Out & About

Dance troupe to bring energetic style to midstate

Russian dancers and musicians highlight a Saturday show at Wesleyan College's Porter Auditorium.

The performers come from Ulyanovsk State University, about 550 miles east of Moscow. The last time the group came to Macon was in 2005.

"We can promise an incredible evening of music and dance," said Steve Farr, Wesleyan's vice president for administration and marketing.

"This group is flying in Thursday night and flying back to Russia Monday morning. ... They're coming a long way to do these performances."

The show, while free to the public, is a benefit for orphaned children in Russia.

The performers, a dozen dancers and four faculty-member musicians, travel the world competing and putting on exhibitions.

"It's extremely colorful with great music," Farr said.

"Usually, they'll include everything from ballet to folk music. There'll be a lot of spirited movements."

The dancers, students who make up a group called Traditsia, according to a description put out by Wesleyan, "will perform some ethnic dances of the peoples who live in the Middle Volga region. The ethnic nationalities are as follows: the Tatars, the Bashkirs, the Russians who resided in the Volga region. ... One of the dances will be the Cossack dance."

Farr said, "In their first performance here (three years ago), they had at least eight standing ovations. A lot of people said this was one of the most memorable performances in the festival's history."

The musical side of the show, performed by the four Ulyanovsk State faculty members who are known as "Russian Soul," came together a decade ago and specializes in classical tunes, jazz and folk melodies.

Saturday What: An Evening of Russian Music and Dance Where: Porter Auditorium, Wesleyan College, 4760 Forsyth Road When: 8 p.m. Cost: Free (donations benefit Russian orphans) Info: (478) 751-7429