National Dance Company of Siberia performs at HFAC

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National Dance Company of Siberia welcomes the audience through a traditional folk dance. (Photo: Natalie)
National Dance Company of Siberia welcomes the audience through a traditional folk dance. (Natalie Bothwell)

Fifty dancers paraded around the stage in blue and white traditional costumes, performing “My Siberia,” to welcome the audience.

The Krasnoyarsk National Dance Company of Siberia performed an assortment of traditional Russian folk dances in de Jong Hall last night. It has enjoyed continual success since it was founded in 1960.

Artistic Director Vladimir Moiseev said it is easier to watch Russian dancing than to try and explain it with words.

“The language in dance is understood around the world,” Moizeev said.

The program balanced slow, graceful routines with fast-paced dancing. Female dancers dominated the mellow songs, wearing long, bell-shaped skirts. They formed rows, circles, diamonds and triangles, dancing on tiptoe as they glided on stage.

The male dances incorporated high kicks, leaps and acrobatics, including dancing in a circle around one’s own head. One song included swords, which gave off sparks when the blades collided.

Some dance numbers told romantic tales of young love. Three couples flirted while sitting on a bench. Two dancers competed for a woman’s love. One man convinced a girl sitting alone to dance with him while his buddy played music.

Other dances involved imitating birds. In one number, the men pretended to pluck each other on the head like roosters. The women bobbed their heads like hens.

Another number had three dancers making bird noises, all competing with each other.

One gypsy dance number featured a lead female dancer, Elena Egorovna, a member of the company for 15 years. She studied at the college in Krasnoyarsk and has taught there. She said it is funny to dance with her former students who joined the company.

“It’s wonderful to have a lot of young boys and girls,” Egorovna said.

Egorovna has seen dancers and company leaders change over the years, but she still loves being a part of this touring company.

“It’s a huge part of my life,” she said. “In this ensemble, I have best collection of dances.”

Dancer Andrei Kulmanov, who is in his second year with the company, said he felt the company was well accepted and the audience really enjoyed the show.

“I want everyone to love us,” Kulmanov said. “We will wait patiently for the next concert.”

The company arrived in Utah two days prior to the show. They had participated in a festival in Monterey, Mexico. Vladimir Moiseev said their seven days there gave them time to adjust to the 12-hour time difference. Traveling to warmer climate gives them an extended summer.

January 2016 marks Moiseev’s sixth year as the company’s artistic director. He had a private ballet theater for nine years. It toured in the U.S. twice, performing in many states. The company has traveled to five countries since he has worked for it.

The company owns a unique style, according to Moiseev. His goal as artistic director is to maintain this, despite new dances filtering in and out of the company.

“If I change something, I lose this style,” Moiseev said.

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