Russian song and dance on stage Oct. 3 at WCU

An exuberant celebration of Russian heritage takes the stage at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 3, at the Fine and Performing Arts Center at Western Carolina University.

The Massenkoff Russian Folk Festival, part of WCU’s 2010-11 Galaxy of Stars Series, features traditional music, song and dance. A balalaika ensemble performs folk, gypsy and classical music on authentic instruments and in traditional costume.

Nikolai Massenkoff, born in a White Russian community in Shanghai and placed in an orphanage at age 3, leads the troupe. Massenkoff arrived in San Francisco at age 12 and eventually studied speech, music and drama. Inspired by love of his Russian heritage, he founded the group in 1975. A bass-baritone, he has performed throughout the United States and around the world at venues including Carnegie Hall; the Olympic Stadium in Seoul, South Korea; and Epcot.

On Friday, Oct. 22, Western Carolina University will mark five years of art and entertainment at the Fine and Performing Arts Center. The gala will begin at 6 p.m. with an outdoor cocktail reception. Festivities move indoors at 7 p.m. for a performance by WCU’s resident Smoky Mountain Brass Quintet, followed by a 7:30 p.m. curtain time for “’S Wonderful,” a theatrical revue of songs by George and Ira Gershwin. Tickets are available in several price tiers and are on sale now.

Tickets for the Massenkoff Russian Folk Festival are $25 for adults; $20 for senior citizens and WCU faculty and staff; and $5 for children and students.

828.227.2479 or fapac.wcu.edu.

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