The Ogon’ki Ensemble will be representing Russia in this year’s festival. The group is bringing to the festival about 40 members consisting of musicians, dancers, costume designers, and choreographers from a wide variety of ages.
Russian folk dance has always been a very important part of Russian culture. Much of Russian folk music and dance appeared around the 10th century due to the Slavic tribes immigrating to Russia. Most dancers were from the lower class and the upper class would typically just watch the performers and rarely participated in the dances themselves.
Costumes were based on specific events and holidays. Women had specific holiday headdresses, embroidered shirts, and ornamental aprons. Men wore shirts, a belt, narrow pants, and high boots. Red is a color used in many of the traditional costumes because red is associated with beauty in Russian tradition. Traditional instruments are the mandolin, seven-string acoustic guitar, accordion, panpipes, tambourine, and Jew’s harp.