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Moscow National Academic Theatre of Dance GZHEL

ABOUT GZHEL

Theatre of Dance "Gzhel" was founded by Vladimir Zakharov, Russian Choreographer in 1988 in Moscow.

Inspired by Valdimir Zakharov, its Founder, People's Artist of Russia, Artistic Director and Chief Choreographer, the Theatre manifests the passion to show through the means of dance and music traditions and customs of Russian folks' everyday life, rich spiritual world, ingenuity and creativity of Russian craftsmen, aesthetic feelings coming from the deep of Russian soul.

Thus, Theatre Gzhel is eager to contribute to keeping and developing of national Russian culture. Making use of the rich folklore experience of different Russian regions, Theatre Gzhel revives the scenes of past and present, giving a second life to the wonderful creations of the folk art and handicrafts masters (from Gzhel, Palekh, Khokhloma, Dymkov etc.)

Vladimir Zakharov and his Theatre Gzhel was the first in Russia to stage Russian Folk and Music Hall with the same dancers. It was also very innovative to have Folk dance, Music Hall and Classic Ballet merged in one Theatre of Dance and even within the same program.

Now Theatre Gzhel is the only one dancing group in the world making three different professional ballet performances at the same time, such as: folk dance, modern dance (music-hall) and classic ballet.

Theatre Gzhel could be called a personification of Russia's beauty and unique national culture. Highly qualified, professional ballet dancers are "the Heart" of Theatre Gzhel. All of them are graduates from national choreographic and ballet academies.

The Theatre's costumes are unique and fantastic. They are created by the famous sewing workshops of the Bolshoy and the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Musical Theatres. Costume designers are Grigory Belov, Natalia Kokovina and Galina Pimenova.

CONCERT TOURS IN RUSSIA AND ABROAD

Gzhel gives many performances in Moscow at the stage of the best Russian capital's concert-halls, such as the Kremlin Palace Concert Hall, The Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, The "Russia" National Central Concert Hall, The "Colonny Zal" Concert Hall, etc. The Theatre' performances are also a success in many Russian cities and they gather lots of fans and spectators in the CIS countries.

International performances of the Theatre Gzhel are very famous too. The Theatre toured for over 60 countries (China, Qatar, Germany, the USA, France, and many other) and it was given a rousing welcome everywhere.

CONCERT PROGRAMMES

Many unique concert programs have been created, staged and performed by the Theatre Gzhel. Among most famous and popular are Carnival Of Friends, consisting of the world national dances, the concert program "From Russia with Love", that is a traditional Russian music hall show with modern style dancing scenes.

The concert program "The Magic World of Ballet" represents divertissements, famous classical ballet scenes from well-known ballets: "Swan Lake", "Nutcracker", "Sleeping Beauty", "Corsair", "Giselle", "Quixote", etc.

Concert programs can be mixed (mosaic), for example, combining pieces of classical ballet with folk dance and music-hall.

VLADIMIR ZAKHAROV BIOGRAPHY

Artistic Director and Chief Choreographer of the Moscow National Academic Theatre of Dance "Gzhel", People's Artist of the Russian Federation, People's Artist of the North Ossetia-Alaniya Republic, Honoured Artist of Dagestan Republic, Ph.D. in Culture Studies, Academician, author of "Poetry of Russian Dance"(in 4 vol.).

Vladimir was born on the 5 of July 1946 in a small Russian village of Murzitsy, now Nizhny Novgorod region of Russia. At the age of 7 he moved with his parents to the north Russian town of Neman, Kaliningrad region of Russia.

From 1960 to 1964 he studied at Choreography Department of Kaliningrad (former Sovetsk) Regional College of Culture. After he had graduated from the college, he studied several years at Leningrad (now St-Petersburg) State Institute of Culture at Ballet-Master's department and got a diploma in Choreography.

After graduating from the Institute in 1969, he started his professional career as Chief Choreographer with Volzhsky National Russian Folk Choir in Kuybishev-city (now Samara-city) on the Volga River.

Since 1970 Vladimir (about 40 years now) started his career in choreography and ballet education. For three years (1970-1973) he worked as choreography coach at College of Arts in Kirov city (now Vyatka-city). In 1973 and 1974 he was teaching choreography at Samara University of Culture. In 1974 he staged choreography pieces for Ossetian group "Alan" in Ordzhonikidze (now Vladikavkaz-city).

Then hecontinued his career as ballet administrator with the Ministry of Culture of Russia (1973-1975).

From 1975 to 1980 Vladimir worked as a Chief Choreographer of the Soviet Army Dance and Song Theatre in Dresden, East Germany. It was in 1980 when he created together with famous singer Alexandra Prokoshina, the Russian Folk Dance and Song Group "Iskorka" (i.e. "a spark") in Kotelnichesky oblast (region) of Vyatka-city. He worked with Iskorka till 1986. At the same time (1986-1988) Vladimir Zakharov headed and administrated natoinal choreography at Rosconcert (i.e. all Russian concert-organizing administration) in Moscow.

At that time he was recognized as one of the leading Russian national choreographers: he was merited by his first national title of "Honoured Artist of Russia" and staged the official government concert at the Kremlin in 1987.

In 1988 Vladimir Zakharov founded his Theatre of Dance Gzhel. Since that time all his life, creative spirit and ideas, administrative skills, profound cultural knowledge and high educational mastercraft in ballet and choreography have been devoted to the Theatre of Dance Gzhel and to the global promotion of Russian ballet and Russian national culture and traditions.

In 1994 Vladimir Zakharov created University of Dance under the State Academy of Slavic Culture in Moscow. He is Head of Choreography Chair and Dean.

In 1999 Gzhel Theatre was awarded the title "Academic" for achievements in ballet and choreography education.

Awards and Titles:

National Russian Honorary Titles:

1986 - Honoured Artist of the Russian Federation

1992 - People's Artist of the Russian Federation

2008 - Honoured Artist of Dagestan Republic

2011 - People's Artist of the North Ossetia-Alaniya Republic

National Russian Honorary Awards:

1997 - Medal of "850 years of Moscow" for the merits in culture
1997 - Order of "People Friendship" by President of RF
2003 - Prise and Award of Moscow Government
2004 - Order of St.Alexandre Nevsky
2004 - Medal of "Work and Motherland"
2006- Peter The Great Award for the merits in Russian culture
2006 - Order of "Merits before Motherland" by President of RF
2008 - RF Government Award for Russian crafts concert programs

International Honorary Awards and Titles:

2004 - Chairman of Russian United Committee for CIOFF (i.e. International folk festivals organization) and IOV(International organization for folklore arts), associated to UNESCO

2004 - Award of Laureate of International Public Charity Foundation "For Peace and People"

2004 - Medal of E.P.Rosse (Rus. choreographer) "Service for Children Choreography"

2006 - Order of "Unity" of UN European Committe


Orthodox Church Honorary Awards:
2005 - A testimonial of St. George by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church International Charity Organization for the deeds for the Church and for promoting and revival of historical Slavic traditions

2005 - Prize of St. Kirill and Methody by Patriarch of All Russia Alexis II for keeping and developing of the Kirill-Methody heritage, international peace and friendship.

2006- Medal of Prelate Innokenty, Metropolite of Moscow and Kolomna and Award of Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexis II

2010 - Award by Ukrainian Orthodox Church

Academic Degrees, Titles and Awards:

1994 - Professor (in choreography)

1996 - Academician of the State Academy of Slavic Culture (SASC), RF

2003- Artistic Director of Moscow Ballet Academy Gzhel under the Theatre Gzhel

2004 - Academician of the International Plato's Academy (Greece)

2005 - Ph.D. in Study of Culture

Artistic Organizations, Journals, Competition Prises and Awards:

1998 - "Lord of the Dance" Nomination and Prize by "Ballet" Magazine, RF

2001 - All-Russian Dance Festival and Vladimir Zakharov Prise for Choreographers' Competition was set up by the Ministry of Culture of RF,Ministry of Education of RF, State Russian House of People Creative Work, in Vyatka (RF town)

Personally staged concert programs and shows for Theatre Gzhel:

More than 100 choreography works and compositions were created for the below concert programs:

1998 concert program "Hello, Folks!" (, )
2000 concert program "Love, Russia!"( , )
2002 concert program "From Russia with Love" ( )
2003 concert program "Moscow, the Gold-Domed" ( )
2004 concert program "The Music-Hall, We are" ( - M-)
2006 concert program "My Flying over Russia" ( )
2007 concert program "Eternel Russia" ( )
2008 concerr program "Bright Soul of Russia" ( )
2009 concert program "With our Love for You" ( )

Other staged ballets:

2010 Classical Ballet "Fairy Tale of Vasnetsov", depicting folk and fantasy pictures of Russian painter Victor Vasnetsov. Staged and choreography by Vladimir Zakharov for the Ballet Theatre in Vyatka.

ARTICLES ABOUT GZHEL THEATRE PERFORMANCES

March 2010:

A packed house at the Qatar National Theatre was on Friday treated to a truly unique performance by the members of the Gzhel Theatre group, who presented traditional Russian dances, combining a variety of style to produce a spectacular display.

The concert was organised by the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage in conjunction with Qatar Airways and Qtel as part of the 'Doha, Capital of Arab Culture 2010' programme.

The group was founded by Valdimir Zakharov who is also the troupe's director and chief choreographer. The idea behind the group is to present "the magic phenomena, traditions and customs of Russian folks' everyday life, their rich spiritual world, ingenuity and creativity of Russian craftsmen," explained a spokesperson.

The dancers are all highly qualified graduates of Russian choreographic and ballet academies and their dancing ability made the performance a memorable and hugely enjoyable experience.

And Friday's performance certainly displayed something of the 'Russiar Soul' the group intend to embody, as they presented a thrilling display of the highest quality accompanied by Russian folk music. With each performance telling a story or painting a different picture through the highly detailed choreography, the group presented a huge range of dance techniques, from classical ballet to the more rousing traditional Russian folkloric dance.

Many of the moves they performed required incredible agility as well as skill, and some of the spinning manoeuvres and aerial acrobatics were quite amazing.

As exciting as the group's incredible dance moves were their elaborate and beautiful outfits which changed with each dance. Watching one group leave the stage, the sense of anticipation about the next set of dancers and what they would be wearing was palpable, and the group did not fail to disappoint with their dazzling costumes.

Following another impressive number to finish the concert, the group received a standing ovation by the audience, and Zakharov joined them on stage to receive the applause. The strong response indicated the sheer joy that the performance evoked in the audience, who were once again given the chance to see a top quality international cultural group as part of this year's cultural programme.

By Peter Townson, Staff Reporter

January 2009:

To human measures, 20 years - age of a blossoming youth when all horizons are widely open, roads to the future call and attract. In 20 years, probably, all romanticists. The 20 anniversary of creative collective is too, of course, time of blossoming, lifting. But it and time force, recognitions the spectator, criticism - both at us in the country, and behind its limits. For these years at the Moscow state academic theatre of dance of "Gzhel" under the direction of the national actor of Russia, professor Vladimir Zakharova some generations of dancers were replaced already, and everyone invariably transferred going after the rich traditions. What is - "Gzhel"? What for surprising theatre us already two ten years the with art generously presents? It began as "theatre of national crafts", and now this theme - one of the main things of "Gzhel" defining the creative person. The theatre is unique not only because its art director and the main choreographer Vladimir Zakharov carefully stores and develops the richest traditions of Russian national choreography, interpreting them in modern conditions. Uniqueness of theatre and that the ballet troupe works at once in three directions: national (folklore), music hall (modernist style) and the classic. Theatre " Gzhel " is the important link in an cultural complex "school (choreographic school) - high school - theatre", to This complex not analogues in the world. Its activity has been highly appreciated by the Government of Russia, and founders of a complex led by maestro Zakharov have been awarded Awards of the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of Moscow. This acknowledgement of efficiency of author's system of continuous choreographic formation. The interrelation of its three components allows students of faculty of a choreography of Institute of dance of the State academy of slavic culture to pass a practical training in professional theatre " Gzhel ", and also gives the chance to confirm the theoretical knowledge received by them, working with children in choreographic school as trainees-teachers. Studying of Russian national dance, comprehension of its regional features, and also dancing culture of the slavic people promotes formation of moral-aesthetic culture of youth, development of art taste. But the main thing - patriotic education, comprehension of by citizens of the great country, whose contribution to a treasury of world culture it is huge. Theatre "Gzhel" is a collective image of the Russian beauty. National crafts: Gzhel, Hohloma, Paleh, Dymkovo, Fedoskino - revive in choreographic compositions, speak with the spectator in dance language. Surprising on beauty, violence of imagination of artists suits, filigree skill of dancers, music give a unique alloy of different kinds and art genres. " Gzhel " has visited 60 countries of the world as the Ambassador of art of Russia and everywhere received an enthusiastic welcome. At us in the country the theatre acts on the most prestigious concert platforms of Moscow, St.-Petersburg and other cities. Attaching people, first of all youth, to Fine, the theatre of dance of "Gzhel" brings the mite in education of culture, high morals, intelligence, promoting that to spiritual revival of Russia, and conducts people of the Dear Truth and Good. Anniversary is always a holiday. Let it will be bright, remembered and once again will confirm that true that the Beauty will save the world.

Lyudmila Mikheyeva,

Professor,PH.D.in Philology,

Deserved Worker of Art of the Russian Federation, Member of the Union of Writers of Russia

December 2008:

In the Concert hall of Tchaikovsky has passed anniversary evening of the Moscow state academic theatre of dance "Gzhel" devoted to the 20 anniversary of creation of collective. "Gzhel strongly associates with Russia", - has told, having stepped on the stage for a congratulation, one of visitors of celebratory action Leonid Roshal. Really, taking in 1988 for a basis a theme of Russian national crafts, the art director of "Gzhel" known choreographer Vladimir Zakharov considers a national component of the theatre base. Having made tens folklore expeditions on cities and villages of Russia, Vladimir Zakharov has collected a unique material." To see from hundred movements one approaching "- so professor Zakharov explains the work on folklore sources. Doing choreographic processing, the ballet master reflects over national roots of dance. Give them stile, rejudgement them, doing modern and clear to the wide spectator. Actually, it operates here in the spirit of modernist transformations of the folklore, which else in the beginning of the last century carried out Victor Vasnetsov and Michael Nesterov in painting; Nikolay Klyuyev and Sergey Yesenin in poetry. Somehow Yesenin has neatly characterised creativity, the and the colleagues on national shop as" a bright poppy-head on a tower of Russia, the most aristocratic that is in Russian people ". Such bright poppy-head creativity of the choreographer in rather aristocratical art of theatre of dance of "Gzhel" has appeared at evening. Not existing already actually, but presented to us in the artistic realisations Sacred Russia, fantastic Kitezh-hailstones contrary to all nevertheless exist in the choreographic imaginations which have been carried out by Zakharov. "The thin mountain ash", "the Hohlomsky roundabout", "Pavlovoposadsky patterns" and many other numbers danced on a scene this evening different generations of soloists of troupe: Lyudmila Korkina, Alexander Kovtun, Dmitry Tolmasov, Alexey Yesin and other talented actors of theatre. Epic athletes are kind good fellows and their fair maidens who have left directly from Russian fairy tale spun on a scene lacy round dances with valiant daring and worked fast tragically flied white cranes. Under a known song Yana Frenkel on verses of Rasula Gamzatova the killed in action soldiers turned to these birds in number which has got especial success at evening. The history of Russia at times appeared embodied in rare on beauty choreographic sketches. At the same time long worked with Music hall and not one year co-operating with known German troupe "Fried-rihshtats" the choreographer brings an oriental carpet in the creativity of a sign and this genre. Having processed them, naturally, on the basis of Russian material. Zaharov terribly connected with national dance, nevertheless frequently expands its possibilities and for the account of the academic classical school. The classics is seriously taught in the choreographic school created at theatre. This school too has been presented at an anniversary concert by the pupils. The evenings which have filled up the program of a pas de deux from ancient ballet "Sylph" have appeared best of them of Anastas Ershov and Denis Rodkin. Having danced a variation from this a pas de deux on a Bolshoi theatre scene, Rodkin even has made sensation on review of choreographic schools of Russia which has terminated recently in Moscow. "We repeat nobody and we do not copy", - Zakharov has told, addressing to public in the end of evening. This originality also has got success at spectators in the most different countries for 20 years of existence of collective. Well, in statements of Zakharova (and it had been created 268 compositions!) national dance really freely gets on with classics, cabaret receptions, a variety show and music hall. But from such impurity the tradition only wins, being painted in more modern of tone.

Pavel Jashchenkov,

"Literary Newspaper", Moscow

2007:
You, the Maestro, is necessary to feel by soul and to catch movement of your thoughts. The world your formidable and big, Multi-colour and not to list Your affairs - as stars, Your thoughts - miles of streamers, That spin the majestic bridge Through centuries - the easiest and hidden. Silently to stand, not to speak.... To you is appointed by Destiny For us to create, Lighting up generously the big world. ... You, the Maestro, it is necessary to feel soul.
L.N.Mikheyeva

The Moscow State Academic Theatre of Dance Gzhelcreated in 1988, pleases the spectator simple and clear to everyone idea - to keep primordial riches of domestic culture. The art director of dance of Gzhel - the choreographer, the national actor of Russia, the professor, the academician - Vladimir Zakharov solves a problem unusually: its creative collective puts dances which spiritualise and open means of a choreography an essence of Russian rational character, bring a mite in preservation and development of Russian national art culture. Art of dance actors of ensemble figuratively and stylishly tell about traditional national art crafts. And how named the dance representing a national craft?- the thought comes. We read the program: Fantastic Gzhel... Critics write aptivating Fantastic Gzhel... The craft stylistics Are recognised in this dancing composition: on suits, on their sine-white bright list, on an internal rhythm and spirit which we, of course, already worried earlier when took in hands of a product of talented masters, artists' of gzhel craft. Not casually theatre of dance is called as Gzhel - the name sonorous, Russian, even as speak some, the harmonious is inexplicable: There is something mysterious in the word, in its inexplicable origin. There is a secret two colours - white and dark blue: can be a combination of a blue of lakes and a winter snow-covered field. In Fantastic Gzhel the theatre expressively shows the national beginning and is true gzhel colour. Many-sided the program of theatre of dance was grew fond in the USA, Austria, Japan, in Mexico, Egypt, on Cuba in the same way as National Art raft (NAC) Gzhel have found products of a national art craft of the admirers on different continents.In a pedagogical science the culture is treated as the great riches which have been saved up by mankind in sphere of a spiritual and material life of people, the higher display of forces and abilities of the person. The culture unites immemorial aspiration of the person to true, good and beauty. One of the basic conditions of building of new Russia - working out of national strategy of formation, - is declared in Materials of VIII International assembly of rectors of slavic universities. Similarity of two Gzhel also that, continuing traditions of a craft in the future, NAC (National Art raft) Gzhel the theatre of dance of Gzhel has created harmonious system of a continuous art education and education on gzhel to the earth, and, supporting a direction of continuous choreographic formation: school - choreographic school - high school - the theatre, - has joined in the program of continuous arts education on aegis of the State academy of slavic culture. Likeness approaches to creativity of collectives of theatre of dance of Gzhel and artists NAC (National Art raft) of Gzhel is defined by the general understanding of value of national culture and formation in a life of generations replacing each other. At theatre Gzhel Vladimir Zakharov has put more than sixty choreographic compositions in which basis the primary plan lies: ... To Create the on anybody not the similar creative collective erected on the firm historically-traditional base of national creativity. So, Gzhel - dancing or pleasing an eye products of a national craft, is a state of mind.

Natalia Kashaeva

Moscow

Unbelievable. Awe-inspiring. Captivating. Incredible. And that was just the opening piece danced Friday night at Sturges-Young Auditorium by Russian dance troupe Les Folies Russes. And with every dance, it became ever more unbelievable and awe-inspiring and captivating and incredible. Even the most articulate critic would exhaust the synonyms for "amazing" before adequately conveying the magnificence of the show. It was that dazzling. The combination of world-class talent in choreography, costuming, and dancing itself created a vibrant setting to behold the beauty of the human body in fluid, poetic motion. Artistic director and principal choreographer, Vladimir Zakharov, founder of the 18-year-old troupe, graduated with Mikhail Baryshnikov some 30 years ago. When Zakharov began his work, at 22, he was the youngest choreographer in Russia. The Costumes were Unbelievable. Awe-inspiring.
Elegant. Gorgeous. Beyond description. Created in the sewing workshops of the famed Bolshoi Theatre, the costumes were luminous and magnificent, fantastical and whimsical. Created from brilliantly-colored flowing fabrics adorned with jewels and sequins and feathers and embroidery, the costumes created the mood, set the scene, and illustrated the story underlying each dance. And the dancers. The company's 100 dancers (of which 50 travel with this tour) are all classically trained ballet dancers, giving them the foundation to dance well in any style ballet, folk, or modern. Dances named "Fairy Tale" flowed into "Dreams about Russa," then "Gold" then "Gates." Traditional folk-style dancing would give way to a sensuous, more modern style of dance, to be followed by a Rockettes-style chorus line. Familiar musical accompaniments included the Can-Can and Hava Nagila Dances were between the footwork and choreographed to evoke continuous motion heroic pictures of beautiful (especially when the men young girls, brave young did six leaping splits in a men, and splendid fire- row) but even the most birds. As the program strenuous steps were explained, "The danced so gracefully, choreographer sings the Twenty-plus dances and hymn to the Great Russia. two hours later, a the innermost charm of its thoroughly impressed nature, and those genuinely audience gave the Russian Russian features which dancers a richly deserved constitute the cornerstone standing ovation. of the myth concerning 'the "On stage, should be obscure Russian soul.'" everything is beautiful," Were they dancers first, or Zakharov had said earlier, athletes, or both in equal through translation, measure? The show was a It was. display of athletic prowess, In a word: brilliant.James Burg, Sturgis Journal Talent in itself is great, but, if combined with intelligence and kindheartedness, talent is an extraordinary phenomenon. This idea of Alexander Ostrovsky can with good reason be referred to the creator and art director of the Theatre of Dance Gzhel Vladimir Zakharov.

The Theatre's each new performance stirs a question: Is it really possible to cover - in such a short time - the distance that takes other decades? The Theatre's secret consists in the fact that it is headed by a strict and exacting master who never oppresses the actor's individuality but, on the contrary, does his best to bring out any actor's individuality.

The secret of the Theatre's success consists in that nowadays, where we are facing hard times, the Theatre is run by a romantic. But this does not prevent him from acting as a serious choreographer who is the author of many exceptional dance compositions. This romantic always wants the clarity in the area of professional relations.

Whenever a jubilee comes to a theatre, people are eager to know in] what ways this troupe is different from any other theatre's troupe and, on the other hand, what common features it has. If referred to the Gzhel Theatre, the eternal question concerning the common and the peculiar can be answered in the following fashion.

Common features: the presence of the culture of real ballet, which is always indicative of a professional dancing group; each performance is the result of a single combat between the actoa and his inner self for the sake of winning the spectator's affection; dance is a response to the cataclysms shaking the world.

Peculiarities: the Theatre's individual manner of turning not only to the motherland as a whole, but also to the region within this motherland, i.e. to the small motherland. This feature can be considered Gzhel's main creative principle; the unique character of emotive, lively, vivid, and magnetic dance all of which are characterized by the concept of image integrity; Gzhel provides an easily perceptible connection between the dance and the performer's inner world. So Gzhel is a certain stat of mind; and last not least, Gzhel is characterized by the theatre - higher school structure. Thus Gzhel is part and parcel of Slav Culture Academy. This scheme, once adopted, has been maintained ever since!

The pedagogical activities of V.Zakharov, G.Pribylov, O.Sharoiko, V.Slykhanova, V.Uralskaya, LGusseva, V.Shulgina are not merely wora but also an honourable service. It is professionals and people of the I same mind who work at the Choreography Department. They realize that it is impossible to teach people creativity: It's all in the blood, ana one cannot feel any creative vocation for dancing unless he is a bornj dancer.

The Choreography Department works according to a special schedule, which calls for a discipline. And it is necessary to admit that the choreography students' accuracy, compared to that of many other university students, is exemplary. The most promising and interesting trends in the modern dance have been successfully systematized in the curriculum. The Department has its own premises whose design enchants you with a refined simplicity, taste, and pleasant atmosphere. Entering this house of dance, any visitor immediately feels the joy which all the students of the Choreography Department are saturated with and which they lavishly give you.

During the International Youth Assembly The Slavic World: Origins, Destinies, Prospects we more than once felt the teachers' and students' willingness to please everyone with their mastery and their desire to give a smile to anyone who was prepared to return this smile. Then our students gave a number of brilliant performances in Sergiev Posad on the occasion of the Academy's five-year jubilee and on the occasion of Victory Day.

The students of the Theatre-Higher School also won the affection of the numerous audience in Bulgaria and Czechia, where International Mission The Slav World Youth took place. It was organized by the Academy under the supervision of the Russian Parliament and Government and Moscow Committee of Education.

Another project we were involved in was Danish Folk Schools. The project helped us to get to know this nice country better. According to the program, the young Danish came to visit our Academy. Their meeting with the Academy's students utterly changed their vague idea of Russia. An exhibition class at Choreography Department was on the program. After this class the Danish were fascinated and charmed. One of the Danish students kept saying: This is impossible, but this happened and this was splendid. I don't want to leave Russia.

The Theatre-Higher School is in a constant state of learning and sitting exams. The exacting examiners are the spectators, and this was clearly seen at the first reporting concert of the Choreography Department in the spring of 1998. Then you could readily feel that the students' creative work was the brilliant embodiment of the teachers team's ideals; in every dance you could readily feel the teachers' responsibility for the results of the creative decisions they had made.

At that concert the spectators could enjoy folk, classical, and character dance; both traditional and new trends in art were represented there. But the pathos of the reporting concert testified to only one thing: Today all kinds of dancing experiments are difficult to perceive unless they are bound up with the national roots. On the contrary, if you turn to the origins, you gain recognition. The overcrowded concert hall gratefully received the armfuls of sunshine that the young actors generously gave each of the spectators, deriving their energy from the inexhaustible layers of folk culture. Nowadays cultural figures often face the question of the ways of developing people's spiritual wealth. Vladimir Zakharov, too, faces this question. Life has lavishly rewarded the artist for his exacting attitude towards his talent, as well as for his selflessness and genuine humaneness. Vladimir Zakharov is People's Artist of Russia, Professor, Academician, and he has a number of awards. But, above all, he is the creator of the dancing group that evokes storms of applause both in the Russian and world audiences.
Nevertheless he thinks that he still has a long way to.go in order to put into practice his artistic view of Holy Russia's image.
We are really glad that the Theatre-Higher School has occupied a solid and weighty place in the world of culture. It stands to reason that the troupe of the Gzhel Theatre - headed by a strong-willed, responsive and noble person who is set on achieving his goals - has become one of the sources of folk creative art

IZOLDA KLICHMAEVA,

Professor, Academician, Ph.D. in Philosophy,

Rector of the State Academy of Slavic Culture, Moscow

January 2007:

I had the pleasure of attending the Russian Winter Festival in London today. I am very interested in Russian culture. I was very impressed by all entertainers at the Festival, but I can honestly say that I have never seen anything as wonderful as the Gzhel Ensemble. I loved the costumes with their bright colours and I was realy mesmerised by the speed of the dancing. I hope I shall have the pleasure of seeing you again, perhaps in Russia next time. I'll remember your performance for a very long time to come."

James Morgan