Passing the entrance (beautifully renovated) to the Palace you will find yourself in the lobby - with its fabulous gala stairs leading to the Concert Hall and other beautifully renovated halls of the Palace. Courteous cavalier and elegant ladies in crinolines will greet you on the stairs showing you the way and making you forget the time. Beautiful melodies of the past performed by a professional musical quartet will give you impression that you are simply traveling through centuries: and this is just a beginning!
Now it‘s time to show you something REALLY RUSSIAN! Here in a cozy and nicely decorated Concert Hall of the Nikolaevsky Palace we will give you more than just an opportunity to see unforgettable folk show performance "Feel Yourself Russian": you will not only FEEL involved - you will BE really involved! During two hours of this dynamic colorful and pictureous show, you will hear tuneful folk songs - romantic, and full of life, watch sparkling dances of different provinces of Russia, - and learn that some items - such as saws, wooden spoons, and other traditional household appliances, - can also be used as musical instruments! And - oh, miracle! - suddenly you will find yourself right on the stage dancing like a real Russian, playing folk games and enjoying yourself!
The folk show is represented with 4 professional folk groups: "Peters Quartet", "Souvenir", "Maidan", "Stars of St.Petersburg".
The show consists of two parts (45 minutes each) and lasts for 1 hour 50 minutes including a break, during which the guests are offered some canap?s with red caviar, cheese, ham, and also some fruit, champagne, red wine, vodka, juice and mineral water. During a break - live music is playing, beauties in crinolines are dancing for you - and candle light reflected in your glass gives your wine the color of a precious stone:What a nice thing to be a guest of Grand Duke!
When the show is over you leave the palace keeping unique experience: now you know what is it - to feel like a Grand Duke, like a Cossack, maybe even like a Tsar - in the other words - to feel yourself Russian!
"The Souvenir" is a folk instrument trio. The three skillful musicians brilliantly perform folk compositions. Besides the accordion and balalaika, which are traditional for Russia, some rare and even exotic musical instruments are used by this group. You will be astonished to hear traditional Russian folk melodies, performed with objects not normally used for music-making. These amazing performances are full of humor and show high professional of musicians, their ability to transform simple things into real wonder.
The "Souvenir" was formed in 1990. It successfully toured in many European countries, the USA, Canada. The group is a prize-winner of the World Folk Festival in Seattle (the USA).
"Maidan" is a Cossack song-and-dance group formed in 1992 by the honored artist V.Drachev. The name of the group gets its origin from the place, where all Cossacks used to assemble in older times and where decisions were made "by the whole world". The group skillfully reproduces on stage Cossack songs and dances in their original form.
"The Stars of St.Petersburg" is a dance group. The dancers are graduated from leading schools of choreography in Russia. Its repertoire covers lyrical dances of the Russian North, fiering dances of the Cossacks from the Don and Voronezh, dancing miniatures of the Urals and Siberia with their subtle humor. Spectators of all ages and tastes will be able to appreciate not only the ability of the performers to bring Russian national color to the stage, but also their highest skills, complexity of acrobatic feats and breath-taking leaps.
The group has had successful tours in France, Germany, Switzerland, Finland, China, Italy, Spain.
"Peters Quartet" is a vocal quartet. Classical performance of folk songs, lyrical romances and Russian Orthodox hymns.
Grand Duke Nikolay‘s palace
Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolayevich Snr, the first owner of the Palace, was the third son of the emperor Nicolas I and his wife Alexandra.
In 1851 when the young Grand Duke reached his official maturity a bid was announced, and the project of the palace submitted by the famous architect Andrei Stakenschneider was the best one.
The site approved for construction was Annunciation sq. (now – pl. Truda). By the 40th of the XIX century that place had turned into a highly fashionable area, the favorite place of promenade in St.Petersburg for representatives of the Higher Society.
Click to enlargeNikolai Nikolayevich had waited patiently for almost 10 years – longer that any other grand duke – until construction of his palace was completed. Only in 1861 he moved in with his wife Alexandra Petrovna (the princess Frederica-Wilhelmina of Oldenburg). Despite of mixture of several architectural styles – renascence, baroque, classicism, etc. – the Palace makes everyone feel what the perfect harmony is. The magnificent gala staircase is considered to be the great architectural achievement of Stakenschneider. The Palace’s Church of Our Lady of Sorrow is worth a special attention. The image of the church was inspired by one of the temples in Rostov Velikii after the Grand Duke had visited that ancient Russian city. The location of the church is unique: only in this palace the family church is located right on the gala staircase.
One of the main peculiarities of the Palace is its special “homy” atmosphere which the official Grand Duke’s residence managed to retain.
Click to enlargeThe Grand Duke had to leave his home from time to time due to his military services: as the Inspector General of Cavalry and Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Armies he took part in the Crimean war, Russian-Turkish war and other military campaigns where he was said to demonstrate remarkable bravery. He showed the importance of reorganization of the Russian army including the development of engineering and cavalry.
When Nikolai Nikolayevich was not preoccupied with his military responsibilities he gave a lot of attention to various social affairs and events. He was the most devoted admirer of theatre (especially of young actresses and female ballet dancers). Being kind, cheerful and generous he inspired and arranged parties, balls, dinners – and never missed the opportunity of pleasing his guests with exquisite cuisine, rare wines and joyful performance. It should be mentioned that Nikolai Nikolayevich was fond of Russian culture and Russian traditions of hospitality, that’s why balls and receptions were often held in Russian style, where “all costumes were magnificent, graceful and historically true, and some accessories survived from the ancient times”. In accordance with the ancient Russian ceremony of hospitality the hosts were greeting their guests on the top of the gala staircase with Bread and Salt. The program of each ball included celebratory dinners. To emphasize traditional theme dishes were supplied with cranberry, cloudberry, currant and mushrooms.
Click to enlargeThat year Lenin signed a decree which stated a new owner of the Palace. Since 1918 the local trade unions’ association has been located here. Thus the Palace acquired another name – the Palace of Labor (Dvoretz Trouda).
Note about seat numbers:Seats are without numbers. As the hall is not a big and cosy, there is no big difference between seats. All seats are considered to be very good. For that reason all tickets are without seat numbers, it is "free seating" in the Nikolaevsky. Actually for more than 15 years we did not get any complains about the seats at the Nikolaevsky Palace.The seats are arranged by the show administration and you will seat together with other people from...
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