Ukraine's Got Talent! Kseniya Simonova brings nation to tears

Sand artist Kseniya Simonova rendered a sand tableaux of her nation's painful history during World War II and beyond – set to music. It's a YouTube hit, introducing viewers to the world of 'sand animation.'

By , Staff writer

Talk about "must see TV!"

Have you seen the YouTube sensation out of Ukraine? If not, you must.

Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. Watch shy young artist Kseniya Simonova introduce you to the magical world of sand animation during her winning routine on Ukraine's Got Talent (video below).

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Sand what?

Sand animation is a live performance art in which an artist creates a motion picture of sorts by deftly shifting sand around on a lightboard or overhead projector. (Who knew?) In this case, Ms. Simonova rendered a tableaux of her nation's painful history during World War II and beyond - set to music.

The result is a stirring masterpiece that touched something deep for Ukrainians, who wept uncontrollably in the audience as the show went on. For most of the rest of us, it's just a brilliant display of a hitherto unknown art form.

And her inherent class, it must be said, shames anything shown on America's Got Talent, where chainsaw jugglers and singing cowboys were vying for a spot as a headliner in Las Vegas.

As for Simonova, she's reportedly used her nearly $130,000 prize to buy a modest house and set up a children's charity.

"I only entered because there was a child I know who needed an operation and I wanted to help," she said, reported the Guardian. "I did not mean to make the whole nation cry."

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