Family show turns Volga!

The Russian Street Dance Ensemble’s
Russian Cossacks
Theatre Severn
05/04/13

It  can be a long time in life if you are waiting  for a show with such energy and pazzazz  to come your way but boy when they do. They really do!

With two high octane filled halves the Russian dancers span, they twirled, they leapt and somersaulted. This was an incredible show from the off.

I have never seen such a flagrant display of machismo in my life. As the male dancers performed their tricks and feats it is surprising the first three rows weren’t washed away by the testosterone that abounded the stage; proving once and for all that to dance Cossack you need the strength and energy of three Marathon runners.

Counter balancing that red meat chewing masculinity came the juxtaposed female dancers. They of course were soft and silence and just so sweet the combination of the two encapsulated the spirit of man and the overall picture was, “We are Russians, you are our friends, here’s what we do.”

The show was fast, aesthetically pleasing, beautifully costumed and so skilfully performed.

Also providing the live music was a band comprising,  balalaikas, piano accordions, Brass section and drums. From the first twang on a string of balalaika the message was clear; this music has taken hard peasant lives, the distillation of two world wars and a revolution, as it’s influence. Don’t try and stop it. It is the music of the people. With Bob Fosse-like attention to the minutia there wasn’t a single note wasted.

Why do other countries embrace their past and their culture whilst we sweep ours under the carpet? People laugh at Morris Men and folk music is still associated with the beer tankard and beard brigade. We in this this country have a rich and deeply exciting culture of music and dance; yet we pretend it isn’t there. Countries like China, Russia and Ireland have all realised the potential and are reaching out to people in an entirely different way. They know it’s a good idea to present their heritage as the rich gift it is and maybe we should think of doing the same!

And so it went on, a thrill from start to finish. It seems with the three Russian acts currently touring the country, (Ballet, Classical music and Opera,) the Russians are impacting highly on Folks perception of what has been going on behind the cover of the iron curtain. They are demystifying what was the Western’s view of the Russian citizen. That can only be a good thing. This is a show with everything .

This is a five star review.
Owen Lewis

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Owen Lewis Owen Lewis

Owen Lewis was born fifty something years ago in the land of the black puddings. For the geographically challenged that is in Lancashire. Moving to Shropshire From 1970 Owen was brought up in Church Stretton. His first real job was in radio. After starting on BBC Radio Shropshire he became known on Marcher Sound, broadcasting throughout the North West for several years. After a university degree course in Theatre, Owen became an actor and went on to play "Pirate Bill" in The Alton Towers Hotel. He also made several television appearances. Returning to university he took his PGCE enabling him to teach. That saw him on the Essex coast as a drama teacher and latterly as a Creative Educational Liaison Officer making films and creating new teaching methods to employ on children in need of more help in their fundamental learning skills. Published playwright Owen ultimately wants a house boat in Amsterdam to focus on his work as Playwright and Poet.

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