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“Ekton Korka” Udmurt Traditional Dance Studio was founded in 1997. Inspired by the Hungarian “táncház” phenomenon, the members of the group arranged a series of dance-house gatherings (ekton korka) at the Izhevsk culture house, where traditional, non-stylised and non-choreographed Udmurt dances were danced to the traditional accompaniment. Ekton korka was viewed by many as the long-awaited alternative to the Soviet style folk-revue dance ensembles and their pseudo-folk choreographies. Soon a dance group, now known as “Ekton Korka” Udmurt Traditional Dance Studio was formed of the most active regular visitors of ekton korka's sessions. In twenty years of its existence, “Ekton Korka” Studio became one of the most popular traditional-style performing groups in Udmurtia.

The studio performs Udmurt traditional dances, dancing games, instrumental music and songs of different ethnographic groups of Udmurts. The dance repertoire consists of all dance types and styles characteristic of Udmurt dance tradition. The ritual song genres (wedding, soldiers’ farewell, bee-keeping ceremony, baby shower, etc.) and non-ritual ones (dance rhymes, lyrical, etc.) feature largely in the repertoire. Since the core of the living Udmurt folk tradition are the hospitality ceremonials (with the specific type of guests treating songs), embracing nearly all traditional dance types, it is them that usually act as scenarios of the Studio's performances. Udmurt dances bear strong individual character, due to the highest degree of variation and improvisation of dance motifs.

The repertoire is made up of traditional dances, songs and instrumental pieces collected and carefully elaborated in order to be performed on stage by the artistic director of the Studio, famous Udmurt choreographer and ethnologist Andrey Prokopyev. Studio members are professionally trained folk musicians, singers and dancers, or graduates of Udmurt State University and students doing their university degree in folklore or ethnology. The group wears only authentic costumes.

 

The Studio is a regular participant of international folklore events (festivals, research conferences, television and radio events, etc.) both in their home country Udmurtia and abroad: Finland, Estonia, Hungary, France, Lithuania, Romania.

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