The children's choreographic ensemble with the mischievous name "Kalinka"
appeared twenty years ago and consisted only of girls. The life of the
creative group changed when young instructors joined the team. These
new educators got down to work with enthusiasm and made a lot of
interesting programmes with their students. Boys started to participate
in these programmes as well. The year of 1985 is considered the official
date of the foundation of the group. Five instructors and five leaders
of the choir of high qualification work in "Kalinka".
The instructors give classes in twenty eight study groups including more than
380 children of different age groups, from 6 to 18 years old.
The ensemble is supervised by the educator of the highest qualification
category - Lyudmila Mikhailovna Meyet.
"Kalinka" is one of the best children's choreographic ensembles of Saint
Petersburg. It has reached a high artistic level in its creative work and
concert activity. "Kalinka" has the right to bear the name of an exemplary
group. The ensemble has a rich creative life. It was especially interesting
for the ensemble to participate in the opening ceremony of Good Will Games,
in the international festivals of children's creativity "Fifty Years of Peace",
"Nevskaya Rainbow", "Golden Pelican" and in the festivals of children's ballet
in the USA, Germany, France, Greece, Italy, Poland, Austria and Hungary. It is
not by chance that the ensemble keeps achieving better results. Many prizes are
won at municipal, regional, All-Russian, international public showings,
competitions and festivals.
- The prize-winner of the city's competition of children's choreographic
ensembles in 1994, 1996. Saint Petersburg.
- The prize-winner of the international children's festival in 1996,
1998. Las-Vegas, San Francisco, the USA.
- The prize-winner of the international festival in 1998. Berlin.
- The prize-winner of the All-Russian festival of children's creativity in
1998. Saint Petersburg (five nominations).
- The prize-winner of the international festival "Nevskaya Raduga" in
1995, 1997, 1999. Saint Petersburg.
This ensemble is one of few groups that have a surprising variety of the
repertoire and a big range of creative performance. With a great inspiration
and love, the artists of the ensemble perform the dances of the peoples of the
world, Russian folklore, modern dances and the classics. The ballet-masters
A.Kondratyuk, S.Shkrobova, Yu.Aizina, T.Lebedeva, Z.Lyandgolf, E.Serezhnikov,
V.Kamkov - an honoured artist of Tuvinskaya ASSR, artists T.Ostroumova, T.Bruny,
I.Novikova and others assisted the group.
Today many people that attended "Kalinka" in their childhood bring their own
children to this ensemble.
In 1992 "Kalinka" took part in the opening ceremony of Good Will Games.
The meeting with the chief ballet-master of the Games revealed new creative
potential of the group. The ensemble changed its style, reached a new level
and a new tune in the creative work of its young performers. Modern choreography
started to prevail in the group.
The ballet "Konek-Gorbunok" by Schedrin and Prokofyev music, "Blestyaschy
Exersis" by Bize, Gershvin, Chaykovsky, Dola, Bakh music, "Pugachev" by
Sviridov music were introduced to the repertoire. Together with folklore
dancing, such dances as "Hello America", "Tango in a triple", "Mr. Jazz",
"The way to infinity", "The legends of olden times", "Boys' games",
"Expectation" gained popularity.
The group made an extraordinary ballet: some free fantasy on the subject of
"Exersis" by I.-S.Bakh, R.Vagner, G.Gershvin, S.Rakhmaninov, "Choreographic
improvisations" by A.Khachaturyan, A.Vivaldy, I.-S.Bakh, D.Vangelis. The
favourite dance of the "Kalinka" boys is a vivid, energetic dance of young
seamen where everyone can show flexibility and strength in making tricks and
very complicated professional movements.
The improvisations born by creative impulse are presented by children to
their parents - the most passionate spectators and experts. These
improvisations often become a part of a concert.
No matter at what place the ensemble performs, its managers get certificates
and letters of gratitude for the professional staging of different dances.
There are several concert programmes in the repertoire of the ensemble.
They consist of folklore shows, variety shows, jazz turns, as well as
choreographic compositions and fairy-tale miniatures.
Every year "Kalinka" presents a two-part concert programme in the big
concert hall "Oktyabrsky" or the Hermitage theatre. It always upgrades
its repertoire and adds the best pieces of Russian and foreign art.
There are more than seventy concert turns and three ballet productions
in the repertoire of the ensemble.
Throughout the last ten years the children gave concerts in many Russian
towns and abroad. Moscow, Riga, Odessa, Lvov, Khmelnitsky, Warsaw, Gdansk,
Krakov, Koln, San-Luis-Obisko, Los Angeles and Berlin applauded them.
The ensemble has a developed system of choreography training for children
from 6 till 18 years of age.
There is such a positive atmosphere in the ensemble that the children have
a great desire to participate not only in choreography classes but also to
communicate with their mates. "Kalinka" is the second home of the children
where they learn how to do good work, make friends and respect one another.
This is a very friendly and harmonious team with many traditions that are
passed from one graduate to another.
There are a lot of students who go on mastering their choreography at
institutions of higher education and in professional groups.
The ensemble actively cooperates with the city's methodical union of
choreography instructors, assists school choreography instructors in
methodology and consults them.
The participants of the ensemble spend much time together in the camp
where they work, relax and create. The children love Lyudmila Mikhailovna
Meyet and many other educators. The educators always join the activities
of their students, share talent, soul and heart with them.
The trips to Germany to the friends from the ballet studio of Polina
Grossman encourage the children and make them stronger as a team.
Saint-Petersburg "Kalinka" befriended Moscow "Kalinka", the ensemble
"Happy Childhood" from Kharkov, the ensemble "Zorka" from Vitebsk,
the ensemble "Zubrenok" from Minsk and the ensemble "Youth" from Kiev.
During its 31-year creative activity the ensemble has trained many
specialists who now dance in the Mariinsky theatre, in the ensemble
of Igor Moiseev, in military ensembles and in many ensembles abroad.