The N.S. Nadezhdina State Academic Choreographic Ensemble “Berezka”

 

The world-famous State Academic Choreographic Ensemble “Berezka” was formed in 1948, by an outstanding 20th century choreographer, and the creator of a new style of stage dance, Nadezhda Nadezhdina.

Nadezhda Nadezhdina created her own dance to the Russian folk song “A Birch Stood in a Field”, which is the namesake of the Ensemble and its symbolic dance. For more than five decades this wonderful, circle dance performed by women has enchanted audiences with its peculiar floating step, as though a grove of slender birch trees were coming to life and floating in a majestic circle-dance.

Supporting the famous dance group, the Art, Science and Sport Charity Foundation conducted a restoration of the buildings of the former Commerce and Industry Museum of Handicrafts, which has housed the “Berezka” Ensemble since 2006.

It is a memorable Moscow building, located on 7 Leontiev Lane and marked by a turbulent history. The mansion was built in the neo-Russian style relying on the donations of the industrialist and patron of the arts, Sergei Morozov. It represents a unique architectural complex. Since its construction the building housed the Museum of Handicrafts, which became the heart of a project to promote handicrafts and brought together exhibition halls, warehouses, cooperatives and artisanal associations of the Moscow Province. In Soviet times, the Museum was gradually moved to one of the outbuildings, and the main building was given to the Ministry of Consumer Services. After years of being used by the Ministry, the building remained in an extremely poor condition: damaged ceilings, barely functioning utilities and rotted pipes, but most importantly — the original decor elements of the mansion, created by the best artists of the time, were nearly lost.

In 2006, at the instructions of the Federal Property Management Agency, dated December 20, 2006, the architectural complex of the former Museum of Handicrafts was transferred to the joint use of “Berezka” Ensemble and the State Literature Museum.

Thanks to the support of the Art Science and Sport Charity Foundation, this unique structure has been completely renovated and restored to its original historic appearance, for the use of the “Berezka” dance ensemble. The restorers returned the original, historic design to the building, preserved some unique interior design pieces, and integrated these into the refurbished premises adapting them to the particular needs of the Ensemble.