State Vocal-Choreographic Ensemble "Rus"

About the folk group
State Vocal-Choreographic Ensemble "Rus"

The creative activity of the State Vocal-Choreographic Ensemble "Rus" named after M. Firsov of the Vladimir Regional Philharmonic Hall (the artistic director is Honored Artist of the Russian Federation N.V. Litvinov) is devoted to the preservation and promotion of Russian musical folklore. The collective began its concert activity in 1974 (the founder and first artistic director was Honored Artist of the Russian Federation Yakov Khokhlov).

Since 1986, for a little more than ten years, the ensemble "Rus" was headed by M.N. Firsov (1950-2007), Honored Artist of the Russian Federation, laureate of the State Prize of the Russian Federation (for the concert program "Pictures of the Russian Calendar", 1990). Mikhail Firsov fundamentally changed the creative field of the ensemble and brought it to the professional level of artistic skill. Currently, the ensemble "Rus" is named after M.N. Firsov, as a tribute of gratitude for his invaluable contribution to the development of the team and the formation of its original creative style.

The ensemble "Rus" has achieved mastery in presenting previously unknown works of Russian musical folklore in modern spectacular stage forms. In the concert programs of the ensemble the form of vocal and choreographic compositions almost always predominates, with the exception of individual dance performances. These compositions dynamically combine dancing and singing as equivalent elements, which is always attractive for the audience and arouses astonishment: how can one artist manage to combine the roles of a professional dancer and singer.

Russian folk musical instruments are organically incorporated into the vocal and choreographic compositions of "Rus", both traditional ones – balalaika, dombra, accordion, button accordion, and the original ones – Vladimir’s horn, zhaleyka, flute, beep, bagpipe, and wheel lyre. The instrumental group of the ensemble "Rus" includes musicians of the highest performing level, each of whom can play three or four folk instruments. 

Certainly, the stage composition would not be complete without the appropriate image of the artists in the creation of which costumes play a leading role. Some of the costumes for "Rus" were developed by the famous Vladimir artist of decorative and applied arts, member of the Union of Artists of the Russian Federation Tatyana Grebneva. The master has preserved the style and characteristics of folk clothes in the stage costumes which helps viewers to perceive folk songs and dances more deeply.

This extraordinary artistic decision – a combination of elaborated folk choreography, choral performance of Russian folk songs, instrumental folk music and unique author's folk costumes – accounts for the unconditional recognizability and originality of the "Rus" ensemble. 

The team led by experienced mentors (Honored Artists of the Russian Federation, the artistic director N.V. Litvinov, the ensemble director E.A. Akhmetov and the choreographer A.Yu. Ledovsky) succeeds in creating the impossible: essentially, the combination of "ice and fire" – of striving for experiments and respect for the folklore, rejection of established patterns in creativity and a subtle sense of the challenges of the time. The work of "Rus" has a significant impact on the development of stylized folk ensembles not only in the Vladimir region, but also beyond its borders.

The ensemble "Rus" is a multiple winner of prizes in the field of culture and art of the Vladimir Region and the Central Federal District, it has the status of a particularly valuable object of cultural heritage of the Vladimir Region, and is also incuded in the almanacs of the All-Russian Society for the Preservation of Historical and Cultural Monuments "Monuments of the Fatherland".

The ensemble "Rus" leads an active concert life. It has been touring to various regions of Russia with great success. The group represents Russian folk art in many countries of the world with great dignity.  The concerts of "Rus" were held in the most prestigious halls of Europe.

The repertoire of the vocal-choreographic ensemble "Rus" is diverse. The concert program "Russian Christmas" won over the audience of many European countries. The programs "Songs and Dances of Different Regions of Russia", "The Path-Track Passed", "Kupala’s Night", "Rich Shrovetide" perform not only an aesthetic, but also cognitive function, expanding the audience’s view of Russian folk culture. Performances of the ensemble "Rus" always charge people with the temperament and generousness of the Russian soul, delight with artistry and entertainment.

Author: V. Korolkova