Voices From Russia, Too

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

15 April2014. The Art of the Pisanka in Moscow… A True Holy Rus Tradition

00 easter eggs in Moscow 01.12.04.14

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00 easter eggs in Moscow 02.12.04.14.

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00 easter eggs in Moscow 03.12.04.14

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00 easter eggs in Moscow 04.12.04.14

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00 easter eggs in Moscow 06.12.04.14

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00 easter eggs in Moscow 07.12.04.14

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00 easter eggs in Moscow 08.12.04.14

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We’ve all heard “Ukrainian” caterwauling about  pisanki. Well, it’s not true. All the Slavs do them… Poles do them (including Hutsuls and Gorali)… Czechs and Slovaks do them… Russians, Carpatho-Russians, and Belarusians do them… Slovenes, Serbs, Bulgarians, and Croats do them, as do the Sorbs and Kaszubs (the most westernmost Slavic peoples, who live in Eastern Germany and Northwestern Poland, respectively). Not only do Slavs do them, most Northern Europeans do them… Magyars do… Romanians do… Germans do… Lithuanians do… and the patterns used are very similar, considering the distances involved. That’s not all, kids! It cuts across confessional lines… Orthodox do them… Catholics do them… Evangelical Lutherans do them.

In short, pisanki are a treasured part of Easter for MANY peoples, spread out over a large part of Europe. Ergo, for any one group to “claim” them isn’t only ridiculous, it’s downright nasty. Pisanki are all-Slavic (and more)… that’s that.

BMD

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Wednesday, 24 August 2011

24 August 2011. The Russian National Ballet Troupe “Kostroma”

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Editor’s Foreword:

It’s very difficult finding downloadable videos of this troupe’s performances… there are only a few short snippets commonly available. That’s all that’s available, I fear.

BMD

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Editor’s Afterword:

The Kostroma ensemble is more of a “folk” and not a “classical” troupe. That is, its dancing style is more derived from folklore models than it is from the canons of classic choreography laid down by Marius Petipa and Michel Fokine. In many ways, “folk ballet” is more accessible than the classical ballet (which depends more on sophisticated characterisation and aesthetics). Certainly, it’s more “athletic” (even though ballet of all sorts is more strenuous than most sports)… it’s more “electric”, but it’s at the loss of a certain subtlety (but that’s only detectable by the cognoscenti, who don’t hold it as a blemish, for one doesn’t expect one thing to be another). It’s “plainer” than the “artistic” forms of the Bolshoi or the Mariinsky, but it’s just as demanding on the performers. I don’t have prejudice for either the folk or the classical ballet… both forms are self-contained with their own intrinsic canons and conventions. There’s some overlap, of course, but, generally speaking, a classical performer doesn’t move into the folk sphere, and vice versa. Each is a cultural adornment in its proper space.

BMD

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