On November 10, a unique dance group with a worldwide reputation and international recognition, the State Academic Choreographic Ensemble ‘Beryozka’, will perform at the Congress Hall.
The legendary collective, which celebrated its 70th anniversary last year, was created in 1948 by the People’s Artist of the USSR Nadezhda Nadezhdina.
It began with a June performance by an amateur dance group that was not known to anyone at that time. To the stage of the Moscow summer theater “Hermitage” to the accompaniment of the folk song “In the field stood a birch”, a round dance of girls-swans in red Russian sundresses in the floor, in scarves and with a twig of birch in their hands, surfaced. This made a splash. Nadezhdina was obliged to create a team, which was called “Beryozka” (Birch). And the “branded” walk of the dancers, when it seems that they are not moving, but the stage is rotating, has become the hallmark of the ensemble, which has traveled around 80 countries on tour.
The creator of the team, Nadezhda Nadezhdina (1904-1979), a ballerina and choreographer, studied with the great Agrippina Vaganova, who, as you know, did not forgive the slightest mistake for her students. Her talented student did the same. Hence the result.
Once in childhood, Nadezhdina saw an old lithograph: girls in sundresses and with twigs of birch in their hands. This picture sunk into her soul, and she dreamed of bringing a Russian round dance to the big stage. Create truly unique choreographic compositions based on folk dance. And she succeeded in its entirety.
Unique dance movements and stunning costumes, grandiose numbers do not leave anyone indifferent. And the team works in difficult, sometimes even extreme conditions – in the cold in the open air in Japan or in the 40-degree heat in Greece.
“You don’t need to read two hundred volumes about Russia, just watch one concert of the Beryozka and you will see what the Russian character, Russian character, Russian beginning is,” wrote the French press after the ensemble’s tour in Paris.
Interestingly, the costumes “Beryozka” that go with them weigh about two and a half tons. For two hours of round dance and dancing girls change sundresses and hats more than 20 times. In total, the team has about two thousand costumes. Each is a real work of art made of velvet, chiffon, lace or batik, embroidered with braid and beads.
Since 1979, “Beryozka” has been headed by the People’s Artist of the USSR, ex-dancer of the ensemble, Professor Mira Koltsova, who continues the work of Nadezhina.