Juliana & PAVA is a vocal ensemble performing ancient
Russian folk songs.
Beautifully harmonized, these songs have been integrated into the fabric
of rural life for centuries, carried on from generation to generation
only by the oral tradition. Some of the songs are performed a cappella,
while others are accompanied by authentic folk instruments, such as the
Russian hurdy-gurdy, balalaika, various flutes or percussion
Performance by Juliana & PAVA is much more than just a concert – it’s a
journey many years back into the life of a typical Russian village. Some
of the songs refer to celebrations like Easter, weddings or funerals,
while others relate to the cyclical rituals of the year, like harvest or
The name of the group, PAVA, means a peacock, a beautiful bird in Russian and refers to a
favorite song where it carries a symbolic significance.
The singers wear eye-catching, colorful, authentic
costumes that were actually worn in the villages. These costumes, some
of which are over 200 years old, contribute to evoking an atmosphere and
an image of a culture that all at once seems very exotic and yet not all
that foreign to the Western world.
PAVA was founded by Juliana Svetlitchnaia, Russian singer and
ethnomusicologist, in 2000 in Denmark. The ensemble became well
respected for their unique authentic style and wide educational
activity. Danish national TV filmed a program about PAVA. Juliana & PAVA
have received grants from the Danish Ministry of Culture (2001), the
National Music Council of Denmark (2001) and World Music Denmark (2004).
PAVA’s CD was nominated for “The World Album of the Year” at the Danish
World Awards (2005) and was used as a learning material in a number of
schools of music in Moscow, Astrakhan and Altai.
After moving to the United States in 2005, Juliana gathered together the
second lineup of PAVA. The ensemble frequently performs at various
Russian and multicultural events, as well as at schools and libraries. The list of
performances includes such events and venues as the Northwest Folklife
Festival, Cultural Crossroads, Winter Worldfest, Bellevue Arts Museum
ArtsFair, Benaroya Hall, Kirkland Performance Center, University of Washington, Russian Cultural Center,
Seattle Center, Seattle
Public Library, Sister Cities International Film Festival, Slavic
festivals across Northwest, and many others.
Notable performances abroad include Winter Olympics in Vancouver, BC,
where the ensemble represented the Russian community of the United
States, and participation in Zeriab, the first postwar international
music festival in Baghdad, Iraq, by invitation from the Iraqi Ministry
Juliana Svetlitchnaia, the leader of PAVA, received "The Person
of the Year" award by the Russian Cultural Center and the Russian
Consulate General in Seattle (2008) and the Russel Jaqua Award for
Artistic Excellence (2009). The ensemble received grants from Artist
Trust (2009) and 4Culture (2010).
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