HISTORY OF THE THEATER
The history of the Sakha Republic National Dance Theater begins on October 13, 1980, when the State Dance Ensemble of Yakutia was established on the basis of the decision of the Council of Ministers of the Yakut ASSR. On November 17, 1992, by decree of the President of the Sakha Republic, the collective was reorganized into the National Dance Theater. In 2005, the theater was named in honor of Sergei Zverev — Kyyl Uola, the founder of the Yakut dance culture, folk singer and storyteller.
Since the ensemble received the status of a theater its repertoire policy began to change. A new status led to the incorporation of new genres in the repertoire, and most importantly, full-scale traditional performances. However, the formation of a theatrical orchestra was a necessity at that time. Therefore, in 1993, the Orchestra of National Instruments was created. It has become an experimental base for the manufacturing of the Yakut national instruments such as kylysakhy, tansyry, kyrympa, tabyk, big and small kyupsyury, dyunyury, etc.
In the span of 25 years the theater has made 38 productions. Close and fruitful work with Yakutian composers made it possible to create such original ethno-performances as “Uru” (“Kinship”), “Bokhsuruyu” (“The Exorcism of the Evil Spirit”), “Atyr Munkha” (“The Big Fishing”), “Ohuor Tuos” (“Berestyanochka”), “Orgyhuokhtakh Kys” (“The Girl with a Carrying Pole”), “Bert Khara” – a trilogy based on the heroic epic of Olonkho, “At the Edge of Oikumena”, “Kulustai Bergen”, “Manchary”, “The Children of the White Sun”. Many performances for children were produced: “The Wizard of Oz”, “The Magical Brush”, “The Wolf and the Seven Little Goats”, “The Three Little Pigs”, “The Daughter of the Sun”, “The Bremen Town Musicians”, “Kashtanka”, “Kun Botur”, etc.
Being inherently ethnic, the National Dance Theater is faithful to the international and innovative spirit of art. You can see such genres as rock action performance, visual art performance, art show performance, etc. The theater uses a variety of means of expression – elements of ballet and folk dance, the grotesque of physical movement and improvisation. The past and the present, the traditional images and avant-garde, fantasy and reality can converge during a single performance.
The universalism of the theater gave it the deserved recognition. The theater is the Silver Medalist of the International Folklore Festival-Competition (Dijon, France, 1999) , a holder of the title of the Honorary Member of the house-museum of V.V. Nabokov, awarded for the “Lolita” performance (St. Petersburg, 2003) , winner of the “Golden Deer” Republic award in the field of culture, art and show business in years 1997-1998, winner of the “Yakutia Film Chronicle” Republican contest in the nomination “For producing film material reflecting the success of Yakut art abroad” (1999), winner of the First Place Certificate of the “Kugu Sorta” ethno-art festival of the Union of Theater Workers of the Mari El Republic for the performance of “Bokhsuryu” (2004), laureate of the International Dance Competition (Cheonan, South Korea, 2012), a participant of many international festivals.
Today, the theater boasts an immense creative potential. The theater has cultivated several generations of artists who have received professional recognition and appreciation from the audience. Among them are: Honored Artist of Yakutia Nikolay Petrov; People’s Artist of Yakutia, Honored Artist of Russia Afanasiy Afanasiev; as well as Honored Artists of Russia and Yakutia: Dmitriy Artemiev, Afanasiy Solovyov; Honored Artists of Yakutia: Zoya Solovyova, Dolana Fedotova, Yuri Zubkov, Afanasiy Tomskiy, Semyon Ivanov, Vladislav Popov, Isabella Egorova, and others. The ballet dancers of different generations – the Honored Cultural Workers of Yakutia – are the main and leading specialists of the theater: Vera Chernogradskaya is the literary and dramatic director, Lena Arkadieva is the production designer, Lyudmila Antipina is the ballet choreographer and Yuri Fedorov is the ballet master. Talented artists like Violetta Nogovitsina, Saskylana Arzhakova, Sergey Alekseev, Uliana Yadreeva, Vasiliy Everstov, Valentina Ammosova, Anna Tomskaya, Zoya Vasilieva, Viktor Vinokurov, Vladimir Boyarskiy, Mikhail Nifontov, Diulus Nikiforov and others share their art with the audience. The valuable work of the founders of the collective should be noted: the first artistic director Gennadiy Baishev, current artistic director Svetlana Bessonova, chief conductor Nikolai Petrov and the director of the theatre Alexander Alexeev.
In addition to a variety of performances, the repertoire of the theater features a large number of original concert programs that cover many aspects of traditional dance culture of the Sakha people and indigenous peoples of the North.
For many years the theater has been the trademark of Yakutia and one of the brightest symbols of its culture. The theater is as much popular, beloved and consonant with the spiritual needs of the public as it was 25 years ago.