Folklore group ZABAVA

Artistic director Anzhelika Glumova

The Zabava (an ancient Russian word meaning “entertainment”, also a pagan feminine name) folk group was founded in 1987. Zabava consists of 16 persons mostly students of the Saratov University and young teachers. The group strives to revive traditional Russian musical culture, keep it alive and promote it by performing authentic folklore.

Zabava’s main interest lies in ethnographic expeditions where performers learn folk singing from rural masters. The folk material is also collected and recorded to be preserved and used for further studies.

By the present, Zabava has accumulated a considerable stock of over 600 ancient Russian peasant and Cossack songs, dances, quadrilles, couplets, games, roundels. The group appears in authentic folk costumes of the late XIX – early XX centuries.

The female part of the ensemble study decorative arts and crafts: bead braiding, belt weaving, making traditional dolls. Girls study museum exhibits and special literature to sew sarafans and chemises. Boys play ancient Russian musical instruments: harmonica, balalaika, tambourine, violin, hurdy-gurdy.

Calendar fests comprise a corporate part of the group’s life: Christmas, Epiphany, Christmastide, Shrovetide, Trinity Sunday, Midsummer Day and other festivities are celebrated together.

Zabava carries on intense concert activity, taking part in Russian and international festivals. In recent years, the group has performed in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kaluga, Krasnoyarsk, Yekaterinburg, Nizhniy Novgorod, Voronezh and Volgograd Regions, Poland, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, the Netherlands, Turkmenistan, Bulgaria.

Four CDs of traditional music have been recorded by Zabava. The Saratov TV company has filmed 19 Zabava’s folk programs, four of those deals with Russian calendar festivals.

Traditional crafts – weaving, making of traditional dolls and bead braiding – will be presented by Anastasija Borovskaja coming together with the group.