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date: 25 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

In the early 20th century, folk dance had been used to show symbolic support for several nation states by transporting masses of peasants to major urban centers to perform in festival settings. Igor Moiseyev, a well-known dancer and choreographer with the Boshoi Ballet, was appointed by the government of the former USSR in 1936 to found a professional dance ensemble, to be named the State Ensemble of Folk Dance of the Peoples of the USSR, but called the Moiseyev Dance Company in the West. Following state directives, he prominently featured the dances of the Russian ethnic majority in his repertoire. In this essay Shay suggests that, in fact, Moiseyev spectacularized folk dance by creating choreographies with spectacular movements in what was essentially an invented tradition based on classical ballet rather than using authentic folk dances.

Keywords: Igor Moiseyev, folk dance, Moiseyev Dance Company, Russian folk dance, spectacle

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