REVIEW by Willard Manus

recent local appearance as part of its 2002 national tour, can still deliver the goods. Despite the fact that its founder and chief choreographer is 95 and
that his company has been performing his works for seven decades, the MDC shows no sign of arteriosclerosis. The energy, drive and precision of
the dancers have not flagged, perhaps because most of them are young, fresh-faced and eager.

Famed for its eclectic approach to folk dance--and for its high-flying theatrics and athleticism--MDC has won world-wide popularity over the years. Drawing on a repertoire of over 200 dances, not only from Russia but Spain, Argentina and the USA (to name but a few), the MDC can be counted on to deliver top-notch entertainment wherever it performs.

Though some of its pieces suffer from kitsch--happy peasants gamboling in the woods ("Summer"), cowboy-dancers jangling their spurs ("Gaucho")--the
MDC delivers them with tongue planted firmly in cheek. "We know it's a bit corny," they seem to say as they dances, "but we still have fun doing it."

Audience response was spurred on by the large numbers of Russian emigres in the Wilshire Theater audience, who shouted, sang and applauded along with every move the dancers made. The most crowd-pleasing numbers were
"Two Boys In a Fight," (for its comedy), "Gopak" (for its furious leaps and kicks), and "Partisans" (for its nostalgic take on wartime Soviet heroism and

All fourteen dances on the program were choreographed by Moiseyev. Though the touring company dances to pre-recorded music (which sometimes sounds tinny), it does feature the balalaika and accordion masters, Victor Kolobkov and Vasily Gvozdev.

The MSD was presented at the Wilshire Theatre by Broadway/LA. For US tour information call (2120 556-6770 or Ticketmaster.