Sand Animation – Kseniya Simonova

I never expected a story animated in sand to so completely grab a hold of my emotions. I had never even heard of sand animation before watching “You are always nearby” by Kseniya Simonova. It is a powerful, captivating and mesmerizing story of a young couple who were separated by WWII.

This sand animation is the winning entry at Ukraines Got Talent. A non-traditional entry, but certainly an amazing talent. Knowledge of Ukranian or Russian is not necessary to understand her story, and feel the emotion.

Before I say more . . .

Sand Animation

According to the artist who performed this live on Ukraine’s Got Talent, after the couple are separated the young lady and little Son wait for the man to return home from the war, but he is killed. In the end he came to their window and watched them with a sight of love and hope. The final words were simply: “You’re always near”

Simonova added, “It was a tribute to my great-grandfather who heroically died in 1943 defending his Motherland”.

I saw an interview with Kseniya Simonova where she talked of having to remain emotionless as she performed live completing the story. She could feel the power and had to resist the tear, for fear that if it dripped onto her canvas, her sand would stick. Translated to English from the interview: “It was so emotionally hard, and I now still cannot think about those minutes without pain… My hands were dieing and reviving making the images.”

Simonova also added, “It was a tribute to my great-grandfather who heroically died in 1943 defending his Motherland”.

Since winning her life has changed. She is a national celebrity, with worldwide offers for sand animations.

There was not a single emotion on the face of the performer. Simonova’s hands worked incredibly fast. . Kseniya was hoping to get a little advertisement for her as an artist, but it turned an emotional bomb explosion. Almost the entire audience was in tears. Applause came down just after a minute after she finished her performance. Everyone in the hall applauded standing.

Did this sand animation effect you too?


  1. Alane Jewel says:

    Kseniya Simonova’s performances are amazing. I recently included her work in a post on sand art videos:

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