Stars of Mariinsky Theatre and Moroshka Song and Dance Theater Perform for Ashgabat Audience

A concert at the Magtymguly Music and Drama Theater featuring Russian artists has proved a big success. The audience was treated to performances by soloists of the St. Petersburg-based Mariinsky Theater, Honored Artist of Russia Tatiana Pavlovskaya and winner of international competitions Alexander Trofimov, and the Moroshka State Song and Dance Theater company.

Nadezhda Poltavchenko, the Moroshka Theater’s founder and director, said in an interview that the Theater’s mission is to promote Russian folklore, to ensure the continuity of traditions and modern interpretation of folk music.

- Since its inception ten years ago, the company has toured to China, the UK, Ireland, Greece, France, Algeria, and Israel and has been welcomed warmly everywhere. This is the first time we have visited Turkmenistan, and we are mesmerized by your capital’s beauty and the Turkmen nation’s generous hospitality. We sincerely hope that our performances will captivate and thrill the hearts of our audience here.

The concert opened with Vyacheslav Kruglikov’s song ‘Viva, St. Petersburg!’ performed by Tatiana Pavlovskaya and Alexander Trofimov. Petersburgers love their city very much and are proud of its grandeur and splendor, just as Ashgabat residents feel about their own city.

After that, dancers in colorful traditional Russian costumes took to the stage to perform their vibrant, fast-paced dance. Their vivacious, playful and contagious energy resonated with the audience, who broke into applause.

The dance was followed by boisterous Russian folk songs ‘When I Will Go to the River’, and ‘In the Presence of Others, During a Round Dance’, among others, and almost unnoticed by the crowd, they later gave way to wartime songs, such as Bulat Okudjava’s ‘Goodbye, Boys’, Vasily Solovyov-Sedoy’s ‘The Nightingales’, and Mark Fradkin’s ‘The Road to Berlin’.

With the first sounds of David Tukhmanov’s iconic song ‘Victory Day’, the entire audience stood up. Performed by Alexander Trofimov, the song made some sing along and moved others to tears. It touched a place deep inside the hearts of every listener that evening...

- Today’s concert is Tatiana Pavlovskaya’s and my first experience of the kind since we are opera singers, Alexander Trofimov shared his impressions. We had to learn several songs for the event. I must admit that we worried a little and we are very grateful to the audience for the warm welcome, support and generous appreciation shown to us.

As for ‘Victory Day’, I think it is a very special song and I am delighted that I was able to get its powerful emotional message across.

A while ago, I learned the story behind this song, which has become a musical symbol of the great holiday. It was written by David Tukhmanov and Vladimir Kharitonov as an entry in a wartime song competition ahead of the 30th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War, but it was met with criticism from representatives of the Composers’ Union of the USSR, who complained that the melody had jazz elements... ‘Victory Day’ was first performed by Lev Leshchenko at the concert that was broadcast live. It was the song’s moment of glory.

Lev Leshchenko recollected the first performance of ‘Victory Day’ in one of his interviews: “There were tears in the people’s eyes, many stood up listening to the song. I realized that it was a great song and this brought immense sense of satisfaction and overwhelming joy to me.”

- I sang the song in Jerusalem, Alexander Trofimov continues, and the effect was the same – people stood up and cried. The authors have my deep gratitude!