Marie Lancel, Part 2

An extract from Marie Lancel novel by Anna Bondareva 

The crowded carriage of the Eurostar branded train was filled to capacity. While all passengers were taking care of their business, a woman of indeterminate age with a chiseled profile looked out the window but did so somehow differently. Everything was different about her. “As soon as we get on the way I shall begin my approach”, I thought to myself. It is wonderful to be an artist, and it certainly makes it extremely easy to meet women. One only needs to offer to make a sketch portrait and a beautiful stranger is more or less ready to continue the evening, she might even caress you with a gentle flirtatious look. That look will lead you to an inevitable adventure, satisfaction guaranteed!

Perhaps that is why I chose this job for myself in the first place. I needed to please women badly. So that they see in me a royal likeness of higher powers, awaking their most secret desires, making them feel sexy like a goddess or a queen Cleopatra. That is how I became a draftsman, seducing everyone for the sake of vanity. Where was the real Eric, and what did he want to say? What could bring new things to this world, what ideals to glorify, and what to fight for?! I did not look for answers to these questions anymore. I just kept moving “forward” without noticing that since some long-time ago, my inner locomotive began to go backwards surely and securely. After the train departed, twenty minutes had passed before I returned to the place where I saw Helen for the first time.  But she was no longer there. Passengers who could be considered as her neighbors assured me that there was never a woman at the window.

“No,” I said to myself, “This cannot be! They must have not seen the stranger mysteriously disappear from the carriage.” I moved to the bar car, and, and whilst waiting for the fulfillment of my order I began hearing a hum of low voices. Listening to the conversation, I recognized a dialogue consisting of a woman and a man. The woman’s voice whispered, with trepidation, that she had lost the most intimate of things, namely, a hope for Heaven, and now, having seen all her sinful fall, it is not clear to her what to do. She believed that her sins were so grave that the Almighty may no longer hear her prayers. The man’s voice answered something, but it was impossible to make out what he said exactly. I turned around and saw Marie standing there. There she was, an unknown splendid blonde with beautiful sensual mouth from my carriage, she set in the company of an extraordinary old man. “Are you going to the autumn salon? Are you invited to take part in London Art Fair?”

This time the man’s voice spoke toward me; it had an inhuman piercing vibration and incredible texture. “Yes, exactly there”, I answered and continued, “Listen, can I buy you something, a drink? What would you like?”

“Just coffee, if you don’t mind”, the woman replied while looking distantly away at the window. The thought of Marie never left my mind since the very first moment I saw her in the train. Now I knew,  it was she who made this speech about “life in heaven”, and I decided to ask. “It is impossible to believe that everything that I just accidentally heard about, in fact, has a place to be”.

“You are right! People rarely rely on someone’s word, although many are driven by their own instincts”, the old wise man gave me a sharp look. I wanted to raise my right hand to undo the top button of my shirt collar, but I couldn’t even move a finger. This numbness lasted for what felt like an indefinite time, it seemed that everything in the world just stopped, and only after the old man invited me to take a deep breath did I return to life and was able to make a move. A feeling of horror gripped me at the thought that “some force” paralyzing me like this, and suddenly I could no longer hold my paint brush in my hand. In that very second, for the first time ever, hitherto unshakable self-confidence, which had been so thoroughly strengthened over the years, fed by various sources from outside, suddenly disappeared. “Yes, imagine, when this will be happening to you for real!”, the old man seemed to be addressing me with all seriousness, but now he was winking playfully, as he kept looking straight at his charming companion, at Marie. I sat down at the next table and they brought me a beer with pistachios. I wanted to say “thanks” to the waitress, but instead I could only let out an unnatural groan that was more similar to a dog.

“Hope you are doing better now, Eric,” the old man kept smiling. And how could this perspicacious person know my name, is it written on my forehead ?! “Oh, well, of course, he recognized me from the gossip reports”, a thought flashed through my mind. “I’m Eric, a famous painter and so many know me.” But now, I began to doubt it. The freed hand eagerly reached for the cold drink. After the first sip, my composure completely returned to normal, and I continued aloud. “I hope to get a good time out in London, Paris has completely exhausted me.” I did not recognize my own voice, it sounded disgusting.

The old man and the woman did not pay any attention to my pronounced statement. I was about to offer them another drink together, and the woman burst into such serene laughter that I, involuntarily, whined from powerlessness. I fell into a frank stupor. When I was going to say something like “great” again, I inevitably found myself facing an inexplicable internal obstacle that simply inhibited me from building a full-fledged proposal. I closed my eyes trying to stay centered, and fell into some kind of indefinite trance. Time flew by quickly and a message about an imminent arrival to London flashed through the train. My companions evaporated in an unknown direction, and I returned to my seat to collect my things.

At King’s Cross Station, I was met by the driver of the Dorchester Hotel in a dark blue Jaguar. He drove me to my destination without unnecessary courtesies. On the way, I tried in vain to discard the memories of what had happened on the train. But with indignation and shame, my ears were bloodshot. The laughter of a beautiful blonde stranger, continuously sounded somewhere in the back of my cranium.  The face of the mysterious old man stood in front of my gaze, as if alive. Everything he said, and the sound of his voice uttered, seemed to be engraved in my memory.

Will I ever see Marie again?

Making Of: Trusted Chronicles – Cannes Special

Making Of: Trusted Chronicles  – an autobiographical novel by Anna Bondareva, where each chapter reflects the reality, the heroes of which are directors, producers, actors, artists and musicians.
All of them are intertwined in a bright kaleidoscope of backstage happenings. A frank story about how live those who let cinema art into their everyday life.


Only Lovers Left Alive1

At the end of March, I traveled from London to Paris by underwater train through the Channel Tunnel for the opening of the art fair at the Grand Palais, at the invitation of the director of the annual fair «Art Paris» , Julien. It was Russia that was represented as an honorary exhibitor. Dozens of galleries from Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Rostov-on-the-Don and Vladivostok have been installed on the central plateau. In total, nearly 90 artists were presented at the exhibition to familiarize themselves with Russian art: artists from the diaspora of the 1920s-1930s, anti-conformists opposed to the culture of the USSR in 1960-1991 and representatives of the contemporary Russian scene, popular painters in the West. I met Jo, with whom I was friends, before his appointment to Moscow as cultural attaché at the French embassy. Jo financed an album of re-recorded songs by the group «Kino», «Le dernier des Héros», which was released in France in April 1989. Jo said he had several songs from that recording that no one ever heard. He also made a documentary about the Soviet rockers who arrived in Paris the same year, but the film was banned by French television because at a reception at the Paris City Hall, the soloist of the rock group «Auktyon», Oleg Garkusha showed his buttocks to the Minister of Culture Jack Lang. This scene was in the film on a video tape that we watched under the personal supervision of Jo, at my home, Rue Lepic.

The future diplomat was passionately in love with Margot, a French gypsy of Polish origin, whom he wanted to take to Moscow. The adopted daughter of the oil tycoon, in the middle of a party, rushed out of my apartment. He chased her through Place de Clichy until she disappeared into the subway. Jo asked me to speak to the girl, but Margot categorically refused; she was in love with the Russian artist-painter Alexei and waited in vain for signs of reciprocal feeling from her. I became the godmother of her first illegitimate son, whom she had with a student at the Sorbonne. The baptism of the six-month-old baby took place at the Russian church on Daru Street, on which Margot herself insisted. Jo changed a lot after his high appointment, and we only met once for a coffee in Moscow. Margot gave birth to her second son of a former French model and actor who played in one of the “Emmanuel” films, and she went with him to live on the island of Ibiza.

– Tomorrow is April 1.Would you like us to celebrate this “fools day” together? Sarah and her husband lived in Paris for a long time. Her husband was a journalist and she was a fashion designer. We agreed with Julien to do a photo shoot at the Grand Palais, and he organized everything for that purpose. Although the young photographer from Riga was very nervous and unable to concentrate for a long time, she made good photos. I rented a comfortable apartment on Rue Saint-Georges and, in the evening, I walked in a small convertible on the quays of Paris, the city I loved, listening to classical music. Driving a car at night relaxed me and helped me tune in on my Tonal2.‘’Ordinary people only see what is happening on a rough plan on planet Earth. But almost no one has the slightest idea of what is happening on another, more subtle plan, sometimes called the spiritual plan’’3 , – I thought about the conversations with G. and thought about the importance and the great attention he gave to the subtle plan in everything. The alchemical transformation was necessary; the birth of a butterfly is never without pain and trouble.

I felt that the existence in the old frame, in the foam of past days and outdated ideals – all this no longer corresponded to the new rhythm which pulsed clearly inside. During the Cannes Film Festival, moments of silence are rare. As a general rule, in the neighborhood of the palace of the festival and before the diffusion of each film, we hear the mysterious music of the French composer, a contemporary of the Lumière brothers, Camille Saint-Saëns, «Aquarium», one of the musical pieces of the cycle The Carnival of Animals”. In the official selection of films in competition that year, I was only interested in one film, that of the American, Jim Jarmusch. I arrived at the last moment for a few days as the director from London with whom we worked, offered to meet us and discuss a new project. — Ma’am, it is customary to wear evening clothes and high-heeled shoes for evening sessions! The red carpet guards, for a minute, wouldn’t let me in. I came to the screening in comfortable sandals and a long velvet red-black gothic coat and, probably, I too stood out from the cutthroat crowd. — Well, it’s Jarmusch’s movie, what we’re talking about! Without taking off my sunglasses, I put out my cigarette and climbed the steps without paying attention to the security guards.

Two years later, I went to Italy to make a pilgrimage to Bari, to the relics of St Nicholas. One can read much about the miracles of this saint, and the unimaginable miracles that have happened to me probably deserve to be described in a separate book. I knew I had to go there and I made this trip despite numerous obstacles to Bari, to the relics of Saint-Nicolas. There was also a magical transition from one body to another, without which I would not be able to write these columns. By car on the way back from Bari on the Adriatic coast, I stopped in the ancient town of Vasto to take a lunch break. I accidentally entered the church of Saint-Antoine, at the entrance of the medieval quarter of the city. Without a map, an inexplicable feeling led me there – the premonition of a miracle, as in a fairy tale when the hero is about to find a hidden door. A snow-white dove hovered under the painted arches in a silent and absolutely empty temple.



1]  Only Lovers Left Alive is a fantastic film directed in 2013 by Jim Jarmusch based on his own screenplay. The film was selected in the official competition of the 66th Cannes Film Festival for the Palme d’Or.

2] The Tonal is, in the mythology of the Indians of Central America, the magical double of man, appearing with his birth and having a close spiritual link with him. Man and his tonal have a common destiny, which is what differentiates him from the guardian angel. Most of the time, the tonal turned out to be a jungle animal, for example a fox or a jaguar.

3]  «Quotes from Master G.», page 146, edition «Tradition», Moscow 2015

Once Upon A Time in America

I arrived in New York the same year 2001, on Halloween, October 31. This time, I arrived by plane from Dallas where I had a small order for customers from Texas, who paid well enough for advertising for cotton clothes, unpretentious and comfortable. I was housed in the neighborhood of Greenwich Village , famous for its legends, but I guess the most interesting ended up there with Jimi Hendrix . The first nights I could not sleep at all. The street noise kept me from falling asleep and in addition something inexplicable was hovering in the air. It was not smoke although sometimes you could see and breathe dust mixed with ashes.

It was something inexplicable – empty and dense at the same time, frightening by its infinite darkness. It was probably not easy for me to understand right away what happened in New York on September 11 as I flew to New York for the first time. And as I walked the streets of Manhattan, I definitely knew another New York. The world Time has been divided between “before” and “after” the attacks of the Twin Towers. Already in Dallas I had a very strange feeling and that night I spent before the shooting, can without hesitation, be qualified as metaphysical and initiator, a night of initiation to the egregore of «Uncle Sam». I was experiencing both asphyxiation and languor attacks, fully understanding that no doctor would help me. I knew I just had to wait, hang in there till morning! The next day, I was taken to the shoot in a huge limousine in the deserted streets of downtown that I had no desire to leave. And now we were walking down the street, where President John Kennedy had gone. For a second I got lost in my thoughts about everything at once, as I often do.

Throughout my life this “walking” meditation has been and continues to be a kind of magic wand. This is what helps me to disconnect from reality and not let it penetrate into my personal space, into the subtle inner labyrinth and to keep the right degree of detachment from the surrounding world. The driver suddenly starts a conversation by interrupting the arrival of my mental storm. — It was on this street that the 35th President of the United States was  attacked, following which he died on November 22, 1963. Now, years later, I realized what had happened to me in Texas. I have a special ability to penetrate the astral of places and to feel the density of past events. The emotional layer, woven by the sufferings and emotions around this place, was hanging over Dallas and had been particularly felt after a sleepless night because of jet lag. I really wanted to finish the work day faster and get on a plane to New York. I probably wanted to experience something new and verify the truthfulness of the legends associated with this place. The scale of the disaster was difficult to grasp. You could only feel it, soak it in, like sunflower paper absorbing an ink stain, and blend in with the pain to several degrees, which America seized in autumn 2001.

I spent five weeks in New York but I couldn’t get a good night’s sleep. The insomnia was exhausting me. During the day we had to go to castings and auditions because there were far fewer shootings at this time of year. When I was approved for the lead role in a diamond commercial to be filmed by the son of legendary Ridley Scott , the one who made «Blade Runner», the agents and the lawyers met the administrative problem with my papers by putting it on the account of the current situation and the hardening of the immigration policy. Apart from a big salary, the stakes were considerable: a breakthrough on the big screen because viewers would see the clip in the movie theaters during an ad before the screening. I was under the impression that it was not “random” and that someone was trying to organize everything so that this good job would go to someone else. After what happened, I no longer had the slightest confidence in the officers or even in the situation in general. I jumped at the first opportunity and left New York to fly to Barcelona for a shoot.

Then I had no desire to go back to New York and it was only ten years later that I came back for the premiere of a British film at the Tribeca Film Institute, in which I had the lead role. The most significant event in New York City in 2001 was a visit to Sergei Rachmaninoff’s rehearsal hall located in the Steinway grand piano store across from the famous Carnegie Hall in Manhattan. I had to prepare the winter exams at the Conservatoire de Paris and the program was very busy. I had music notebooks with the works of the French impressionists on me, but when I went up to the first floor and found myself in the office of Sergei Rachmaninoff, I understood that the closed door was not a real acoustic barrier and that as soon as I started playing, all employees present at their workplace in the store would listen carefully, which I did not want at all, because the program was not yet done well enough. I spent two hours there, almost without touching the instrument, simply enjoying the atmosphere.

«The most important thing is to finish the script, the rest will go by itself», – I used to think that all the time, every day. I was beset by doubts. In giving meaning to a fleeting action, to a fortuitous phone call, to a brief encounter, I was convinced that it was Providence that led me to the inevitable triumph and that all the higher forces were on my side. They were the ones who absolutely had to appreciate qualities such as dedication and daring, and above all, absolute disinterestedness because they were the great shrines such as music and cinema!

When I went to Paris I thought a lot about what made me make incredible efforts over and over again, but I couldn’t do anything else: my agent would often send me scenarios that I just didn’t like. In general, the proposed roles were clichés: prostitutes from Eastern Europe or post-Soviet secret agents. I moved from Paris to London, but the situation did not become simpler as predicted by my film agent Lambert.: — Dear Anna, — said George, — in my youth I lived many years in London when I was an actor myself. Having moved from Brussels, I encountered a lot of problems. There are so many varieties and peculiarities of language accents that even English actors can hardly get away with it! Counting on a miracle is reckless. The best roles will be for the English as at home, in Paris, for the French! A Russian girl cannot become «Amélie» at once!

Yet it is just that – a miracle – on which I count all my life and on which I can live and breathe. A deep love for cinema was given to me by Andrei Tarkovsky. I wanted to be in such a cinema. Every time I watch his films, I find material to think about. And now, many years later, after these events, when in my life the place and the time to write these columns, I dreamed of the director who died a long time ago. I dreamt of Tarkovsky two nights in a row. Our long conversations were incredibly realistic because in a dream, reality is different, time shrinks, minutes expand into hours, death does not exist in the usual sense, all facets fade away and only the afterlife has meaning. There, one can move freely at any moment of history provided one manages to remember it in the forgetfulness of the night.

 Solaris (1972 Film)
Donatas Banionis with the filmmaker Tarkovsky on the set

A Magic Hat

Boris told me that he would go to the Cannes Film Festival and that it would be nice for me to come and meet his Moscow producer. I started preparing for the festival and rushed to Lafayette Galeries to fill in the gaps in my summer-spring wardrobe. I got lucky and bought a beautiful hat. It reminded me of a magician’s hat, the golden threads were woven into its thick canvas and when I saw it on the counter, I felt its magical effect and I just couldn’t miss it. Freedom is a divine gift for man. His breath is felt during a journey and I love trains! The TGV to Cannes starts from the train station Paris -Gare- de- Lyon where there is the very famous restaurant «Le Train bleu». This is where the fateful scene of the film «Nikita», where the young girl, the new special agent, performs her first mission. And for me, the 2004 Cannes Film Festival became the first official business festival.

At film festivals, all train trips on the Paris, Cannes itinerary are special. And this time too, I found myself in the same car with the famous Georgian director, screenwriter, actor and composer, Teïmouraz Bablouani. For some time, Teïmouraz had been the director of “Georgia-film”, the film production studio located in Tbilisi, and he narrated how things went with the cinema in Tbilisi. He came to France to visit his son, Gela, who was also in the cinema. At Cannes, during the festival, everyone always has things to do, and we agreed to call each other after the festival, when the passions would dissipate, and to find ourselves in a relaxed atmosphere, in a comfortable place somewhere in Paris, to discuss opportunities to work together. I knew Teïmouraz liked me – my new magic hat must have worked for sure! When I arrived at the hotel, in which we agreed to meet with Boris, it turned out that there were no more rooms available. This was to be expected, as it is very difficult to stay in Cannes and its surroundings during the festival. When I went to Cannes, I naively thought that if I was invited, then I should be accommodated as usual. In addition, the producer came with his wife and instead of discussing the possibility of implementing the project, he spent all the free time with his family.

– You should come to “Kinotavr” in June – said the producer, — Everyone is going, and there will be time to talk more about it. I had to spend the night in the hotel room with Boris and Alexei. The young directors came to present their first joint film selected for Un Certain Regard section. They kindly offered me to stay in their room, while they went to sleep on the balcony! But who sleeps at the Cannes Film Festival? ! After dinner and a walk on the beach, we returned with precious provisions to our hotel room. We all drank a lot.

During the day, we mixed all the drinks, from martini to cognac. However, the amazing thing is that no one was drunk! It is a state of the festival, like a drug, where all the air is filled with fluids of happiness, woven with emotions of multiple facets that overwhelm the participants of the party. And then I was saved by my hat! He created a kind of cocoon where I felt safe and I could not be assailed by unwanted thoughts and doubts, such as: But how can you drink so much! What will be left of you? And what about the conveniences that must be observed by a young girl, a young actress? I was not worried at all, I just felt good. The situation was similar to that of the plot of the film “Jules et Jim”, where the heroine did not know who to give preference to. At one point, we found ourselves alone on the balcony with Alexei, and he wanted to kiss me, but I saw Alexei for the first time and I made him understand that it was not the right time for a first kiss.

Then Boris felt bad and asked me to come and see him in the bathroom. There was silence. He looked at me tenderly and didn’t know what to say. Everything became clear to me, but I knew the situation, I knew that Boris was married and that children were waiting for him in Moscow, which also meant that our common work was threatened. The scene was heartbreaking and I had to say no to both of them. By letting the two directors empty the minibar, I went to bed without taking off my evening dress.

Back in Paris, it was necessary to invite Teïmouraz somewhere. What an absurd idea to take the director to a barbecue at Mrs Rose’s country house. Madame Rose’s house was known in the Russian community of Paris, for it often organized salon evenings. It seemed like that was exactly what we needed, and we expected to have a good evening.

The valiant Dutch knight Mario has offered to be our driver. Mario played guitar very well, and even the rock diva Jeanne Agouzarova, who often went to Paris, had views on him. Mario was free and ready for adventure. His old Volkswagen Passat was in good condition and Teïmouraz, a man of opulent shapes, could easily sit on the front seat. It all started as in classic horror movies. Madame Rose uttered warm toasts for the friendship of the people, and the wine flowed. Then we started dancing and then something unexpected happened. Suddenly, the mistress of the house, Madame Rose, a well-tended middle-aged woman, turned into a furious beast. In a crazy dance, she leaped on Teïmouraz in a passionate embrace. It was very embarrassing, because the original program did not provide for excess. The evening was ruined, and instead of a subtle creative exchange of ideas, we had for dessert a coarse thing from a commoner. Teïmouraz had to return to Tbilisi the next day and he asked to call a taxi. Unfortunately, we did not see each other again. A year later, the film 13 Thirteen by Gela Bablouani was released. It was noticed by Hollywood who bought the script.


The Archangel

When I got off the train at Deauville station, a local archangel-tramp approached me and offered to accompany me to the city centre. The decision to come here was made in five minutes this morning in Paris. After five difficult months with my family, I missed France so much. Now I really wanted to be satisfied with the wind of the ocean and the freedom that we feel so much in Normandy. The archangel hastened to remind me that it was September and that the American film festival was in full swing. The tramp suggested that I should instead settle in the five-star hotel «Barrière le Normandy» where all the participants are usually housed. The street saint, to my surprise, was very well informed and said that this year at the festival special guests were expected – Mick Jagger and the Irish Pierce Brosnan.

This hotel left me many good memories, because it was there, surrounded by visagists and hairdressers, that I prepared for my first wedding. At that time, after several years of wanderings, I knew again that it was in France that I should be now. Without letting the slightest doubt enter I remained in a certain euphoria at the idea of having found a home. It was in France that I felt safe at home. I was followed by a journalist, who heard my name when I presented my papers at the hotel reception.

— You toured with Thierry Klifa , I recognized you. May I have your autograph? It was easy to find a superb hotel room, all you had to do was introduce yourself as an actress! However I did not come to the sea for this and I did not intend to participate in the film festivities. Perhaps the Lord has sent his messenger in the form of a tramp to find me there, at the heart of events, and to compare my new state. I do not know. Saying “I don’t know” and indulging in the will of God, completely, definitively and irrevocably. This is what is most difficult for an intelligent, thinking, decent, important, aristocratic, a good family man, a successful upstart, a crude obscene character or a perfect lover – this list goes on and on. What happened to me during the past year, before coming to Deauville, can be expressed with a nice word – initiation. The deepest initiation to which a man prepares throughout his conscious life is initiation to Death.

If we start to think about it every day, even for a second, for a moment, then slowly, little by little, life presents itself in a completely different perspective: unimportant things become the most important details, and every minute and second becomes the rarest diamonds that sparkle in the sun offering all the colors of the rainbow. There is also an initiation, which I dare to define as God’s abandonment. If a person ever relives that and stays alive, then it’s a great gift. She can never be the same again. It’s like resurrecting regenerated from hell and finding yourself on Earth with new qualities. From now on she will never return to her former state, not in this life. These new qualities are gradually revealed, sometimes suddenly, you just have to remain open-minded like a child and not doubt anything. The only thing is that it is better to hold your tongue. Otherwise, you may end up in the nearest asylum! Once, when I tried to describe my moods, although I feel that this expression is far from reality, a friend, who recently graduated in psychology and managed to open a practice in Paris, told me:

 — You mean like Van Gogh? Just look at the works of the great painter to understand how his inner world works. The predominance of the yellow colour is a direct proof of sincerity and joie de vivre, of belonging to the light. Van Gogh’s case was examined by those who envied him deeply, quite simply. The doctor he was seeing was an amateur painter. Being jealous of the dead is amazing! It happens much more often than one can imagine. It is not jealousy for success or material wealth. We envy energy, we envy inner freedom. To this day we envy Joan of Arc for her courageous open heart, Mozart for his unmatched talent, Gogol for his veracity, Mata Hari for her charms and Jesus for His ability to love, we have always envied God himself – the petty bourgeoisie is envious of everything. As it says in the Second Book of Paralipomenes :

«He who, abandoned by the Lord for edification, knows how terrible it is, will also know how sweet the grace that comes. The Lord is with you, when you are with Him and if you seek Him, you will find Him, but if you leave Him, He will leave you». In the elevator, I met Linda. This girl was willing to do anything to have roles in the movies. If it’s a dream, then so be it. And she is right to go to the end, to the exhaustion of vital forces. Despite all the difference in the soul organization of each individual, what brings us together and brings us all together is the future Great Initiation. If you keep that in mind, it becomes very easy to communicate with anyone. Once I was in my room, I went down to the hotel piano bar to assess the situation. I didn’t have any fancy outfits with me, so I had to rely on the casual style of the «sporty chic», so popular in Hollywood.

«I’m going to improvise» – I said to myself, I didn’t even have lipstick on me.


Oshun’s Vision

Immerse yourself in the meditative & magical world of the Oshun’s Vision piano composition from Future Dunes by Anna Bondareva album released earlier.

Oshun’s Vison  might seem to have a similar energy & spirit as some of Gurdjieff/Thomas de Hartmann piano music, which was originally created for meditative movements and ritual dances. While the overall atmosphere is predominantly romantic, there are also impressionist, Modernist, and mystic elements.

Listen to Future Dunes piano album in platform of your choice:








“There is but one Paris and however hard living may be here…the French air clears up the brain and does one good.” Vincent van Gogh

Watch on YouTube new original music videos from Paris piano album by Anna Bondareva, available in all platforms!

Golden Tints

Gold is one of seven metals of alchemy. It could also be used by other disciplines to represent other things, such as its use to represent the sun in astrology. But in Alchemy, gold represented the perfection of all matter on any level, including that of the mind, spirit & soul.

The unique impulse and particular concept that formed the piano album ‘The Gold’ by Anna Bondareva  are revealed with resumed strength, qualities, and  aurora borealis shades in the newest music video series, as an illustration for some album compositions. Visit Anna’s Official YouTube Channel to watch the amazing videos.

Alfa & Omega

Music remains the most mysterious and unattainable art to understand. The magic of the piano’s sound, its black and white keys, reminds of the combination of yin and yang, feminine and masculine, where the cosmic balance cannot be fit into the formulas conjured up by the human mind.
When music is created with a heart as passionate as fire and as pure as moonlight, such music can heal.
The Ancients believed that it was possible to use male and female magical powers in action at once, and having mastered this art in full, they believed that one is able to then discover the ability of working miracles.

Alfa compostion is an opening track from of Labyrinth piano album by Anna Bondareva 


Ritual and Music

Every true ritual needs a talisman. And every ritual leads to a performance.

Music is often used as a medium for the transition, in order to break all barriers between the natural and supernatural, and to reach the sacred.

‘Talisman’ official music video is out now!  The original composition by Anna Bondareva is part of her piano album Trinity available in all platforms!

What Dreams May Come

Initiation in the Black Temple

The darker the sky, the brighter the stars will shine.

Persian proverb

On New Year’s morning in a Dutch castle, I had a dream where Master G. served as a guide to a magical space. Some call him ‘Gee’ or Vladimir.
In my dream, I was chased by two masked men. The figure of Vladimir has grown out of nowhere; with his look and the phrase, which he did not seem to utter, as if his thought were transmitted to me on a subtle plane, “Get ready for constant internal discomfort, and now I invite you to walk with me.”
Master G. did not ask, he inspired the right action. His intent and power were so all-encompassing that it was impossible to refuse.
At dusk, we hurriedly walked along the deserted streets of the deserted city of N and finally turned out upon the square, where there was a low hanging Gothic temple.
On the right side of its main entrance, behind a cast-iron fence and on a small piece of land set aside for a cemetery, stood a centuries-old dais covered
with brown earthen moss coffin.
“A strange place,” I said to G., “It looks like a crypt … Still, I advise you to have a look in there with me, since we are already here.”
G. opened the lowly door, behind which a staircase began. We climbed a few steps and found a second door which was locked and marked with a sign reading “Retreat of the Holy Spirit”.

Without consulting, we decided to knock. After a short pause, a black woman with long curly hair opened the door. She began to speak with us using a language unfamiliar to me. Vladimir, feeling bewildered, slapped me on the left shoulder, and I instantly began to understand the black woman:
“This is the Great Black Temple. On it lies the curse of dead souls. A long time ago, several murders took place inside the temple, and now the souls of the dead do not leave this place.”
“Just don’t be afraid, let’s go with her”,  Vladimir whispered to me.
And then the black priestess threw up her hands in disbelief:
“Oh, didn’t you know? We must pay tribute!”
Vladimir looked from the woman to me, and I hastily reached into my backpack, which, to my surprise, was not empty at all, and pulled out two bananas and a piece of pitch-black bread.
“Great, you can’t imagine better”, Gee said smiling. After evaluating the “gifts,” the stranger made an inviting gesture with her left hand, and we followed her. Inside the space there was darkness; for a minute it seemed to me that I had become blind, and then, somewhere in the distance, the orange-pink lights of a dozen torches appeared. “Is it always so dark in here?,”  I said as I turned to Gee.
“It is better to ask the inhabitants of this temple,” Gee replied.
We continued to move forward until we came upon a new staircase, which now led downward. There was a sharp lack of air, and I really wanted to get out from this sinister place. “Are you still alive, sis?”, asked Vladimir.
Vladimir seemed to have poured the missing energy into me, and my state changed. He said: “There were musicians of the American black jazz ensemble. Impromptu jazz music began to sound from somewhere, with a trumpet as the soloist.
The cheerful jazz atmosphere does not coincide with the traditions of the inhabitants of this place, and they do not particularly respect men,
they have a completely different mission – maintaining the otherworldly fire.” Again Gee posed a lot of new questions with an answer, and as soon as I was about to start asking them, Vladimir said: “Okay, that’s enough for today, let’s go to the exit.”

Medieval Feast

And from here a beautiful connection was created:
the same as any seed contains the tree and the fruit,
the whole universe is enclosed in small man, who’s religion, deeds, health,
body parts, nature, language, words
and deeds – everything sounds in one
tone and one melody according to
God, heaven and earth.
Johann Valentin Andreae
“Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz” (1459)

In the apartment where I grew up, a party was already in full swing. The house was filled with people; women and men, they all had amazing beautiful faces. Suddenly, in the corner of the room I noticed a guitar. ‘How could a guitar from my Parisian apartment in Montmartre move here, to my childhood home?’  Asking myself this question as if dreaming, I kept focused on a thought that this is a dream, where everything is possible. I took the instrument in hand, hugged it tightly, and decided not to let the guitar out of sight. In the grand salon, by the window, there is an old musical instrument brought from Germany by my grandmother. It was a piano from the famous House of Amati; Nicola Amati an Italian Master Luthier from Cremona, the son of the founder of the violin school, who brought the type of violin developed by his predecessors to perfection and became a teacher for many future masters.

“And when will we start playing?”, I was impatiently worried but still opened the lid of my instrument.  “Let each of us write on the beat,” I boldly suggested, without any hesitation or second thought. “This is a great idea, Anna,”  Master G. was delighted. I felt sorry for the writer Gilbert. Again, he was unable to hide his grievances, seeing that Vladimir and I were united. My cat, Musia, seemed to be counting the tension of Gilbert and meowed pitifully, jumping on his lap. Gilbert dismissed the pet’s caress and sat down closer to Vladimir on the sofa. “Wait, just be quiet! Do you hear this?” said Gilbert as trumpets filled the apartment. The sound was so clear that all the fun as instantly silenced. I decided to go to the bedroom, where there was a balcony, to look and check – perhaps this is where the wonderful trumpeters hid. Opening the room’s door, I saw three young maidens dressed in medieval clothes. Their hair was hidden under high cone-shaped headdresses, and their faces shone with kindness and purity; they seem to have come off the old tapestries that I loved so much to see in the Musée Cluny in Paris.

“And let us change you into something decent,” – said one young woman.

The girls began to help me. It turned out that there were several outfits in the closet and all that remained was to choose the most suitable one. I chose a long silk blue dress, put it on and returned to the salon, which was now filled with men who were dressed like the knights in armor. “Where is everyone?,” I asked while looking for Vladimir. One of them, the tallest, came up to me. The man wore a special knightly costume: over the forged chain mail – a white shirt with the image of a red cross; these were worn by the Knights of the Templar Order. He leaned toward me and said: “So, we meet again!”

The knight then dropped to one knee. For a minute I looked at him and could not understand who he was. His sharp gaze was very reminiscent of Gee’s, but this was already another person, with whom I are completely unfamiliar in this life, but at the same time, it felt like we had known each other for all eternity.


And I saw seven Angels, who stood before God;
and seven trumpets were given to them.

The revelation of John the Evangelist

Order of the Gray Tunic

Truth is what you think is true even if others disagree.
Richard Matheson, “Where Dreams May Come” *

To meet Master Gee in dreams meant to experience new trials or adventures, which as a rule were of an initiatory nature, contributed to inner awakening, and correct comprehension. They could provide the key for solving problems that the adept is inevitably forced to go through his own way and overcome his emotional constraints and selfishness. By interfering with the pure energy of kindness, that is, to purify, to inspire, and to continuously renew a person’s potential while ensuring that he remains in the correct energy flow, in the ray of light.

“Finally, I found you,” whispered Vladimir tenderly while patting me lightly on the left shoulder, “We have things to do, let’s hurry!” We found ourselves on the stairs of some entrance. “Where are we?” I asked, with great curiosity. “In St. Petersburg”,  Vladimir replied with a smile. A moment later we were standing in a typical St. Petersburg courtyard. Gee suddenly became very serious: “Again we will have to take a taxi, otherwise we may be late for the procession.” He exclaimed. In a dream, Vladimir looked significantly younger. I hurried after him; it moved quickly and smoothly, like a ship driven by the wind of the starry worlds. From around the corner of an empty street turned out an old “Moskvich“, once popular soviet vehicle of light green color. Vladimir stopped the car with a gesture. “Get in, quickly!” Commanded Gee. We got into the car. The driver took off without asking where to take us. Yet, he drove with knowledge of the matter. After reading my thoughts again, Vladimir said: “Be patient. Just a little while and you will see everything for yourself!” Then there was a journey in a changed space and time. Following Gee in dreams, you can get into amazing spheres, subtle, borderless realities, where the usual notions of time are absent – ether reigns there. And everything becomes possible. Unbelievable opportunities open up to the galactic wanderer, and if the master is supportive, then you can count on revelations and discoveries too.

We found ourselves at the foot of the building. The ideal cylindrical structure made out of white stone seemed to have no doors. Gee said: “Now we will enter through there, and you will meet everyone!” In a moment we were transported to the inside of the sanctuary, where men, dressed in gray tunics of coarse fabric, offered prayers, took deep breaths and exhalated. They are all very similar to each other, like brothers. The unusual sounds and aromas made my head spin. “Be patient, dear, “ Gee kept repeating, “Just try to be patient! Your main task is to form the character in such a way that you can combine all four primary elements, controlling fire, air, earth and water.”

Another man has appeared in front of us by this time, his tunic was somewhat different in color; it was blue-gray, embroidered with silver thread, with amazing patterns and secret signs. His unusual belt buckle caught my eye. I heard an inner voice: “If you look at the buckle for a long time, you will forget everything!” After that, a new dream began, with a new plot and new unique experiences.

* What Dreams May Come is a fantastic melodrama by Vincent Ward, based on the book of the same title by Richard Matheson. The film won an Oscar in 1998 for Best Visual Effects.

An excerpt from the book “Freestyle 4 Love” by Anna Bondareva

Artworks By Valery Koshlyakov

Sunset Boulevard

Made in L.A

When a person is told their [sic] “acting Hollywood” that means the individual is acting bougie or acting like they’re better than a person. Usually the slang “Hollywood” is said by individuals from NYC. And it means that a female or male is acting brand new like both individuals didn’t grow up in the SAME ENVIRONMENT (Urban Dictionary)

The auditions took place and I was called for an interview by an American agency. “Darling! You see, here, in Los Angeles, it’s common to smile all the time and tell everyone how successful your career is! So, please, smile all the time and don’t forget to show your beautiful teeth, talk about yourself but only from a positive angle; you can even make something up! Is that ‘OK’ with you?” I was invited to come to Los Angeles, Hollywood. On the other hand, in France, it is not in vogue to be friendly –as the French agent Denis told me: “An actress is one of the most coveted women! We must seek her out, desire her; there should be a sealed secret wrapped around her entire existence. One should learn about her from others. I have never heard such a discourse before. It was not easy for me to smile stupidly, for no reason; I am more of a supporter of a Parisian moody behavior. Still, you should give it a go!”

I liked this idea because apart from ‘going to casting’ auditions, I was planning to meet Edward, a Hollywood film distributor, to speak with him about my project. Upon my arrival, I was put up in a spacious house on Sunset Boulevard, not far from the office where the artistic agency was located. I had to rent a car to attend appointments and for personal use. In LA, even picking up a pack of cigarettes from a nearby store requires a car. No one walks. I don’t know why but I purchased Stendhal’s novelLe Rouge et le Noir from a nearby bookstore. I was completely immersed while reading it. In fact, so immersed that everything that was actually going on around me somehow rescinded into the background.  After a long day behind the wheel I stopped to take some aspirin because I hadn’t been feeling well for couple of days. I saw a Jeep appear behind a bend. Like an enchantress in a fairy tale, a gypsy, Lolita, appeared at the right moment and avoided a collision with a car as she blocked the road by her presence. She called out to me. “Yes, young lady, you do have a serious flu, it’s not a cold. And it looks like you need a different kind of medication. Come with me to my place, it is right here! I have exactly what you need right now.” It was impossible to hide anything from Lolita. Like an X-ray, she could see right through you.

The former soloist and gypsy “Romen” theater performer had lived in LA for sixteen years. The gypsy mafia sent Lolita to California with her little boy, her only son, in the early 1990s. For a few years she ran a Russian cabaret restaurant in Hollywood, then business took a turn for the worse and now she was struggling to make a living. It looked like her son had grown up without a father. But as it often is the case for a true gypsy, he devoted himself only to music. As a teenager, he was already a singer songwriter. Lolita put me on meds that got me back on my feet within a day, she truly brought me back to life. Lolita spoke a lot about various subjects. An incredibly intelligent, beautiful, and talented woman, she told me about how the gypsy camp works and what true gypsy love is. Lolita volunteered to spread her magical deck of cards for me herself and was able to see “what the future promised.” She pulled out three cards. I was not sure if I wanted to hear this, but she insisted: “Right now, a marriage awaits you and it cannot be avoided, but you will also have another husband later on. One day you will be working together. You shall be back here in LA with your big plans, something real, a business and success!” I was trying to think about her prediction seriously then, but I did not forget it.  I could not get rid of the feeling of the inevitability of everything that was happening, as well as from the haunting déjà vu.

When I arrived at the meeting with the producer at the distributor’s company in Beverly Hills to discuss the possible realization of my film project, he explained to me that the most popular cinematic genre were comedy and horror films. “For cinema d’auteur there is a better chance in Europe, and even American directors are looking for producers there if their films do not correspond to the “mainstream” concept.” Edward said. However, there was still hope because the film company would normally produce one foreign film a year and I had to write a screenplay. Unlike in Europe where we start to negotiate at the synopsis stage, Hollywood only works with full scripts. So, we agreed with Edward that I would write a script in American English, which I did afterwards. Within weeks I was very tired from the insincerity shown at interviews and auditions; everyone wanted to look better than they were, and I decided to try a different tactic. Here, all were writers, all were directors – it seems like in Hollywood there were no ordinary people. Samuel introduced himself as a film director. At first I said nothing about myself or my projects. After I got to know him, Samuel promised to introduce me to good people and to organize new Hollywood-style photo shoots with a great photographer who was a friend of his. A handsome, well-built black man, he was going through a break-up with a famous French actress who had just won an Oscar for playing the role of singer Edith Piaf. The actress lived in Los Angeles for over a year and, not having achieved the expected success, returned to Paris but ultimately not in vain. Olivier Dahan‘s role in the film made the little-known actress an absolute star.

It is not uncommon for jealousy to exist between artistic couples when one partner cannot come to terms with the other’s more successful career, or worse yet, secretly begins to regret that they cannot prevent their success. Some fear that by using them he will move forward, while others simply wait for the partner to make a mistake, a false move in order to appear as a winner in light of the other’s failure. It is all indeed terribly boring to recognize but unfortunately it happens all the time in the artistic world. It is jealousy that is often the cause of many breakups. I also dealt with this and, as said as it may have been, had to defend my copyright in court. Everything in life is an experience and each time make mistakes we get stronger.

When I returned to Los Angeles for the second time, I saw that I had made the right choice during my first trip in 2002 when I decided not to listen to George Clooney’s agents and instead opted to return to Paris. I knew I was different and could no longer go on pretending. “You have to follow your own route; this passage is not your style, you should remain true to yourself and be authentic. You are not a bimbo girl. You are an artist.” Said photographer Carlo Miari Fulcis. Italian brand Police booked me from Milano, and Carlo took a publicity cliché of me together with Clooney; a house on Mulholland Drive, the one used in David Lynch’s film of the same title. It was the scene of a party in a director’s home, where I began to play the grand piano in the large living room.During the five weeks I spent in California in 2007, my mind and thoughts were constantly on Europe. On my return, I had a difficult move from Paris to London. I just felt that the timing is yet to be set for LA.

An Exclusive Book Excerpt from Anna Bondareva’s ‘Making-of :Trusted Chronicles’


Being an angel is not an easy task. Let’s just think about it for a moment and and try to imagine how it would actually feel like to have no bodily needs. To be free of every human obstacle, and able to traverse and travel in different dimensions of time and space.

To be freed from uncontrollable impulses, greed, and all other unpleasant biological states, like the inevitability of death. What is there to do for an angel in this world, one might wonder. This creature can only enjoy its benefits and surround people with celestial warmth, a heavenly aura. You surely felt at least once in your life that someone, or something, is hovering behind your shoulder? Like an invisible knight whose task is to travel by your side and keep you safeguarded from evil… Your Guardian Angel is always there for you, watching you silently while whispering unheard beautiful melodies into your ear! One must learn how to recall them!

Artwork: Fra Angelico , The Annunciation (1442-43), Early Renaissance