Lord of the rings

Caught off guard  

HE CAME, he performed and he conquered. Nineteen-year-old Anton Monastyrsky, who was specially flown into Thiruvananthapuram from Moscow for the launch of Toyota's new vehicle, did more than match the new generation car in performance, style and pedigree.

Monastyrsky is certainly `The Lord of the Rings' going by his flawless performance at the Rajiv Gandhi Convention Centre, Le Meredien at Kovalam, on Wednesday.

Monastyrsky has been practicing with hula-hoops for the past six years but his performance was so breathtaking that it would seem as if he was born with rings in his hands.

The lad from Russia, who loves Japanese food, has won two international circus awards for his performance. In 2003, he won the award in Monaco, Monte Carlo, and the year before he won an award in Germany.

Magical moments

So effortlessly did Monastyrsky swirl inside the rings that his act seemed almost magical. Indeed, it is no coincidence that his father is a magician and his family has been in the circus business for four generations. There were many sighs of `ahs' and `oops' during the six-minute show by Monastyrsky.

Monastyrsky, who likes to play tennis, basketball, football and water polo, is a fan of the Russian tennis sensation Maria Sharpova. He also dabbles in computer graphics and designing.

Monastyrsky attends art shows and musicals whenever he gets free time. But that is a commodity that is hard to come by in his busy schedule. "For the next six months, I will perform in Denmark. After a month's break, I will go to Switzerland, again to perform," Monastyrsky revealed.

The man who is rated as one of `the fastest' with the rings is not really inclined to drive fast cars. "In Moscow, I prefer to go by train or metro," he said rather sheepishly. And added as an afterthought, "It is because of the heavy traffic in the city".

Talking about his favourite cuisine , which is Japanese, Monastyrsky chuckled: "I can eat Japanese food 30 days a month." But then he is yet to perform in Japan.

Soul-stirring rendition

The evening's other event was a soul-stirring rendition by the 22-year-old pianist Stephen Devvasia. He kept the audience spellbound playing on three keyboards, one in hand and two on the stand. The youngster from Palakkad is an Eighth Grade from the Trinity College of Music, London.

On World Youth Day 2003, Devvasia had performed in front of the Pope at the Vatican. He has also worked with Hariharan's `Colonial Cousins.' Devvasiahas also performed for some recordings of A.R. Rahman.


Photo: S. Gopakumar