Dash Cafe, Rich Mix Bethnal Green 6 March

*****

kibbitz ensemble

I really enjoyed this event, though I wasn’t sure beforehand what it was all going to be about and arrived late after leaving the London Overground station in the wrong direction.

Anyway, the space was in darkness and the chairs were set out cinema-fashion to there was no real need to be brave and speak to anyone.  The introductory numbers by the Kibbitz Ensemble really put me in the mood–Iryna Muha had the roughness you need for folk songs–and for long periods I was enchanted by How to re-establish a vodka empire, a film where Daniel Edelstyn and his wife Hilary Powell played his own grandfather and grandmother in silent film mode in between modern documentary footage of him trying to make a go of it in the vodka business and restore an ailing Ukrainian village.  And finding out unexpected and probably unwelcome facts about his forebears.

Then in the post-screening discussion Dan Edelstyn said that the vodka business had ended up even more disorganised than it seemed from the film; he had a thousand bottles that he wasn’t allowed to sell.  After that more music as people chatted happily and made their way to the bar in search of the free vodka samples.  And the event itself was free of course…

You can see the Dash Cafe programme here.

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