Monday, December 3, 2012

Stars of the 21st Century

This weekend, an adjudicated multi-city dance festival was held in Zhovti Vody at the Theatre.  There were dance teams ages from 5 to about 17 years from nine cities.  Tanya and I went Sunday from 10:00 to 1:00. We saw at least 30 dance routines in that time and these kids were amazing.  The work that had gone into training, choreography and costumes left us in awe of the teachers and students.

One of the good things to carry over from the Soviet Union is the availability in small cities of professional quality dance and voice instructors.  In Soviet times attention was paid to culture.  There were culture halls in every town and village where kids went to learn performance arts and good instructors for each.

Of the dances we saw, there were traditional dances with traditional costumes; modern dances with modern costumes and fun dances with fun costumes.  Our favourite was about 20 five-year-olds in zebra costumes with a teen age clown and a teen age ring master.

Some performances had four different age groups in four different costume sets doing four different routines all intertwined at high speed.  Fifty kids dancing their hearts out and no collisions. First time I had ever been to such an event and it was interesting for me to see how the difficulty of the movements and of the choreography were adjusted to the ages and abilities of the kids.

Masha had a solo dance - a Turkish belly dance - and was judged best in her age group (she is 9).  Tanya and I had seen a professional at one of the Turkish nights at our hotel when we were on holidays.  Masha had the basic moves down cold.  She had one year of physiotherapy between ages 1 and 2 before she could even walk, so watching her dance is pretty special.  She still doesn't have all the flexibility in her one leg that other kids may have but it doesn't slow her down.  And her dance routine certainly showed the rest of her was flexible. She even made the local paper.

Tanya took her camera which ran out of battery about 45 minutes in so we didn't get many pictures.  Shooting in a large hall with a small camera is a problem any time. The picture of Masha is professionally done and her mother paid for it.






6 comments:

  1. Wow. I wished we paid half as much attention to culture here.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Congratulations Masha. A lovely costume, too.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I agree with Rob-bear: I wish we paid as much attention to culture.
    the Ol'Buzzard

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. RB and OB, what they do not have and we do is a hockey arena in every small town and a grass roots organization that teaches kids hockey from age 5 up to pro. And allows figure skating to be taught in the off hours. Can you imagine if the Russians had that kind of structure?

      Char, the costumes were all wonderful but Masha's was indeed class!

      Delete
  4. When budgets are tight the arts and culture are the first things to go in the U.S. It's really tragic on so many levels.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Too many people think culture is "Laverne and Shirley" and American Idol.

      Delete