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Folklore

 
Russian folkdance
 

At parties and festivals Russian folk singing often goes hand in hand with traditional dances. Every Russian region has its own form of folkdance with its own name and distinctive dance patterns. But some features are common for most folkdances: women traditionally dance waving their handkerchiefs, whereas men display various dancing stunts to parade their daring, strength, and agility. Some of the better-known songs for dancing are the Kalinka, the Tsyganochka (a Gypsy-style dance), the Yablochko, and the Kamarinskaya

Traditional dances and songs are often performed to the accompaniment of the balalaika - a three-stringed instrument with a triangular-shape body that first appeared at the beginning of the 18th century, or the bayan a Russian version of the accordion, which was brought to Russia from Vienna in the 1830s. In more recent times, the guitar became common in Russian towns, and today is, perhaps, the most popular musical instrument among various groups of Russians, such as students, hikers, soldiers, and gypsies. 

Russian folklore, with its images, stories, characters, and melodies, has been a major source of inspiration for Russian writers, composers, and painters, including the poet Pushkin, the composers Glinka and Tchaikovsky, the painter Vasnetsov, and many others.

 
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