in 1945 as the Russian Folk Ensemble, under the direction of
Dimitri Avramenko (former director of the Moscow Conservatory
of Music), the ensemble now known as The Russian Collection
traveled throughout Europe, South America and the United States.
This ensemble presented colorful Russian dance, songs, and
music, conjuring up brilliant images and fiery emotions of
legendary dancers and impresarios, such as Nijinsky, Pavlova,
Diaghliev, and others. Today, stories and themes from traditional
Russian dance forms (Cossack and "Gypsy") are combined with
classical ballet technique performed by Russian dancers, many
of whom recently moved to Northern California. Many of the
exciting dance sequences are created under the brilliant artistic
direction of Anatole Vilzak, soloist with the original Ballet
dances come alive with spectacular props such as the large "matreshka" (nesting
doll) used in the "Russian Mardi Gras" which was performed
in People Like Me 2000. In addition, Artistic director Natalia
Borisova has one of the largest Russian costume collections
in the country, consisting of over 2000 authentic and dazzling
costumes with designs dating from the 14th Century.
was also Founder and Director of Ballet Russe of San Francisco.
She and her performers present dance vocabulary which comes
from both the Russian school of classical ballet and the colorful
tradition of Russian folk dancing.
early training began in Europe with the members of Diaghliev's
original Ballet Russe and the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo.
In addition to her classical training, she studied and traveled
with the former Don Cossacks, and is considered an authority
on Russian Cossack Dancing. She also studied with the Russian
Gypsy Ensemble and in Russian with the famed Moiseyev Ensemble.
Natalia is devoted to these various Russian dance styles and
presently teaches dance technique to her students in San Francisco.
First appeared in People Like Me 2000