The audience were moved to the edge of their seats in excitement, as the Russian folk dance ensemble - Sibirskye Uzory (Siberian Patterns) performed here in Trivandrum last week. They presented almost fourteen different kinds of Russian folk as well as classic dance items in a short span of 75 minutes. A well rehearsed and elegantly executed experience, the dance ensemble was originally choreographed by the founder director Irina Ovechkina and fulfilled in cooperation with the master-tutor Vsevolod Shkarovskiy.
The team opened the presentation with 'Siberian Festive' dance, an item which fetched them titles in international dance competitions. 'Youth Dancing' and 'Pereplyas', two other group choreographies also followed a similar style exhibiting the festivity and joyfulness. These were professionally developed folk dance pieces in which they largely focused on choreography, coordination and arrangement. It was indeed a display of their profound acrobatic skills as well. They also made good use of the available stage props. The Russian dance 'Pereplyas', the Hangarian dance 'Czardas' and Russian folk 'Holiday on Cossack village' were the other group items which were included in the presentation.
In all these folk stylized pieces, the boys flown and jumped from one end to the other as the girls spun and revolved all around the stage keeping the audience thrilled. The visual symphony that they created on the stage in tune with the instrumental folk scores was beyond words to explain. Vsevolod Shkarovskiy along with senior member Ekaterina Ovechkina were seen in key positions leading the team in all these group pieces.
It was not just about fast movements and acrobatics alone. There were some group items, such as 'Roundelay about Russia', in which the dancers took tiny controlled steps which gave an impression that they were rather floating on stage. Some of them were labeled classics and some others were contemporary. The Chechen dance 'Women's Lyrical Dance' was yet another folk piece set to a slow tempo, in which the girls were seen carrying long-necked jars. Solo items were also presented in between, which were set to a slow tempo.
'Russian Souvenir' 'Without You', 'Giselle' were some of the classical solo pieces and folk solo segment had 'Caucasian dance' by Ekaterina Ovechkina. A few of them had lyrics, but as the presentation lacked announcements or narrations, the audience found it hard to follow these items. It would have been better if some information was provided, at least for the solo classical pieces. The mediocre stage arrangement and poor lighting also had an unfavorable effect on the visual richness the dancers were trying to create on stage.
The quality in the presentation underlined that the teenage performers must have undergone enormous amount of training and practice. Many of the dancers joined the ensemble at the age of 3 and their years of dedicated hard-work definitely contributed to the success of the show. The program was organized by Russian Cultural Centre, Trivandrum in association with Bharat Bhavan, Dept. of Culture, Govt. of Kerala. Apart from Trivandrum, the team has also performed in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, and Kudankulam in their a month long tour of India.
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