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Dimensions of Russian Song

Dimensions of Russian Song: launch concert for the UK Russian Folklore and Choral Society “LADA”, with Polina Proutskova and Polina Skovoroda-Shepherd

Russian songs embrace an extremely broad and deep musical and emotional range. Every snowflake and every blade of grass embodies the spirit of nature – and this connection is felt within each folk song for ritual pagan holidays, exorcism and sibylline song, circle dance, laments, wedding and lyrical songs.

The concert is given by two leading professionals of Russian song living in the UK, the founders of the UK Russian Folklore and Choral Society. The society is a network which promotes Russian Culture to the wider British public. It will be hosting a Russian community choir and offering lectures, workshops and vocal coaching in Russian singing traditions. In October 2013 it will also launch a Russian Village Music Club at Pushkin House. Further activities such as competitions, teacher and choir exchanges and field trips to Russian villages are also envisaged. The society aims to become a focal point for Russian culture in London, where people can meet to learn and to pass on their knowledge and, most importantly, to sing together.

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Polina Proutskova is a scholar and performer of Russian traditional singing. She put Russian village music on the map in Western Europe, as founder and director of Germany's first Russian traditional vocal ensemble Polynushka . Polynushka won the German Music Critics' Prize and sparked off a whole Russian folklore subculture in Berlin, attracting people of all ages and nationalities. She has mixed Russian traditional songs with jazz, drum [&] bass and electronic music in “ETO_X” and represented Russian spiritual folk music in the “Musical Dialogue of Religions”. Now in London, Polina works as a voice scientist and a vocal coach.

Official Polina Proutskova's website

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Polina Skovoroda-Shepherd grew up in a family who sang songs round the table after meals of borshch and homemade wine. Her grandfather, a veteran of the Second World War, played the bayan (button accordion) and her mother, a professional singer, would often sing for hours while Polina listened avidly, learning deeply rooted traditions throughout her childhood. Now, as a highly experienced workshop leader and performer, and since moving to the UK, she tours and teaches internationally.

Official Polina Skovoroda-Shepherd's website

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