The Moiseyev Dance Company
The 69-year-old MOISEYEV DANCE COMPANY is consistently acclaimed throughout the world as the greatest of all folk dance groups. The ensemble, honored as Russia's official "State Academic Ensemble of Popular Dance," has captivated international audiences for decades with its peerless technical brilliance and exuberant evocations of traditional dances. At the heart of the group's success is the genius of its visionary artistic director, choreographer, and founder, Igor Moiseyev.
The Company's origin can be traced back to 1936, when Moiseyev, then Ballet Master and a former principal dancer and choreographer of the Bolshoi Ballet, was asked by the Soviet government to organize the first Festival of National Dance. As a student, Moiseyev had traversed the country on foot during his free time, immersing himself in the study of Russian folklore, and in the treasury of songs, dances, customs, traditions, and festivals belonging to the 180 national cultures that then comprised the Soviet Union. Fascinated by what he found, he embraced this unprecedented task of bringing traditional dances to national attention.
On February 10, 1937, Moiseyev gathered together a core of approximately forty dancers in a studio on Moscow's Leontievsky Street. His strong background in classical ballet would provide the basic training for his company, and his keen powers of observation and thorough knowledge of folklore would lead him to establish a unique style for his company that would be at once dramatic, entertaining in a theatrical sense, and larger-than-life.
Six months after that first gathering, the Moiseyev Dance Company gave its first performance at the city's Green Theater. Within a few years of this initial triumph, Moiseyev had molded the first professional ensemble of popular dance into a superb company of 100 dancers. They toured throughout the Soviet Union, constantly adding dances from other, more remote regions.
When the Cold War first eased in 1955, the Moiseyev Dance Company began to tour the world. It has since appeared in and returned to more than 60 countries, covering all continents. America's love affair with the Moiseyev Dance Company began in 1958 when the impresario Sol Hurok brought it to New York's old Metropolitan Opera House on 39th Street.
The Moiseyev Dance Company returns to North America for an unprecedented second visit this year to appear with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. These performances mark the first time that the company has performed in the United States with a symphony orchestra.