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Rainbow - Russian Folk Dance

Rainbow - Russian Folk Dance"Rainbow" - A Folk Dance performance by Russian dance troupe organised by Art India Foundation, Union Batteries and Russian Cultural Centre, Mumbai at MES Auditorium, Mayur Colony, Pune on 15th June 2011 to commemorate 50 years of Yuri Gagarin's historic manned mission into space. "Rainbow", the troupe from Russian city of Voronezh was formed in 1979. The troupe is lead by Mr. and Mrs. Belousov who have been decorated by the Russian Government. RADUGA is the honoured ensemble of people’s art and creativity. RADUGA is the winner at many international festivals at Algeria, Bulgeria, Germany, Holland, Egypt, Spain, Portugal, Tunicia, Swede, France and Japan. Leaders of the ensemble RADUGA are honoured artists of the Russian Federation – They are Elena and Genady Belousovy. This year the ensemble is completing its 32 years. The singer Nadzda Bakuleva is the participant and winner of international festivals.

Early History

The first Russian folk music and dance extends back into the 10th century, when Slavic tribes moved into Russia. The Slavs were known for their knowledge and mastery of instruments, songs and dance. Because of the many invasions of the country and the resulting inter-cultural mix, many of the original dances have either been combined with each other into new forms or been lost over time.

The first dances were only known by the peasants and lowest classes. The upper classes and aristocracy did not dance themselves, but they instead enjoyed watching the performances of dance troupes and clowns. There were also street entertainers, or “skomorkhi,” who sang and danced and performed tricks as they wondered from town to town.

First Bear Dance

Rainbow - Russian Folk DanceAccording to Russian dance director Mikhail Victorovich Smirnov, the first established record of Russian dance occurred in 907AD when Vechshiy Oleg, first grand prince of Kiev, was celebrating his victory at Constantinople. Although his troops could not infiltrate the city walls, they did force the Greeks to enter into a treaty. At the celebration, male dancers dressed up like bears, and several dancing bears were clothed like Russians. At the end of the feast, Oleg demanded the bears be released back into the wild and the dancers be executed. Apparently, Oleg, who was partially blind, thought the dancers were from the northern tribes who owed him numerous tiger skins.

Holiday Traditions

Some of the Russian folk songs and dances were associated with calendar events, such as planting and harvesting and others with family rites, such as birth, weddings and funerals. Most Russian holidays have been celebrated in the fall and winter when the farming is done for the year. The entertainment begins with a prayer and is followed with an abundant feast, singing, dancing and a series of entertaining fist fights or “stenka na stenku,” “wall against wall.”

Folk Dance Clothing

The clothing, which accompanied many of the dances, was also based on the event. Holiday headwear included a “kokoshnik,” or headdress that was decorated with pearls and gold thread; embroidered and decorated blouse or shirt; “sarafan,” or jumper; belt and ornamented apron. The primary color was red, which meant “beautiful.” The men wore “kosovortkas,” or shirts fastened on the side; belt; narrow trousers; semi-high or high boots.

First Dance Troup

In 1937, after the civil war came to an end, the Soviets organized the first Russian folk dance troupe under the direction of Igor Moiseyev. The troupe continues to be one of the top performers of folk dance worldwide. The dancing ensemble with its traditional music, dance and song, which is popular in the West, keeps the audience clapping and shouting praise. Moiseyev died in 2008 at the age of 101.

Moiseyev Dance Company

Rainbow - Russian Folk DanceThe Moiseyev Company embodies all of the Russian traditional folk dance arts and preserves the folk culture. The classically trained are more than dancers. The men and women in their traditional belted tunics and bright red dresses are also acrobatics, like today’s break dancers, with bodies spinning and zigzagging on the ground so fast they are almost impossible to see. The dancers fly into the air with their legs wide apart and their fingers touching their toes. While they are dancing, they are telling the story of the hundreds of years of Russian history and the many changes that occurred during the centuries.

Few Dance details found as below:


Barynya is a fast Russian folk dance and music. The word barynya (Russian: landlady) was used by simple folk as a form of addressing to a woman of higher class, a feminine form for the word "barin", landlord.

A number of Russian folkloric dance ensembles bear the name Barynya.

The Barynya dance is an alternation of chastushkas and frenetic dancing.

The Barynya chastuskas used to have the refrain, kind of "Barynya, barynya, sudarynya-barynya". The content was often humoristic, even lewd.

The dancing was without special choreography and consisted mainly of fancy stomping and traditional Russian squatwork – knee bending (vprisyadku).

There are a number of scenic, more refined versions of the dance.



Khorovod (Russian) is a Slavic art form, a combination of a circle dance and chorus singing, similar to Chorea of ancient Greece.

Troika (dance)

Troika is a Russian folk dance, where a man dances with two women. The Russian word troika means three-horse team/gear. In the Russian dance the dancers imitate the prancing of horses pulling a sled or a carriage.

This dance is included into repertoires of virtually all Russian ethnographic dance ensembles.

Similar folk dances are known among other Slavic peoples, e.g., the Polish Trojak.

A Cajun dance of the same name, Troika, exists, and is very similar to the Russian dance. It has been suggested (citation needed) that theCajun version of the dance originated at the times when Cossacks of the Russian tsar army were stationed in Paris.

Rainbow - Russian Folk Dance

Sequence of Dances and Songs