Slavic Soul Party

In remote Russian villages, seasons are marked by boisterous celebrations such as the winter Koleda and summer Kupala, where young and old join in vibrant, and decidedly ancient, expressions of hopefulness and abundance. Devoted to preserving these age-old Slavic folk songs, dances, handcrafts, and circle games, the South Bay’s Russian House Kedry offers courses as well as bacchanals led by Kostroma, a large vocal ensemble directed by Siberian native Tanya Teodorovich. During a Kupala, Kostroma’s intricate vocal harmonies might accompany children jumping hand-in-hand over roaring fires or women in white linen smocks wading into rivers. This year’s harvest time will be celebrated with Folk Songs and Rituals of Old Russia, a natural collaboration between Kostroma and Kitka, the critically acclaimed women’s vocal ensemble. Regarded as one of the most important interpreters of Slavic and Balkan choral works in the U.S., Kitka is an unlikely media darling. While not as bound by tradition as Kostroma — over its 30-year existence, Kitka has commissioned many modern composers to push the boundaries of folk music — the group’s members have strong ties to the Old World, doing fieldwork from Turkey to Ukraine and appearing in cultural festivals as international guests of honor.
Fri., Sept. 11, 8 p.m., 2009

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