REVIEW – Beating of the Russian Heart

*****

Beating of the Russian Heart is a show performed by Kolenso, a seven-strong group of female Russian singers who perform traditional folk music and dance.

Dressed in traditional costume, they look beautifully colourful, but when they sing, there are times when their harmonies and vocal range cause shivers to run up your spine.
They manage to evoke the feelings and sounds of Russian peasant celebration and lament perfectly, and never miss a note nor step in the proceedings. When singing unaccompanied by the sometimes-used backing tapes, their unified voices are a sheer delight and have enormous vocal power.
Some of the lighter-hearted numbers, usually based on traditional dances of celebration, also delight – not least when they get male audience members (myself included, in what is becoming a worrying trend for this year’s festival…) up on stage to join in the fun.
It’s over far too quick, but for some time afterwards, that Russian heartbeat can still be felt.
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