Arts & Culture 27 March 2015 12 880

Moiseyev ballet. Captivated by Genius

The Moiseyev Ballet is a world-known and loved folk dance ensemble, which has played an important role in establishing Russia’s international cultural ties since its inception in 1943. Its dancers are under constant pressure to do justice to the legacy of its visionary founder, Igor Moiseyev, and to keep proving the Ballet’s leadership among folk dance groups of the world. They undergo gruelling rehearsals and have to accept the inevitability of injuries and health problems – all in the name of art. Yet they are always trying to reach perfection, no matter the cost. They give the dance their all and, unlike in classic ballet, are prepared to share fame with each other, rather than stand out as lead dancers.

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In 1943, the visionary Russian choreographer founded the Moiseyev Ballet, which showcased traditional dances from various cultures not just from around Russia and former Soviet republics, but from around the world -  from English arrangements to Cossack dances. His ballet exists and performs to this day, still using his original choreography.

The Moiseyev Ballet is grueling for the young dancers who perform there. Hours and hours of rehearsal, scores of injuries and high emotions are all par for the course on this stage. As they say, being polite and soft with people won’t get results. But in the end, the result here certainly shows.

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The Moiseyev Ballet is at its heart an ensemble, and to that end so-called “superstars” have no place here. The dancers must all share the stage with one another, and work and perform as one flowing unit.

This famous ensemble has been travelling all over the world for decades. They were among the first Russians to go to America after the Cold War, and were on the first Russian flight to Israel after a long hiatus in relations. However, they also make sure to travel around Russia’s vast territories.

During the course of the film, one young dancer suffers a debilitating knee injury, and must undertake surgery. It’s heartbreaking, but he takes it in stride. It’s understood by all in the Moiseyev Ballet that these things happen, and at any rate the career of a dancer is bound to be short.

For the time being, though, these young stars shine brightly on the stage, and work tirelessly to show their own and others’ culture all over the world.

Watch the film in Russian.



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