Russian Culture and the Arts – Part 1

Russia is steeped in tradition and history, some of it very bloody and controversial and some of it political and religious. Without doubt the arts have played a very big part of the rich history of Russia and have helped form the culture of this east meets west country.

Some of the finest artists, painters, composers, poets, writers, and ballet dancers that the world has ever known have been born and lived in Russia. Sometimes Russians seem austere and aloof to many strangers and visitors but this has not always so and is a more recent development over the last fifty years because of the recent political events within the country.

But just how much has the arts in Russia affected its people and culture? In general most Russians take great pride in their heritage, and even during the Soviet era the common worker was actively encouraged to visit the theater or opera house.

The Communist Subsidies

It is a myth that the Communist regime banned every form of enjoyment, in fact quite the reverse as generous subsidies were offered on entrance to the ballet, opera and many other form of the arts. It was not till later when the Soviet era was in full swing that widespread appreciation of the arts within Russia dwindled.

Russia is now finally climbing out of its post-Soviet cultural slump, and once more the Russian people are returning to their artistic heritage.

The Ballet

Russia is recognized as one of the gleaming beacons of the ballet, and its strict matriarchs of the country’s dance academy have produced some of the world’s finest dancers. This strict ethos of performing to one’s very best has crossed over to other facets of Russian dance. Even strippers often have classical training!

In past years most of the best Russian dancers left the country for more lucrative work abroad in America, France, and England. But this exodus of the top performers has ebbed away and far more are opting to stay in Mother Russia.

Classical Music

The rich history of classical music in Russia has defined the epic landscape of rural areas as well as the big cities such as St Petersburg and Moscow. The composers were often paying tribute to their homeland when writing their epic music, and were more concerned what the Russian people thought about their music than having it played in fashionable conservatories.

Russian composers follow the same learning and education that it’s dancers and athletes go through. They start at a very early age, with a strict discipline to devote their lives to everything about classicism. This is why the new breed of modern Russian composers always have themes and reflections that you can find in the great classical music of the past.

It is in the psyche of every Russian to do the very best they can and to uphold their country’s rich cultural heritage. Any deviation from this means they are not honoring their country and therefore rejecting the historical past of their homeland.