Russian National Ballet "Kostroma"
Distinctive features of the “Kostroma” Ballet’s signature style of choreography.
Elena Tsarenko, an Honoured Worker of Culture of the Russian Federation, and Yuri Tsarenko, an Honoured Worker of Art of the Russian Federation, are the founders and the managers of the Ballet who, working in the genre of traditional folk culture, nevertheless managed to create the Ballet’s signature style.
First of all, their innovative approach emphasizes the harmonious mix of folk art and classical forms. The dramaturgy of every show combines the set elements of root culture of different nationalities with a new choreographic pattern, grace and delicacy of classical choreography, which is called the author’s interpretation of folklore materials. It is not by chance that the symbol of the Ballet is a ballet shoe and a straw shoe tied together to demonstrate the power of the art and the power of tradition.
Even if performed perfectly, classical music and dance are void of national features by definition. In this sense they are universal, supranational and cosmopolitan. The Ballet’s shows try to rediscover and present to the audience the traditional folk art of Russian people, the national cultural product, avoiding trite and touristy clichés and stereotypes.
The next feature is that every performance of the Ballet is not just a mix of colourful turns but a narrative. Having a single drama concept every play tells a captivating story to its audience, be that a story about the history of the country, or how the Christianity came there, or traditions of different nations, or the history of acts of bravery of Russian warriors. The story is told through dancing and that makes it easier for people of all age groups and nationalities to understand it without any comments or translations. That is why foreign tourists, the elder generations and the young learn the history of Rus by actually living it together with the Ballet’s artists. The Ballet’s art is penetrated with high moral values and has a great educational potential since it refers to the historical code of the nation while being presented in the modern style.
Thirdly, the richness and colours of costumes and decorations should be mentioned. The decorations for the shows are handmade, they are pure art themselves. As for the costumes, apart from being historically accurate, they are refined from the point of view of colours and forms. The Ballet’s costumes can easily become a museum collection of Russian clothes. Pearls, silver and beadwork are all tastefully used as elements of décor and the Ballet’s signature turn associated with the brand “The Russian National Dance Show “Kostroma” called “The Warmth of Heart is Called Filigree” employs the prompts, decorations and stage backgrounds made in the style of silver filigree to promote this ancient folk craft of Kostroma.
Finally, the copyright music, stage light and up-to-date technical means such as parallel and rear video projection and laser animation, smoke and snow making machines, IT technologies and other stage novelties. The Ballet considers it crucial to adapt all the newest technologies to their art so that the younger generations could learn their lessons better.
Such a pioneering style based on a mix of unique methods makes the Ballet’s shows modern and spectacular when it comes to professionalism and equipment but at the same time they are truly folk in content and the message they convey. To secure the continuance of the unique style the Ballet has created its own system of training artists starting from the age of 5 on the base of “The Governorate Ballet School” ((Dance College)). As of today, there are 25 College graduates who have joined the Ballet’s team and some of them have even become soloists.
In its work the Ballet tries to link past, present and future, to destroy stereotypes and to open new cultural horizons. For 25 years the focus on innovations and the signature style that make the folk art more appealing and spectacular has never failed the Ballet when it toured Russia and abroad.