State ensemble of Russian Cossacks


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Repertoire

In the repertoire of the collective the artists represent, in choreographic performances, vocal and instrumental items - the creative work of Cossacks of various kinds of Cossack troops that existed in Russia – the Don, Kuban, Terek, Nekrasov, Urals, Yaitsk and other Cossacks.

Ballet group
Program in two parts

Producers of the dances: an Honoured Artist of Russia – Grigoriy Galperin, an Honoured Artist of Russia – Gennadiy Minkh, Nonna Gepfner, Gennadiy Dybovskiy, Grigoriy Brunilin.

1st PART

The first part of the program includes stage items that are based on the Don folklore.

1. KHOPERTSY (the Khoper people) – a wartime dance

1. KHOPERTSY (the Khoper people) – a wartime dance

Khopertsy – are Cossacks that live on the Khoper river. In the dance they show the moment when Cossacks return from the war and get together in the Circle. The Cossacks Circle – is a public meeting where important matters were settled and it was also during such meetings when Cossacks demonstrated their prowess, skills of using arms. For this dance they use pikes – Cossacks’ arms and show the carrying-out of a horsetail which was the symbol of the Cossacks and was carried-out during all solemn events together with the flag. Then Cossacks are met with joy by their wives and beloved ones and dances begin.

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2. KOUÌOVYA (pl. of the russian word "koum") - comic dance miniature

2. KOUÌOVYA (pl. of the russian word "koum") - comic dance miniature

Koum (kouma) is the Godfather (Godmother) of one's child. Koums were practically considered relatives. In this case the name means close friendly relations between the characters. The dance personages represent to different images. One is slow and contemplative and the other one – is lively and energetic. The latter tries to make the first one to dance but fails.

Next five dances illustrate meetings, parties, dates that were characteristic of Cossacks in villages. Very often Cossack men and women got together in the evenings, they were dancing and singing accompanied with accordion, fell in love, thrashed out their relations …

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3. THE DON QUADRILLE – typical Cossack and Russian dance

3. THE DON QUADRILLE – typical Cossack and Russian dance

that is performed by a few pairs and each of them has its own image. During the dance girls and boys are competing with each other, trying to dance better than the other ones. Girls are “ knapping” (beating rhythm with heels), young men also try to demonstrate their skills. Then the best dancers are in the circle, showing their mastery.

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4. THE DON KASATCHOK (Cossack boy)

4. THE DON KASATCHOK (Cossack boy)

Plot of the dance is based on the fact that traditionally in every village there is a handsome man, so-called “fellow ¹ 1”, and every girl tries to attract his attention in her own way. And this man, in his turn, is showing off in front of the girls and demonstrates himself.

5. OH, MY BALALAIKA! - a lyrical miniature

5. OH, MY BALALAIKA! - a lyrical miniature

Plot of the dance: a couple is taking a walk, they are in love with each other but he does not want to show this and pretends that he is carried away with playing balalaika. She tries to make him dance with her …

6. “COSSACK JOYS” – a comic dance miniature

6. “COSSACK JOYS” – a comic dance miniature

Three different couples represent three different images and show in a comic way different relations of each couple.

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7. THE URAL QUADRILLE

7. THE URAL QUADRILLE

A joke dance which represents a scene from life of Ural Cossacks - strolls of boys and girls, their relationship.

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8. “DON GRANDPAS” – a comic miniature

8. “DON GRANDPAS” – a comic miniature

Very old and feeble men who can hardly walk, having seen a beautiful girl, decide to recall their youth, they straighten their backs and try to dance in order to tickle her fancy.

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9. THE DON DANCE

9. THE DON DANCE

This is a round festive dance, typical of the Don Cossacks, when dancers demonstrate their skills, valour, performing a great number of acrobatic feats.

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2nd part

In the program of the 2nd part – compositions of Cossack troops of the whole Russia are shown: the Kuban, Terek, Zaporozhskiy and Nekrasovtsy Cossacks and also historical and everyday life dances of Cossacks who lived in 1812.

1. PLATOV'S MAZURKA

1. PLATOV'S MAZURKA

Ceremonious dances, such as Polonaise and Mazurka were popular at the dancing parties of the upper class of Cossacks. The Ensemble shows Mazurka – a mass ballroom dance that people were dancing in the Palace of the Cossack ataman (Cossack chieftain) – Platov.

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2. “HANDBELLS” – a Ukrainian women's dance

2. “HANDBELLS” – a Ukrainian women's dance

According to time-honoured custom, girls were drumming up Spring with the sound of handbells.

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3. “OPRYSHKI” – a men’s dance

3. “OPRYSHKI” – a men’s dance

“Opryshki” - means “forest brothers”, they lived in forests, protected their territories, fought with enemies. In this dance there is an influence both of dance traditions of West Ukraine and Zaporozhskiy Cossacks. Here Cossacks are demonstrating their manhood, strength, valour and skills.

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4. “BABICHI” – a women's dance of Nekrasoff Cossacks where girls play mouth-organs

4. “BABICHI” – a women's dance of Nekrasoff Cossacks where girls play mouth-organs

Nekrasoff Cossacks are Cossacks that went to Turky with ataman Nekrasov over 300 years ago after the revolt under Kondratiy Bulavin. They have been living there for 200 years and have preserved their culture, customs and traditions but at the same time the culture of Nekrasoff Cossacks experienced a strong influence of oriental culture which effected music, movements and costumes.

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5. “KRYLAVOY”

5. “KRYLAVOY”

dance of Nekrasoff Cossacks

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6. “CHERKESSKA” (Circassian dance)

6. “CHERKESSKA” (Circassian dance)

Nekrasovskiy Cossacks dance in which a great influence of the Caucasus dance culture is felt. This is explained by the fact that, after their return to Russia, Cossacks-Nekrasovtsy settled in the Stavropol region that is very close to the Northern Caucasus.

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7. “KALINKA”

7. “KALINKA”

a dance duet to the music of the Russian song “Kalinka” that is famous in the whole world. This is a typical Russian dance with attributes that became symbols of Russia: an accordion, tin whistles and wooden spoons. A boy and a girl are competing with each other in their dancing skills and ability to play traditional musical instruments.

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8. “TERSK DANCE”

8. “TERSK DANCE”

a round wartime dance of Tersk Cossacks (i.e. Cossacks who lived on the Terek river). The dance shows Cossacks who are returning home from the front and how women are meeting them. In the dance they use another kind of Cossack arms - cavalry swords and they perform a lot of acrobatic feats.

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Chorus

The program of the chorus is very diverse, beginning from the Don folklore to the Russian classics.

The chorus performs a few kinds of programs

The chorus performs a few kinds of programs

  1. Song of russian cossacks
  2. Russian songs practice
  3. Church chants
  4. Musical compositions of russian and soviet composers

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Orchestra

The Don orchestra has a solo program under the general name “FOLKLORE of the DON” – this is over 2 hours of instrumental folk music, transcribed in various musical styles.

 

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