Arts and Culture

-Nevereskaya Arts and Culture-


The people of Nevereskaya, as is well known, have a highly distinct form of art and culture which can best be described as splendid and outgoing. Strong, bold themes are recurrent both in their architecture, paintings, traditional dances and music, all of which seem to have the purpose to inspire a sense of awe in any mortal being.

Yet living in such harsh lands all these forms of art also have a strong practical and traditional sense. Public buildings not only being simple works of lavish beauty, but also sturdy structures to withstand both the cold and enemies of the land. Music and dances too date back to a time when such things where used to strike the enemy with awe at the eve of battle. Strong rolling drums mixed with the shrill blast of brass instruments gave an overpowering feeling of strength to Nevereskayan soldiers, as much as it imposed onto the enemy a feeling of standing before a rigid, well organized army.

 

-Nevereskayan Architecture-

 

As said before, Nevereskayan architecture is both splendid and practical. Most public buildings at the very least are adorned with a myriad of statues, frescoes and other such symbols to pay homage to the local or national rulers as well as the Bogs and Patron saints of whatever institution the building may belong to. Typical for buildings of Nevereskayan design is to have spiraling domes as roofs. Not only beautiful and impressive, Nevereskayan builders found out these roofs could carry a far greater weight before collapsing, a thing which proved of the utmost necessity as during strong winters, snow several feet thick would fall upon them. These typical roofs would not so easily be snowed in, and could carry a far greater weight.

A typical example of such a spiraling dome is the divine cathedral of saint Alexii the Divine in the capital of Churminsk, which is adorned with an intricate mosaic depicting the heroic feats of the national hero.

The lower and actual load bearing parts of typical Nevereskayan buildings usually consist of thick walls made of either brick, marble or even amber. Rooms are usually kept small for the purpose of keeping the warmth indoors more easily. Only the largest of government and church buildings have large halls and corridors for their visitors.

It is most typical that most buildings are built with as few sharp angles as possible and instead have rounder curves. Some say this is to celebrate the beauty of the female Bog (....) others owe it up to the fact that this too helps with deflecting the howling outdoor winds.

Many variations of course exist on this theme, the Kislevites prefer to work with wood instead of marble or amber, whereas the Elves and Dwarfs of Nevereskaya build in a completely different style altogether, which is to be expected. Whatever the nature or origin of the building might be, the recurrent theme definitely seems to be "Built to endure"


-Nevereskayan Music and Instruments-

 

A thing most beloved by almost any person native to Nevereskaya is music. For indeed, music seems to hit a very delicate and sensitive chord of every Nevereskayan. This is perhaps not as odd as outlanders would believe, in general the lands of Nevereskaya are cold and desolate, and it's people are great toilers even under the most bleak and dreary of circumstances.

As the popular saying goes "If no fire can be made, sing" for it is true that singing traditional songs kindles a strong flame in every just Nevereskayan. So it was that the Balai, or 'workersong' was born. The Balai usually consists of a recurring six, or seven line verse which starts out quietly and slowly, and steadily builds up into a fiery crescendo in which each man sings with the deepest and strongest of intonations. "Let's toil together" is without a doubt the favorite of songs amongst both the lower and upper classes of citizens and usually consists of the majority of the group hymning in a deep echoing fashion, while a single individual or group of men sing the actual lyrics. During larger gatherings this group can be found joined by a person playing a Balalaika, which is a six string instrument to underline the strong theme.

Not only singing is vastly popular, instrumental music too has deep roots within the Nevereskayan culture, and Nevereskayan composers are second to none. Scores, operas and ballets vary from tender, melancholic tunes to overpowering, bombastic scores which found their source on the battlefield. The most popular brand of instruments are percussion and brass instruments, for they can still be played even with frost numbed fingers.

During the creation of Nevereskaya, the great composer Yaroslav Shostakovich composed great operas and scores for each ruling house to portray their particular heritage and traits. So it is that the anthem of house Markolov for example consists of many woodwind instruments which carry a fast pace to display their love for horses and the untamed winds, whereas the anthem for house Nevsky is composed almost completely out of brass instruments to portray their sovereign reign of all the lands. Yaroslav cleverly used all these themes and instruments to form the anthem of the nation of a whole without losing texture or order. The national anthem "Our mother Nevereskaya" includes a verse for each province to praise their exploits and dedication to the eternal Empire.

 

-Traditional dances of Nevereskaya-
 

A popular way to settle arguments of a more amicable nature is through the performance of the Balakirev dance. This is in all respects an amazing feat of martial prowess, and usually attracts a steady crowd of onlookers whenever such a contest is made. The Balakirev dance is usually between two male individuals who ceremoniously cross their arms, and under the melody of a fast paced tune proceed to display their sense of balance, coordination and physical strength. The idea is that both men in turn follow through a difficult array of steps and movements which the other one in turn has to best without trying to regain balance by using his arms or hands. Through masters of this dance usually are able to sink through their knees completely and still be able to kick their feet from under them and make normally already very difficult pirouettes. A slightly different variation is the Balaraidev, in which a male and female dance together to win each other's heart, but here the dancing partners have to lock their arms into each other and try to coordinate their steps, usually as a sign of placing faith and reliability in their new relationship.

Many other dances exist of course, the Ramius military march, Val'kursk funeral dance (which is seldom witnessed by non-elves) and the Churminsk waltz being only some of them. But words do not properly describe the passion in which they are performed, and are best to be seen with one's own eyes

 

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