The Red Army Ensemble Visited St.Petersburg!
16 January, 2015
The Red Army Ensemble Visited St. Petersburg!
Last night the Alexandrov Ensemble of the Red Army performed a show at the Oktyabriskiy Big Concert Hall in St.Petersburg. Since 1998 the official the name of the ensemble is Академический ансамбль песни и пляски Российской Армии имени А. В. Александрова (Academic Ensemble of Song and Dance of the Russian Army Named After A. V. Alexandrov). The ensemble is comprised of a full men’s choir, an orchestra, and a men’s and women’s dance group. The group travels all across the world, and graced St.Petersburg last night with a beautiful performance.
The Red Army Ensemble was founded as a military choir in 1928 in Moscow by Alexander Vasilyevich Alexandrov. A. V. Alexandrov was a composer born just outside of Moscow. He was always very musical as a child, and went on to study music and compose in both St.Petersburg and Moscow. He is famous for having written the Soviet Union national anthem. The group started as 12 performers and grew over the years as soldiers became more interested in the fine arts. They traveled all throughout the Soviet Union, and during World War II alone they performed over 1,500 times in order to entertain the troops.
After the death of A. V. Alendrov, his son, Boris A. Alexandrov took over the leadership of the ensemble. It was under B. A. Alexandrov that they became well known internationally, and toured all over the world. They performed at the Berlin Peace Concert in 1948, The Wall Concert in 1990, and were in the film Das Boot. Today the ensemble is still well known internationally.
Their performance in St.Petersburg was nothing short of spectacular. Every singer and instrumentalist was dressed in a very well made army uniform of some type, and they performed together marvelously. They played many traditional songs, and on the television screens they played clips from the Great Patriotic War, which you can view some of here. The orchestra consisted of many instruments that I have never seen in an orchestra before, such as accordions and dormas (the dorma is actually an instrument with an interesting history that was invented by a Russian man, which you can learn more about on the wikipedia page). The dancers are all master of ballet, and it is very apparent when you watch them perform. They women spin all the way across the stage, spinning their beautifully crafted dressed or army uniforms, and the men do spectacular stunts such as backflips, cartwheels on one elbow, and sword fighting.
The performance was an exciting cultural event that I will remember for the rest of my life. I highly recommend you see them on your visit to Russia, if you get the chance!
This post was brought to you by Allison, currently studying Russian at Liden & Denz