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Have Extra Miles? See the Floating Women of Russia

Have Extra Miles? See the Floating Women of Russia
Jennifer Billock

Have frequent flier miles burning a hole in your pocket and need new ideas for where to go? Check out our weekly Have Miles Will Travel column to discover strange, wonderful and unique destinations around the world. 

If you’ve already seen China’s Blue Tears, treat yourself to another visually appealing experience. In Russia, you can watch an ensemble of women in floor-length gowns floating on stage as they perform the traditional folk dance known as Berezka.

Dancing on Air

It’s an enigmatic sight. Women are dancing but as part of the illusion, it seems as if their feet aren’t moving at all and the long dresses just floating as they glide along the stage. The Beryozka, or the Berezka, is performed by a group called the Berezka Folk Dance Ensemble. The show itself is mesmerizing and confusing, as audience members try to figure out exactly what’s going on.

The secret to the floating dance is taking small steps—small enough that the gowns don’t move when the dancers glide across the stage. They also move around on their toes, adding to the gliding effect. The dance was originally created by choreographer Nadezhda Nadezhdina in 1948 and has since become an iconic part of the identity of the Russian arts.

The initial part of the Berezka dance, the part where the dancers float, is a circle dance called the Khorovod. So far, the dancers’ tiny steps have traversed more than 29,000 miles—that’s longer than the earth is wide.

Since Nadezhdina’s death in 1979, her apprentice Mira Koltsova continues on her legacy. Koltsova has made a point to keep the troupe to its original performance standards—which means they only dance to live music from an orchestra of Russian folk instruments.

Watch Them Float

The Berezka Folk Dance Ensemble travels all around the world performing their signature dance. They’ve performed in about 80 countries so far—and hopefully, coming to yours soon! Keep an eye on their schedule and for any news stories that might say where they’re headed next. For now, the best bet is to head to a major Russian city and hope they decide to perform.

When to See the Dance

The ensemble’s schedule changes monthly. To find out the schedule for the month that you plan on visiting, inquire here, on the Grand Hall of the Moscow International Musical Arts Center’s web page.

View Comments (1)

1 Comment

  1. Dr.Ells

    February 4, 2020 at 11:45 pm

    And watch this author earn some pennies. It is not an actual cultural event, such as the Bolshoi or NYCB.

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