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A songburst from Ukraine
28/10/2005 9:59

Shanghai Daily news

The songs that a generation of Chinese grew up listening to will be heard in Shanghai once more when the Song and Dance Company of the Ukrainian Military Forces hits town.

One of Ukraine's leading musical ensembles, the Song and Dance Company of the Ukrainian Military Forces, is bringing to Shanghai the traditional songs of Russia that were once part of the youth of a whole generation of Chinese.

Ling Guiming, deputy chairman of the Shanghai Dancers' Association, singles out this show for special recommendation among all the events of the ongoing Shanghai International Arts Festival.

"Ukraine is famous for producing dancers and musicians and every member of the ensemble is an outstanding artist," he says. "Half of the more than 100 members are 'Honored Artists' in their country."

A male vocal quartet from the ensemble performed at the Shanghai Grand Theater on September 3 to good reviews.

The ensemble was founded in 1939 to instill a patriotic spirit and love of the Russian motherland. It has given more than 3,000 performances on international tours around the world.

The ensemble began preparing for its China concert tour a year ago. They will be singing many Russian songs that will be familiar to all middle-aged Chinese.

They will even sing a few Chinese songs that were popular in World War II. In the years when most Western culture had little influence in China from the 1950s to the 1970s, the Chinese people grew up with Russian songs and movies.

A highlight of the Shanghai concert will be the ensemble's performance of mass choral works ranging from soldier's songs, a choral miniature of Renaissance singing, scenes from opera, national songs and contemporary choral works. The ensemble has a repertoire of more than 200 compositions.

The musical director is O. Stepantsova and the conductor of the chorus is S. Malyovaniy.

Date: October 30, 7:15pm

Venue: Shanghai Grand Theater, 300 People's Ave

Tickets: 120-800 yuan

Tel: 6272-0246, 6272-0267