The Igor Moiseyev State Academic Folk Dance Ensemble is the first and only professional choreographic team in the world engaged in artistic interpretation and promotion of folk dance folklore.
The ensemble was organized on February 10, 1937, and since then the main artistic principles of its development are continuity and creative interaction of traditions and innovation. The main task that the founder of the ensemble Igor Moiseyev (1906-2007) set for the first time before the artists was the creative processing of the samples of folklore that existed at the time in the USSR. To this end, the ensemble's artists went to folklore expeditions around the country, where they found and recorded disappearing dances, songs, rituals. As a result, the first programs of the ensemble appeared: "Dances of the Peoples of the USSR" (1937-1938), "Dances of the Baltic peoples" (1939). In the repertoire of the ensemble folklore samples received a new stage life and were preserved for several generations of viewers around the world. For this purpose Igor Moiseyev used all means of scenic culture: all kinds and kinds of dances, symphonic music, dramaturgy, scenography, acting skills.
An important stage was the development and creative interpretation of European folklore. The program "Dances of the Slavic Peoples" (1945) was created in unique conditions: without having an opportunity to go abroad, Igor Moiseyev recreated live examples of dance creativity, consulting with musicians, folklorists, historians, musicologists. On tour in 1946 in Poland, Hungary, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, the audience was amazed by the accuracy of the productions, the true artistic meaning of the stage works of the ensemble. Since that time and until now the ensemble is a school and a creative laboratory for choreographers of different countries, and its repertoire serves as a kind of choreographic encyclopedia of the dance culture of the peoples of the world. With the direct participation of well-known experts in the folklore of choreographers Miklosha Rabai (Hungary), Lubusz Guinková (Czechoslovakia), An Sung Hee (Korea), whom Moiseyev attracted to work, the "Peace and Friendship" (1953) program was created. Asian dance folklore of eleven countries.
Choreographic collectives in all the republics of the USSR (now the CIS countries), as well as in many European countries, were created following the model of the folk dance ensemble of Igor Moiseyev.
The ensemble of folk dance is the first Soviet collective, which was released during the "Iron Curtain" on tour. In 1955 the artists of the ensemble performed for the first time in Paris and London. The triumph of the Soviet dance troupe served as the first step towards international detente. In 1958 Igor Moiseyev's ensemble also was the first of the domestic bands to perform in the USA. Successful tours, the American press recognized, melted the ice of distrust towards the USSR and became the basis for establishing new, constructive relations between our countries.
Another important merit of the Folk Dance Ensemble is the creation of the unique, unique in the world Moiseev School of Dance (1943). Its distinctive features are high professionalism, virtuosic technical equipment, ability to transfer the improvisational nature of people's performance. Actors-dancers, brought up by Igor Moiseyev, are widely-educated, universal artists, fluent in all kinds of dance, capable of translating the national character into an artistic image. The dancer of the Moiseev school is the best recommendation anywhere in the world, in a choreographic collective of any direction. The artists of the ensemble were awarded the titles of Honored and People's Artists of the USSR and Russia.