from Port Clinton, Ohio USA
My name is Richard Renn and my wife Elaine and I today, are hosting a Russian dance troupe from St. Petersburg, Russia. Tonight will be their third day with us before they travel to Cleveland, Ohio in the morning. Vitaliy Bezrodnov is the leader and he has three young men and three young women with him.
Vitaliy and “Sam” were in Port Clinton a few years back when they entertained our Port Clinton Rotary Club. Vitaliy‘s troupe also had entertained at a different time, a local church congregation of Firelands Presbyterian Church and a large crowd at the Lakeside Association, a summer retreat community for Methodists (East Ohio United Methodist Conference).
On Monday, the 20th, these gifted dancers performed for a large crowd at the Port Clinton Yacht Club, then, on Tuesday, they danced for our Rotary Club. Today, the 22nd, they are enjoying a day at one of the world’s great amusement parks, CEDAR POINT, some 18 miles from our home.
What a joy it is to host these young foreign nationals who have made it their mission to introduce and reintroduce Russian folk dancing from over one thousand years to American audiences whom have never seen this art form for themselves in Russia. My wife and I were in St. Petersburgin 1993 and saw a folk dance recital. We are still excited every time we have the opportunity to see these wonderful dances performed. These talented student dancers with us this week are perfect examples of what good “cultural exchanges” do for all citizens of every country. Vitaliy mentioned that an American children choir from Cleveland, Ohio “Singing Angels” performed in St. Petersburg in the Summer of 2010. Vitaliy was a facilitator for their program and Activities in Russia.
So, Elaine and I compliment everyone in St. Petersburg for their efforts to bring Russian historical dance to American audiences of all ages. We thank Vitaliy, Sam and other kids for all their hard work!
Port Clinton Rotary Club