|When I first saw a Gypsy dance performed by these dancers on stage, I could not understand why something kept waking up inside me, and with every stomp of their feet a thought flashed up in my head – “Yes, this is it, this is real!” It was an authentic dance of Russian gypsies, when every stomp, every accent, every clap excite the blood and make the heart beat faster. But at the same time, this folk dance had a lustre of modernity and style. You expect to find some kind of fusion, but you see that in fact all the elements – folkloric, Gypsy – are preserved here, and wonder why the dance is perceived in a different way by the viewer. So modern, fashionable, beautiful and attractive, like a high-level art. I see not the dusty visions of the past, but alive and bright images of our time.
Yes, the Gypsy dance always attracted people, but there was something else here. Namely, the hand and work of the great master, who by the will of fate became my teacher. Petr Yurchenko, the talented artist in whose hands the Gypsy dance has found a new breath of fresh air, a new life. The dance found its place in the modern 21st century of the newest technologies, when folklore and antiquities are forgotten, and the new and unexplored comes to the fore. In the interpretation of Petr Yurchenko, the Gypsy dance is at its best in quality and expression.
The great master has created a unique style of Gypsy dancing based on the Russian Gypsy dance style but enriched it with the choreographic elements and the movements of the Romany dances from different parts of Europe. This has added more lustre and beauty to it. However, the key to Petr’s work is that in all his performances and theatrical plays Petr has given the principal role to “His Majesty, Dance”. As a result, Gypsy dance has developed and enriched to the point that now it is not simply an accessory to dramatic art or to song, but an independent high art form, choreography and the real culture behind which stand a whole people and their rich history.
The dance of the Gypsies is a complex style of dance that is full of rich and diverse elements, collected over the course of the historical development. And the genius of Petr Yurchenko as a teacher, is that he was the first to create a unique methodology of teaching Gypsy/Romany dance worked out over the years, collecting and systematising a wide range of movements of European Roma people. After all, it is the well-structured, quality methodology of teaching that is so necessary for understanding and learning this dance by others.
Such rich palette of colours and moods now mix in the dance created by Petr: beautiful arm movements from the East, sophisticated rhythms of Spanish Gypsies, fiery style and energy of the Russian Gypsies, the claps and speed of the Hungarian Roma, and much more. In this dance, anyone can find something familiar and close to the heart.
It is difficult to overestimate Petr’s role in the development of the Gypsy culture, because by his work he made a huge contribution to the dance art development of the Roma people.
It is also important to understand that in dance as in life everyone has his own unique personality. But only a brilliant teacher can reveal the essence of personality and emphasise its peculiarities, as he does this with his students. I found my teacher, who helped me to understand a lot about life in dance and dance in life.
I am proud to be his student and carry the dance to the people, following his example.