‘Gzhel’ alloys art with dance and song

Traditions of art pottery find embodiment in vivid choreography
By Yevgeny Muromov

The word ‘Gzhel’ is associated with pottery manufactured in the village of Gzhel (now in the Moscow Region’s Ramen District) from the second half of the 18th century. Those traditions have been taken up by the Artistic Ceramics Factory in Turygino, which manufactures pottery painted in rich blue designs against a white background.

Recently, world famous ‘Gzhel’ goods were presented in Minsk at the 1st International World of Glass and Ceramics trade fair. Meanwhile, Moscow’s Gzhel State Academic Dance Theatre surprised everyone with its level of artistic mastery and bright performances during the Days of Moscow in Minsk. Before the concert at the Palace of the Republic, the Minister of the Moscow Government and the Head of the Moscow Government Department for External Economic and International Ties, Sergey Cheremin, greeted all those present, joined by Minsk Mayor Nikolai Ladutko and the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to Belarus, H.E. Mr. Alexander Surikov. They spoke of the importance of ties and all-round co-operation between our two capitals: the hero cities of Minsk and Moscow.

Aiming to reinforce this partnership, official documents have been signed at the House of Moscow: a programme for Moscow and the Republic of Belarus regarding trade-economic, sci-tech, humanitarian-cultural and social collaboration for 2013-2015; and another on the Days of Minsk in Moscow in 2013.

From the very first dance by Gzhel, the applause was continusous. The Belarusian ‘Kryzhachok’ (a traditional Belarusian folk dance) was followed by the Russian ‘Barynya’ (a fast Russian folk dance), the ‘Travushka-Muravushka’ and ‘Yablochko’ (a dance of Russian sailors). The songs, dances and bright costumes created a series of vivid tableaux scenes reminiscent of Russian artistic crafts. It was as if the poetry of dance had harmonised perfectly with art.

The concert finished with the well-loved ‘Kalinka’ and a storm of applause. The audience gave a huge ovation for the leader of the Dance Theatre, Vladimir Zakharov - a Professor and laureate of the Moscow Government Award. The wonderful event will stay long in our memories, evoking feelings of friendship.
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