Concert of the group "Ramoda", Riga,
14 December 2003
In December, after a long break, the concerts of the festival Riga music
have resumed. Already in a second time at this year in the festival participated
a Russian folklore ensemble; this time - Ramoda from Moscow.
The group is founded rather recently - in 1996, but a majority of the
participants are engaged in folklore much longer. The ensemble has two
leaders: Svetlana Vlasova (a professional ethnomusicologist, a graduate
of a conservatory, participated in many expeditions) and Grigory
Kholodnoff (an active worker of folklore movement, known in whole Russia).
Sings Ilyinskaya pyatnitsa
From the previous concerts of the Riga music this one differed now by
lay-out of the hall (where was not the habitual stage), now by organizational
concept (at the beginning of the concert has performed a local ensemble
Ilyinskaya pyatnitsa shows a round dance
Ilyinskaya pyatnitsa has started by two Christmas songs of Latgalian
Byelorussians and has continued by a recruits song of old-believers and a ballad
of Arakchevians (soldiers-peasants, which in caric Russia times have settled in Latgalia
too). Then women and girls has danced a wedding round dance, and one girl has sang
a children's comic song, intended for development of skills of singing of funeral
wailing songs. Then the ensemble has performed a ballad about the Kiev widow and her
nine sons-robbers. The performance has finished by whirlings (action, during which
everyone stand in a semicircle and sing, and one pair in middle whirles). As in
Ilyinskaya pyatnitsa there are only two men - the leader and her small son,
the muscovites have helped to whirle.
Ramoda appears in the hall
Ramoda camed out with a lingering song and a polonaise-like motion.
Then Svetlana Vlasova has told about the work of the ensemble. Ramoda works
with two traditions of the so-called late resettlement: Siberian and
At the first part of the performance the ensemble showed a folklore of
Siberian old-believers. At the beginning they have shown some
An interesting matter was a song "under fight" - fisticuffs in accompaniment
of folk music. As for a true fight a special mental and fleshly preparation
is required, and an achievement of an appropriate condition too,
the ensemble has shown a children's educational version, in which the
purpose of wrestling is to tear off the cap from the head of a contender.
At the end of the Siberian program the group has sang a known song
A black crow, but on other, unknown melody.
Within the tradition of villages near Ukrainian border, the collective has
shown also some interesting folk music instruments - kolyukas, pipes (played by men)
and koogeeklas (played by women).
A solo dance in accompaniment of balalaikas
On two balalaikas two lads have played a melody, and the third one has danced.
After sad, but beautiful man's song Oh, you, the dale the women have
appeared in other - South-Russian - clothes, so, we understood where they were
for a such long time. The costumes are magnificent and look richly; it pleases that the
ensemble can own different clothes for each folk tradition. After a serious
women song the group showed a dance Krakowiak (choreography was similar
to variants, popular in Latvia and Lithuania, but anyway a little bit different).
While the men "fighted", women changed clothes; sounds koogeeklas
The sound of koogeeklas was very original and interesting.
After a joint song Oh, John had a headache, the group has shown
The ability of the ensemble to give a such long concert, not having lost an
attention of the spectators for the whole time, is worthy of admiration.
It, obviously, was possible due to the large diversity of the repertoir.
At the end we shall try to characterize the performance of each group.
Ilyinskaya pyatnitsa sang well and loudly, but it looked, that
the girls started to sing too high, and the leader Sergey Alyonkin was not
able to sing so high. Ramoda sang well too, however, the character of
singing more reminded a sound of a qualitative folklore ensemble, not of
successors of an authentic tradition; dancing was quite good too, though
it would be nice to have some more stateliness.
Songs' recordings from this activity:
Article: Ansis Ataols Bērziņš, 24 December 2003
Photos: Ansis Ataols Bērziņš