A brief history of 

Folklore Cossack ensemble “Bratina” was founded in June 1996. A basis and skeleton of ensemble were professional musicians Nikolay Provotorov, Igor Petrov, Jury Chirkov. Originally orientation of ensemble’s repertoire was directed on performance of the Cossack folklore hits taken out of repertoire of Moscow ensemble "The Cossack Circle" on 80 %, and other folklore collectives - the other 20 %.

Thus, the direction and style of ensemble was possible to characterize in a word - ensemble of pop-folk music. With arrival to collective Yury Chirkov, already mature musician - specialist in folklore who already had a lot of experience performing folk songs. True work began from development of the Cossack folklore tradition, which had yielded positive results within one year. The constant meetings initiated by Y.Chirkov, with the Cossack folklore collectives "Cossack Circle", "Stanitsa" etc. gave a lot of energy to proceed with further development and learning of deeper layers of traditional Cossack culture. In 1996 Nikolay Provotorov leaves, and in the big circle (“council”) of ensemble it was decided to change name of the group to “Bratina”. At that time there were 6 people in the group.

“Bratina”, starting 1996, carries out annual concerts at Russian Geographical Society of St. Petersburg and takes finally a direction on development of the Terek Cossack tradition, because (according to Y.Chirkov's opinion) in general, it’s namely the Terek Cossack tradition that is undeservedly forgotten. In May 1996, in the heat of the first Chechen war, the ensemble undertook its first folklore expedition to Kursk area village Galiugaevskaya (border with the Chechnya). There the ensemble also had received a blessing to revive Terek and Grebensky Cossack traditions.

In April, 1998 “Bratina”, together with “Cossack Circle” received an offer from film director Alexander Proshkin to take part in his movie " Russian revolt ", based on Pushkin’s “The Captain's Daughter”, where the ensemble not only sang some Cossack songs, but also played roles of the Cossack atamans - nearest surrounding of Emelyan Pugachev. Jury Chirkov directed one of the brightest episodes of the movie - circular Cossack dancing.

In June, 1998 Nikita Mihalkov invited ensemble Bratina, together with “Cossack Circle”, to France on national horse-race. Chantilly, the French capital of equestrian sport for 5 days was filled with the Cossack songs, which sounded in the streets, in cafes and restaurants, in stadium of Chantilly. And “La Marseillaise” performed by the St.Petersburg and Moscow Cossacks in French, was named by the journalists “the most traditional performance in style of 19th century”.

In October 1998 “Bratina” continued folklore expeditions to the area of Stavropol and visited Cossack stanitsas Novopavlovskaya, Staropavlovskaya, Zol’skaya, Gosudarstvennaya and Maryinskaya, where they gave concerts and collected about 200 authentic traditional songs.

In 2000 “Bratina” produced its first audiocassette with songs of the Terek Cossacks. Even though the recording was made during a concert and was technically not of the best quality, it had huge importance for revival of the Terek Cossack tradition.

“Bratina” is getting ready to produce its first CD, “Along the Caucasus Line”, which is tentatively planned for October 2002, if the financing questions are resolved.


Listen to some samples of the Cossack songs performed by the "Bratina"

Back to the "Bratina" page


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