Voices from Russia

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Kalmyk Children’s Ensemble Sang and Danced for Santa Claus in Finland

Finnish Santa Claus


Recently, young artists from Kalmykiya returned from performances abroad. In Finland, they were part of a presentation entitled Children of Russia: Children of Europe. Four Russian children’s ensembles took part, including the Kalmyk troupe Альвн Харадас (Alvn Kharadas: Naughty swallow). On the eve of the New Year, the Kalmyk children received a wonderful gift, the opportunity to visit Finland and Sweden. The public organisation Our House invited the members of the Alvn Kharadas troupe. In fact, for two consecutive years, they won the all-Russia Children’s Contest Я вхожу в мир искусства (Ya vkhozhu v mir iskusstva: I Enter the World of Art), in the city of Vladimir. Now, its winners, four Russian children’s groups from Ingushetia, Kalmykiya, Novosibirsk, and Vladimir Oblast, took part in the presentation Children of Russia: Children of Europe.


Here is an example of traditional Kalmyk folk singing


According to Alima Ovyanova, the head of the Alvn Kharadas ensemble, the song and dance arts of the peoples living in Russia was, indeed, a real New Year gift for the Finns and Swedes. The “Chicken Dance” from Vladimir, a fire dance from the Caucasus, the Kalmyks playing the dombra, or the troupe from Novosibirsk playing the balalaika, the pipes, and the horns were so interesting to the audience that sometimes their cries of “Bravo” drowned out the musical accompaniment. Ms Ovyanova said, “They seemed to like us very much. They gave us a very warm and enthusiastic welcome. After the concert, as we were going to our dressing rooms, we heard people say, ‘Those Russians and Kalmyks are a good lot’. That was nice to hear. Our children saw Santa Claus and sang ШаркуБарку (Sharku-Barku) for him in Kalmyk. He gave each of our kids a gift and a signed card with the message, “A memento of Santa Claus” (На память от Санта Клауса). We were able to visit Santa Claus’ post office and the children saw how real letters came to him and how the staff processed them. We also told Santa our wishes. We were very pleased that several groups came together to represent our single Russian homeland. Such ties unite all peoples. I think that all of this is for the good and it shows the richness of Russia”. Incidentally, after this trip, the Ryazan Children’s Band asked the young artists from Kalmykia to join with them in a joint performance in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria.

26 December 2009

Valentina Bambaeva

Voice of Russia World Service


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