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Culture and the Arts


It is a group of people who share the same beliefs and attitudes and it can be music, art and literature. For many people today, culture and cultural life is represented by fine arts, art exhibitions and museum exhibits, as well as going to the cinema, the theatre and concerts of classical or pop music.
How rich your cultural life is depends on both your interests and hobbies, as well as where you live. If you live in a large town, you have a good choice as cultural facilities are plentiful.


Art is the expression of an estetic view. It is the way of relaxation. It can be created by someone to influence other people, their imagination, emotions. It might be a personal view on something. The main of art is to influence, to educate and to entertain.
Forms of art: literature (dramas, novels, poetry, short stories, sci-fi,...), performing arts (film, dramatic performance, theatre, ballet, opera, dance, concert, operetta,..), fine arts (painting, sculpture, photographs,..), architecture, ceramics
People and their attitude to art:
-professionals – creators, performers (directors, conductors, painters, musicians, writers, dancers,...)
-critics – express what they feel, look for another sight of art, judge art, are educated in art
-consumers – young people, adults (middle-aged people), older people

Cultural life in our town

Cultural life in our town is not so rich as in large cities. In spite of that, there are some ways of spending leisure time. We can go to the cinema, to the theatre, dancing, or we can stay at home and listen to the radio, watch television and read books. There are a lot of festivals and concerts during summer season in our town.


There is one cinema here which offer film shows twice a week all the year round. The repertory of the cinema is not specialized, the films don´t have a long run and they change every week. In the past it was necessary to book the tickets for a performance in advance if you wanted to avoid long queuing in front of the box office. The cinema was often packed and the tickets were sold out. Since that time attendance has declined partly due to the fact that people have less free time and are lazier to leave their homes. They prefer watching television or video to going to the cinema. The cinemas don´t draw large audiences nowadays also on account of their repertory focused on presenting commercial, action films which do not interest more demanding cinemagoers. The last reason, but not the least, may be high admission. Nowadays we can get the tickets straight away at the cinema, about half an hour before the performance. Some people like to sit at the back but I usually buy tickets to the middle of the tenth row from where I can see better than from a seat next to the gangway. Before I decide to go to the cinema, I choose the films very carefully. I do not like violence and blood and I am fond of witty comedies, psychological dramas and films about young people above all. I also follow the reviews and try to go and see first-run or highly regarded films or those which won an Oscar or another award at festivals, and then I compare my impression with the official review. I am also glad to see films directed by my favourite directors, such as Miloš Forman, Jiří Menzel and Woody Allen. My favourite actor is Robert Redford and actress Sandra Bullock. And my favourite film is The beautiful mind with Russel Crowe

a comedy – a funny film full of jokes, amusing people who often get into troubles and make funny mistakes
a sci-fi – an unreal film, often full of alien creatures, robots, laser weapons, floating cars and fantastic special effects, the story takes place in the future or in the universe
a cartoon – an animated film with moving pictures to express some ideas for children, there are animals, special things which can speak and behave like people
an adventurous film – a thrilling film, heroes get into complicated situations deal with dangerous people
a detective film – there´s a murder or a theft for jewellery, the detective tries to solve the case
a romance - it´s about love, there is often break up and during the plot the characters find the way how to solve their problems and the film ends with a happyend
a horror – a scary film full of ghosts, mystic creatures and mysterious events
a soap opera – it is about lives of rich people, their loves, everyday problems, their enemies, it has often more than 150 parts


Small towns provide little opportunity to see theatre performances. There is not a permanent theatre building in our town and so when theatre companies come to give a performance here they act on the stage of our cultural house. I like going to the theatre, the opera or to the ballet no matter what is on the programme because I like the atmosphere of the theatre. People usually come dressed up, they take off their coats in the cloakroom and there they can also hire opera glasses from the cloakroom attendant. Then an attendant shows us to our seat. It is rather difficult to get tickets to the stalls, and from the pit you cannot see so well, that is why I prefer to sit in the boxes (but they are quite expensive), or in the dress circle. Students often buy cheaper tickets to the upper circle or balcony or stand in the gods.

When we have sat down we usually read the programme to see the cast, that is who stars in the play or opera and who plays the supporting roles. We want to to know a synopsis of the opera, who designed the stage scenery and costumes and who rehearsed the performance and when the premiere was. Then the musicians come in and begin to tune their instruments and soon the conductor appears and the orchestra starts to play an overture. The lights go out. The curtain goes up and the performance begins. Between two acts we can walk in the foyer, buy some refreshments and share opinions of the performance with our friends. When the opera is over, the audience bursts into applause. The opera singers are called out and sometimes there are many curtain calls. Musicians at concerts often have to give encores.


When I was younger I attended dance classes at the dance school in our town. I am fond of dancing and I was a member of a dancing group five years ago. I learned both standard dances, such as polka, Viennese waltz, waltz, foxtrot or tango and Latin American ones such as the jive, rumba, cha cha and some disco and modern dances. Now I have no time for the dancing club, only I go occasionally to a disco in the youth club.


We come into contact with music all our lives. When we are little, we listen to lullabies sung by our mother and soon we try to sing some songs ourselves. When we reach school age many of us take some music lessons at a music school. If we have musical talent, in a few years we can learn to play a musical instrument fairly well. A lot of children start playing the piano or a wind instrument, such as the recorder, the pipe, the flute, the clarinet, the oboe or the bassoon or they blow a trumpet, play the accordion or a string instrument (the violin, the viola or the violoncello). From time to time they show their skill at playing the instrument at a concert which is held for their parents.

They often play to the piano accompaniment of their teacher. Later, under the influence of recorded pop music broadcast by the radio and TV their affection and taste may change. Teenagers often start to play the guitar, the banjo, the bass, the drums or the keyboard and many of them dream of founding a band and giving concerts to large audience. At the age of 16 or 17 many young people also take dancing lessons and develop a liking for dance music.
Large towns offer a better opportunity to enjoy performances of both serious and pop music. They often invite renowned symphonic orchestras with outstanding conductors and hold music festivals, such as the Edinburg Festival of Music and the Arts or the Bratislava Music Festival. These orchestras usually have in their repertoire music by noted composers of all styles and periods. We can also listen to church, organ and chamber music, operas, operettas and musicals. Stars of pop, jazz and rock music usually give their concerts in large concert halls or sports stadiums. Festivals of country music and brass band music are sometimes held and at Christmas time carols are often heard. If there is a choir, people go to listen to its performance.

When I´m sad or bored I turn on my Cdplayer and listen. I have lot of Cdies at home. Music is my life, I listen to it when I go to school, when I skate and when I travel, I always wear headphones over my ears.

Fine arts

In our everyday life we also meet with works of the fine arts, either architecture, sculptures or painting. When we see both secular and eccelesiastical buildings, such as castles, chateaux, palaces, country mansions, thatched cottages, half-timbered houses, gables and facades of the houses, churches, cathedrals, chapels, monasteries or cemeteries, we must admire the art of architecture of the old builder-masters, masons and wood carvers and their feeling for beauty. In museums and art galeries, which display sculptures and paintings, we look with pleasure at statues and sculptural groups cut in sandstone, granite, marble, carved in wood or moulded in clay, plaster or bronze, or have a high regard for paintings (landscapes, life size portraits, still lifes, sketches, miniatures) painted in oil and in watercolours, drawings, graphic art (prints), engravings, etchings or woodcuts. Even people who are fond of the fine arts meet examples of them when they look at book illustrations or cartoons and photographs in their favourite magazine.
What kind of art young people, middle-aged people and old people like most?
  • young people
    -they like going to music concerts and festivals
    -they are fond of pop music, dancing and enjoying themselves
    -opera, ballet and galleries are boring for most of them because they don´t have appropriate education and that´s why they don´t understand it
    -they like reading short stories, boys war novels and girls romantic stories and novels
  • middle-aged people
    -going to the theatre and galleries is a relaxation for them and escape from everyday stereothype
    -in their free time they prefer visiting cinema or watching TV in the comfort of their home
    -they are keen on opera and ballet, they can understand it more than teenagers
    -they don´t have a lot of free time – they are busy at work and at home too
  • old people
    -they are fond of folk music concerts which they attend at weekends and they usually meet some old friends there
    -they have enough time for reading novels and poetry because they are often in retire (retired)
    -they like watching soap operas and also psychological dramas on TV

My favourite singer/band

One of my favourite singers is Alicia Keys. Alicia was born to an Italian mother and a Jamaican father. She was raised in the neighbourhood of New York City. Her mother was the one who most supported her during the time she was developing her talents. Alicia´s mother and father separated when she was only two years old. She was raised by her mother.
Almost all singers say they have loved music since their childhood.

Alicia Keys is not an exception. Her musical gifts became apparent when she was five years old. She was singing in a Professional Performance Art School. Her teacher helped her to develop her vocal talents. Alicia started to attend piano lessons when she was seven years old. She learned classical music by playing composers such as Beethoven, Mozart, and Chopin, who was her favourite composer. This helped her to write her own songs. Alicia wrote her first song Butterfly at the age of fourteen. The song can be found on her debut album. As a teenager she appeared in movie soundtracks, including Men In Black.

After graduating from high school she entered Columbia University. However, her passion for music was stronger than the will to study, and Alicia soon left the school. She wanted to concentrate only on music.
In her early twenties, Alicia released an extremely hot debut album, Songs in A Minor. Alicia wrote these songs. It was influenced by R&B, hip-hop, classical music and jazz. The day the album went on the market, it sold more than 50 000 copies. The album went multi-platinum. The latest album is called Diaries of Alicia Keys.

My favourite film

“Shall We Dance?“ is directed by Peter Chelsom from a screenplay by Audrey Wells. The film brings the story of an American´s search for happiness.

Richard Gere stars as John Clark, a man with a wonderful job, a charming wife (played by Susan Sarandon) and a loving family, who feels that something is missing in his life. Each evening he commutes home, John sees a beautiful young teacher Paulina (played by Jennifer Lopez). He stares at her through the window of a dance studio and admires her.
Amazed by her, he impulsively jumps off the train one night, and signs up for dance lessons. His teacher turns out not to be Paulina, but the much older Miss Mitzi (played by Anita Gillette) and John proves clumsy.

When he meets Paulina, she icily tells him she hopes he has come to the studio to seriously study dance and not to look for a date. But as his lessons continue, he starts to fall in love with dance. Soon he realizes that his attraction to Paulina is nothing in comparison to what he feels for dance.

His friendship with Paulina blossoms as his enthusiasm rekindless her own lost passion for dance. But the more time John spends away from home, the more his wife becomes suspicious, until she hires a private detective to uncover a possible affair. With the secret about to be revealed, John will have to do some fancy footwork to keep his dream doing. However, he soon realises what it is he really yearns for.


I´m keen on reading books. I don´t think I would like to see the film based on a book. I think it would spoil the book. I much prefer to use my own imagination. I can see it how I want to see it. Anyway, I think you get much more insight into character when you read a book. Half of the character is lost in film because you never know what he or she is thinking. And, well, it´s so expensive to go to the cinema nowadays.

Books are not trendy, they are boring, requiering, too much efford
It´s true, mainly in Slovakia where everybody seems to hurry up. Adults are short of time because they are busy at work and at home, young people usually study, they read first of all text-books and obligatory/compulsory literature.
It is also necessary to say that books in Slovakia aren´t cheap. Reading a book is time consuming, so young people prefer surfing on the Internet to reading books. The Internet is very prompt, you can find answers to all your questions immediately.
Some books have become bestsellers and many people buy them, for example Harry Potter or the Lord of the Rings. Good interesting books always find their way to their readers.

My favourite book

My favourite book is a novel by Barbara Bradford Taylor, 3 weeks in Paris. It´s about four young women and their favourite teacher.

Romantic Paris is an ideal place where a person can spend their young age and later remember it. That´s why it is hard to refuse the invitation which was sent by the headmaster of school of arts and modern design, Anna Sedgwick, to her ex-students.
These ladies had a sharp disagreement in the past while they were leaving the school. They haven´t talked together since they left the school and came back home.

Before arguing they were best friends, each from a different side of the world.
A successful American girl Alexandra can´t bear up the invitation from Anna even though she has doubts about her unfinished relation with Tom Conners whom she can´t forget.
A Greyish blue blondie Jessica, who doesn´t fancy opening old wounds, finally succumbs to a romantic memoirs.
A Scotswoman Kay Lennox, in contrast to the other girls, sees a chance to solve her problem in this journey to Paris.
Just one of them, complicated Italic woman Marie, takes this occasion however she has a big reason to stay at home.
The Paris of their youth didn´t miss its magic and it´s never too late to make memoirs become a reality which can bring all sorts of things.

  • non-fiction (based on facts): sci-fi, encyclopedia, travel books, historical books, art books, educational literature
  • fiction (everything what is made up): novels, short stories, romance books, adventure novel, criminal stories, psychological books

Every library has a reading book room – there are newspapers, magazines, reviews, periodicals. You can borrow books for 1 month. If you didn´t manage to read the book on time, you must prolong the period, otherwise you get a recommender and you must pay a fine.

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