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Monday, February 11, 2008

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As electrifying and refined as ever, the famous Russian Folk Dance Ensemble performed to a constant ovation at Zellerbach Hall last weekend, demonstrating yet again its unbelievable degree of precision and mastery months after its founder’s passing at the age of 101. Igor Moiseyev, a former principal dancer of the Bolshoi Ballet made it a point to hire classically trained dancers to perform folk, elevating the genre itself to a sky-high level. While dozens of performers move on stage at a mind-boggling speed, their exact timing is key to perfection. Skip a step, and the whole structure would collapse. This unimaginable synchronization can only be achievable through the most rigid discipline and years of hard labor, but those were the requirements “to leave a trace in history not to be ashamed of” as Moiseyev himself put it. Even in the rich and diverse program presented by Cal Performances, some pieces stood out as pure magic—Kalmuk Dance, performed by Ramil Mekhdiev, Evgeny Chernyshkov and Yuriy Chernyshkov, and the Suite of Moldavian Dances with a team of outstanding soloists and the company. To learn about Cal Performances programs and order tickets, call 510-642-9988 or visit


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