Golden Gates and Moscow Nights

Winchester Cultural Center, Feb. 4

The forces of traditional Russian folk music and dance launched a brilliant offensive in Las Vegas the first weekend of February. Led by joke-strafing accordionist Vitaliy Bezrodnov and reinforced by balalaika-strummer Sergei Pudov, Golden Gates and Moscow Nights provided an audience of at least 100 with an afternoon of eclectic visual and melodic delights. From Siberian love songs to Cossack military anthems to a pre-recorded electro-pop rendition of “Kalinka,” Bezrodnov and his retinue of young, ornately costumed (in pre-Revolutionary Russian garb) dancers and singers commanded the auditorium with choreographed grace and foot-stomping confidence. The concert, part of Winchester’s World Vibration series, even offered an interactive, educational component: Audience members were asked—OK, ordered—to get onstage and move to the rhythms and play ethnic percussion such as a treshotki (like a ratchet or noisemaker) and something called a “birch-bark whistle.” The production was so entertaining that surely Stalin tossed in his grave. ★★★★☆

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