Saturday, July 7, 2012

VIRSKY dance crew in Szeged again

The Open-Air Theatre of Szeged has opened and invites all of you to its fantastic shows. One of them is the world-wide famous show of the Virsky dance crew, a team which has played an important part in shaping the history of dancing. The biggest rival of the Mojszejev dance crew has arrived to Szeged after 10 years of impatient waiting. While the Mojszejev crew is more famous in Europe, the Virsky is better known in the USA. This can be pressed for the fact that the Virsky crew has only spent 2 months in Europe before.

The ensemble was created in 1937 by Pavlo Virsky and Mykola Bolotov, and guided by Pavlo Virsky until his death in 1975. During World War II, Virsky performed for the soldiers at the front. In 1980, the company's artistic direction was overtaken by Myroslav Vantukh, who had been a disciple of Pavlo Virsky. Virsky's aim is to create dances that embrace historical Ukrainian dance traditions as well as dances that are innovative and forward-moving.

Pavlo Pavlovych Virsky was an innovative dancer, balletmaster, choreographer, and founder of the P. Virsky Ukrainian National Folk Dance Ensemble, whose work in Ukrainian dance was groundbreaking and influenced generations of dancers.

Pavlo Virsky was born on February 25, 1905 in Odesa, Ukraine. After graduating from the Odesa Music and Drama School in 1927, he continued his studies in Moscow, at the Theater Technicum, from 1927-28. Virsky joined the Odesa Opera and Ballet Theatre as a dancer and choreographer. It was at this theater that he collaborated with Mykola Bolotov in their first joint production: Gliere's The Red Poppy. Virsky left the Odesa in 1931, and worked as a balletmaster at various theatres, including those in Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, and Kiev, working on productions of ballets such as Raymonda, La Esmeralda, Le Corsaire, Swan Lake, and Don Quixote.

With the outbreak World War II, and in the build-up to the Great Patriotic War, many ensembles suspended activity, as performers were enlisted to entertain the troops. Virsky continued his work with folk-themed choreography as the director of the Red Flag Song and Dance Ensemble of the Kiev Military District beginning in 1939.
 In 1955, Virsky returned to Kiev to helm the State Folk Dance Ensemble of the Ukrainian SSR, just after World War II. For the next 20 years (until his death in 1975) Pavlo Virsky developed the concepts of Ukrainian folk-stage dance further than had previously been imagined. He founded a school to train dancers in the technique he developed. He toured the world with his dancers, influencing Ukrainian dancers the world over.

Virsky died on July 5, 1975 in Kiev. The State Folk Dance Ensemble of the Ukrainian SSR was named after him in 1977.

Today this widely known crew celebrates its 75th anniversary on the stages of the Open-Air Theatre of Szeged with its 84 members in a hundred minutes long performance. It can be seen on the 7th of August, 9pm, in New-Szeged.

Tickets for the show can be bought online here: TICKETS ONLINE

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