Thursday, November 1, 2007

Cossack Attack!

On Tuesday, we accompanied Phil, Jani, Thomas, and Sybil (Phil's mother) to the Kuban Cossack Choir concert at the L'viv Opera House. Cossacks fit well with American mythology of the West - they were independent, rough, tough, horse-riding residents of the steppe. So, we felt right at home. The Kuban Cossack Choir is a Russian and Ukrainian venture, and has performed for almost two centuries.

The Opera House is an ornate beauty, with glistening gilded details and intricate carvings and paintings adorning every nook and cranny. We had first balcony seats that were tall, straight-backed, uncomfortable wooden thrones overlooking the stage.

The concert started almost on time, and Carter was enthralled. He sat on Erik and Lea's laps (children don't need tickets and don't get seats) staring intently at the stage and clapping vigorously after each song or dance routine. At least, he did so for the first 30 minutes. Carter was quite done after that, but was reasonably patient for the remaining hour and a half.

We agree in some ways with Carter's review. The choir and dancers were all fabulous professionals. The dance routines were well-choreographed (our sole major complaint is that the dancers used canned music), and the singers had strong, clear, beautiful voices. The choir's style was distinct - the singers cried out their tunes with great force and a touch of planned dissonance. But, the songs and dances were mostly arranged in a similar way. After a few numbers it was difficult to distinguish one song or dance from another, save for the different costumes. Two hours was plenty of Cossack fun for quite a while!

[Photos courtesy of Phil and Jani]

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