent figure among the zydeco style musicians in the world.
The visitors of the Exhibit had the chance to see wonderful portraits of the Zydeco musicians and bands, the breathtaking landscapes of Louisiana and lovely pictures with traditional architecture of the state. Mr. Terrence Simien commented on the most interesting photos demonstrating a lot of charm and sense of humor. The musician introduced the Disney cartoon “The Princess and the Frog” in which zydeco music was used in the soundtrack for the first time in history.
The cartoon in English was demonstrated on the big screen at the WOA centre for the visitors of the Exhibit and the active members of the English Speaking Club.
Number of participants – approx 60 persons.
Have a look at more pictures, please 


Music of Louisiana

America Days in Dnipropetrovsk Music of Louisiana: the Story of Zydeco Roots Music.
This exhibit is provided by the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy.
Special Showing of the “Princess and the Frog” (in English)
with intro by Terrance Simien who did soundtrack for the Disney film.
 
The last preparations for the photo-exhibit Music of Louisiana: the Story of Zydeco Roots Music at the Window on America.
Have a look at more pictures, please 

21 April, 2012

Veganism and Vegetarianism

Today’s session at Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk was dedicated to the Veganism and Vegetarianism.


Peace Corps volunteers, Sam S. and Kathryn H., gave an informative presentation on veganism, and brought some homemade vegan food to sample. Vegans are people who abstain from all animal products including meat, dairy, eggs, fur, and leather.
Their presentation explained the various ethical, environmental, and health reasons that inspire people to become vegans or vegetarians, as well as how veganism is a part of American culture.

I was very happy that everyone enjoyed my vegan cake and shepard’s pie, and I appreciated the insightful questions and positive reception from club members.
(Kathryn Herrera)
Session was a success!
The number of participants – 28 persons.

19 April, 2012

America Days in Dnipropetrovsk

Welcome to America Days in Dnipropetrovsk!

A calendar of cultural, educational and professional events aimed at both celebrating and enhancing U.S. ties with the region.

Sponsored by the Embassy of the United States
April 23 – 26, 2012

18 April, 2012

Erin Brockovich

"Wednesday Movie Club"
At the end of April the world community celebrates the Earth Day. As a tribute to this event the Movie Club presents the film “Erin Brockovich”.  It is based on a true story of  a woman who brought a small town to its feet and a huge company to its knees.
The main character of the film (starring Julia Roberts) gets a job in a law firm as a compensation for a car accident. While no one takes her seriously she begins to investigate a suspicious real estate case involving the Pacific Gas & Electric Company.
What she discovers is that the company is trying quietly to buy land that was contaminated by hexavalent chromium, a deadly toxic waste that the company is improperly and illegally dumping and, in turn, poisoning the residents in the area.
As she digs deeper, Erin finds herself leading point in a series of events that would involve her law firm in one of the biggest class action lawsuits in American history against a multi-billion dollar corporation.

14 April, 2012

Jazz Appreciation Month

Today’s session at Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk was dedicated to the Jazz Appreciation Month in the USA. Jazz is a major American contribution to world culture.
The ESC members decided to study jazz from the basic things – the musical instruments that comprise a jazz ensemble.
Jazz and improvised music can be performed in groups made up of virtually any combination and number of instruments. Traditionally, however, big bands and small ensembles feature a small group of instruments. 
The instruments typically used in a jazz setting are:
• upright bass,
• clarinet,
• drum set ,
• guitar,
• piano,
• saxophone,
• trumpet
• trombone.

We have tried to solve a couple of entry level quizzes about icons of American jazz. The highest score - was 70 out of 100. The WOA’s DVDs about American jazz and pop music were presented to the club members.
Our PCV friend Patrick joined the discussion for a while. The club members gave him some useful recommendations about the nice jazz places in Dnipropetrovsk and popular jazz festivals in Ukraine.
Number of participants: 14 persons.

11 April, 2012

Dreamsgirls

“Wednesday Movie Club”.
To celebrate the Jazz Appreciation Month at the Window on America center in Dnipropetrovsk the film "Dreamsgirls" (2006) was presented to all who wish to improve their language skills.
The movie was a enjoyed by all!

10 April, 2012

The Week of the Foreign Languages

The WOA Dnipropetrovsk Head Svitlana Usenko was invited to visit the local school # 7 by the English language teacher Olga Pakhomova.
This school provides to the students a more profound study of the English language. For the school’s event “The Week of the Foreign Languages” S. Usenko   delivered 4 lessons for the pupils of different age groups (approx. 200 persons, 7th- 10th grades). She presented to the teachers and students the resources of the Oblast Scientific Library. The audience was acquainted with the information center “Window on America”, its resources that help to study the English language and the recently donated gadgets iPad and Kindle. 

Several slide shows about the USA were presented to the students and teachers.
Number of participants – 209 (students – 204, teachers –5).

Have a look at more pictures, please 

09 April, 2012

Food Industry of the USA - 2

In the frame of the WOA Centre project “Discover the USA” the facility was visited by the students of the Dnipropetrovsk faculty of the National University for Culture and Arts. (KNUKIM).
The students who major in Hospitality Management listened to the 2nd lecture from the series “Food Industry of the USA”. This time they were informed about the smoked food preparation methods in the USA.
The most popular American smoked foods were introduced to the audience, the equipment for the preparation and cooking methods were demonstrated in the relevant educational videos.
The lecturer and the students highly appreciated the learning opportunities provided by the WOA Dnipropetrovsk.

The number of participants – 46 persons.
 Have a look at more pictures, please

07 April, 2012

Easter Holiday history and traditions in the USA

Today the Speaking Club at Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk had visitors from Germany – school teachers Katharina and Stavros. They have good knowledge of English and travel the world extensively. Today they have told us about their trips to the USA and their impressions about the New York city and California where they traveled by car.
The Club members were impressed by the beautiful photos of the Big Apple our guests shared with us.
The second part of the session was dedicated to the Easter Holiday history and traditions in the USA.
We have read articles about USA Easter and watched relevant videos – about the white House Egg roll and hunt, the NY Easter Parade, etc.
The explanations about popular Easter candies were also rather educational.
The topic was concluded with an Easter puzzle which turned out rather tricky, but Vlad’s team was the first to find the correct answer.
The session was a success and enjoyed by all!
The number of visitors – 24 persons.

05 April, 2012

JAM - book display

To celebrate the Jazz Appreciation Month the Window on America center in Dnipropetrovsk has presented a book display JAM.  
The books are complemented with the popular photographs of the jazz musicians.

04 April, 2012

Titanic


On April, 10  the world marks the 100th anniversary of the  “Titanic” catastrophe. To pay tribute to the hundreds of these tragedy victims we watched the movie Titanic” (1997).This Oscar winning movie shown on the big screen particularly impressed the attending  Club members.
A boy and a girl from differing social backgrounds meet during the ill-fated maiden voyage of the RMS Titanic.
Director: James Cameron
Writer: James Cameron
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet and Billy Zane .