The collective of amateur art performances of House of Culture ensemble of folk dancing “Suvenir” was found in 1949 when those, who wished to dance and give pleasure and beauty of dance to people, gathered together.
N. Sviguzov, E. Pivar, L. Rastorgueva, I. Alpackaja were the leaders of collective. The collective performed in its home town, as well as in Tallinn, Leningrad, military units…

In 1972 V. Zilber joined “Suvenir”. Under his supervision the dance collective in 1973 for the first time has taken part in Estonian festival of song and dance. From 1978 to 1981 T. Verhushina replaced V. Zilber in his place. In February 1982 Natalia Raskazova (the former participant of collective) has arrived on a predegree work practice. She passed a practice and defended a thesis, having received highest choreography education. And since 1982 Natalia Raskazova has been the continuous head of ensemble of folk dancing “Suvenir”.

In “Suvenir” there are 3 age groups: a nursery of 7-11 years; average 12-14, and the first team from 15 and older. The basic direction of ensemble’s creative activity is the dances of nations of the world, as in Natalia Raskazova’s opinion and participants of collective “national dances with their various cultures and saturate coloring give positive emotions and feeling of pleasure despite of everything ".

The repertoire of ensemble consists of more than 40 Estonian dances, and on the state Estonian festival of Song and Dance “Suvenir” acts in group of ensembles, what means that it has the highest category. There is a great program of Russian dances with which the collective represents Estonia on various festivals, both in Estonia, and in Europe. Also it is a regular participant of “Slavic Wreath” festival. The repertoire of “Suvenir” embraces whole world: Europe, Africa, East, North and South America… Participants of collective say that it is easier for them to name those countries whose dances they have not learned yet, than to list what they know and able to dance.

About awards: For its activity “Suvenir” was awarded with every possible diplomas and letters of thanks. Not once became laureate of various contests and festivals (contests of a northwest zone (during Soviet time), contest of All-Union art creativity of workers, festival "Slavic Wreath", "Divertissement", festival of folk arts "Europeade"). The ensemble has the diploma of magazine “Soviet ballet” 1987, culture prize as the best dancing collective of not native Estonians.

The ensemble of folk dance “Suvenir” traveled all over Estonia, has visited and other cities and countries: Moscow, St. – Petersburg, Vladimir, Suzdal, Dnepropetrovsk, Lvov etc. Recently for the most part there are trips to European countries: France, Germany, Denmark, and Spain. And they receive more and more offers and invitations to Swiss, Turkey and Italy… And of course we hope to have time for all of them.

The main thing in “Suvenir”, apart from urge towards good dancing, is warm friendly atmosphere. “Suvenir” is like a second family: together we dance, together dresses we sew, together we enjoy life and give this feeling to the others. 


The report concert 17.05.2008 Galerii

Be in dance’s captivity.
The repertoire of ensemble “Suvenir” consists of so many dances of different nations of the world that even the leader of the collective Natalia Rasskazova does not remember how many they have them. For 60 years they have studied so many dances that there will be enough to make a lot of festive programmes. Not so long ago “Suvenir” showed 40 minute programme of Russian dances that took place in Narva in “Geneva” and was dedicated o the handling of Arhangelskiy Prize to the leader of the collective. The ensemble became the first choreographic collective who received musical award.
Anniversary concert, which took place last Friday, gave people possibility to feel colouring and peculiarities of different nations through dance. The programme consisted of Estonian, Russian, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Slovakian, Latvian, Bulgarian, Serbian, Greek, Spanish, Filipino, Mexican etc. dances. There were expressive and calm dances, dances of Spain, Argentina and Mexico, dances that reflect wideness, temperament of Slavic nations and swift movements of Georgian dances. I think that “Suvenir” can feel free in any part of the world, will not lose its head if it takes part in national festival, because it can dance. Ensemble was on tour in Russia, Ukraine, France, Germany, Denmark, Spain and Switzerland. It travelled all over Estonia, always took part in Estonian dance festivals, in republican and local festival of Slavic cultures. In our country it is known as the best non-native collective, it received such regional award few years ago.
Anniversary concert lasted about four hours and during this time audience had a good mood. My friend told me on the next day after the concert that her hands hurt because she clapped a lot.
“Suvenir” united talented youth, invited young performers, who still learn how to perform on stage. For example young Albert Mamedov, who was a soloist in Yakut and Latvian dances, and won an audience with Caucasian “Lezginka”.
Altogether there are 40 dancers in the collective; there are junior and senior groups. Children grew up together with ensemble. We can name Ekaterina Rasskazova and Ilya Safronov stars of local stage. They are already professionals. They both have finished Academy of Culture in Viljandi, but also before academy they were noticeable in “Suvenir”.
Ekaterina dances in the ensemble for 20 years. Today she is also the main helper of her mother, choreograph and leader of collective Natalia Rasskazova. Natalia jokes: “She is my right hand, leg, and heart”. Thanks to the projects held by Ekaerina, the collective could go on few international festivals. The anniversary concert “Dancing excitement” was also her project, which was supported by cultural capital, IVOL, and government of Sillamae. Ekaterina leads small girls collective that showed its number on an anniversary concert – belly dance. Dancers thanked their young leader for patience and nice attitude towards them. Nowadays Ekaterina does her Master degree studies in Pedagogical University of Tallinn. She will be choreograph-coordinator of Russian dance on the following republican festival of song and dance, which will take place in summer in the capital of Estonia.
Ilya Safronov dances for 17 years in “Suvenir”. He learned a lot from his leader and now can easily teach others how to dance. Natalia Kuptsova and Ruslan Bulgakov dance in “Suvenir” for 12 years. They received letters of thanks from local government. Other young people, who dance in the collective, were not left without gifts: they received letters of thanks from cultural centre.
In the main cast of ensemble can dance solo almost everyone. You can feel that children live with the feeling of stage and love it. Those who have ever been captured by dance will never forget that time, which was given to this form of art. Long ago left “Suvenir” those, who are older than 30, 40, 50, and 60… But in the anniversary concert 12 of them participated. They had 3 months of rehearsals and appeared on stage. Endel Taar, Igor Moskalyov, Aleksandr Vasilyev (unfortunately he broke his leg before the performance) danced in the collective for 20 years and more. Other veterans of stage have shorter length of dancing experience.
Giving happiness to people is a hard work. Natalia Rasskazova leads the collective for 27 years. She heard a lot of praise words on a concert. She loves her collective, appreciates good relationships between the dancers, wish to do something good for the collective. She tells that when the concert was organized guys helped a lot: prepared video, decorated columns in lobby with photos, restored dresses.
One more year was added to the age of the ensemble and together with it awards, flowers, gifts from friends from island Muhu, Rakvere, Tallinn, Tartu, Kohtla-Jarve, republican society of folk music and dance, Estonian singing bureau, from general consul of Russia in Narva Nikolay Bondarenko, and of course from local government: Elena Korshunova, Ain Kiviorg, Elvira Sidorova, from cultural centre and other collectives. Some guests came to the fest with their performers, who took part in the concert. The leader of ensemble from island told that it is hard to find such warm-hearted people in Estonia.
Festivals come and go away. Amateur art collectives continue to live and work. Do honour to the management of cultural centre and to leaders of dance, vocal and instrumental bands, who could manage to save the variety of directions, survive 1990-es. Gaining the strength, they continue to work. We have to bow to amateur collectives for hard work and for wish to give joy to an audience. Anniversary concert of “Suvenir” was organized with the help of Konstantin Arutunov, Aleksandr Malyshenko, Anton Makaryev, Aleksandr Chusov, Vlad Vitfeldt. Natalia Rasskazova expresses her gratitude to Viktor Feofanov, who does a lot for that her collective lived a full-grown life.
There is no end to talented people and good art collectives in our town. We have to be proud of such heritage.
Lidia Tolachova

Jubilee concerto 14.03.2009   Galerii

Concert for war veterans 08.05.09 Galerii

Ignition of a festive fire – Galerii

“Souvenir”, you are a real souvenir. (conserto 02.05.2010)
A concert of folk dance band “Souvenir” is always a festive occasion. The repertoire of this collective contains more than 40 national dances. An audience was plunged into colour, traditions and peculiarities of different nations on recent concert, which took place on the 2nd of May in the concert Hall of Kannuka School, and awarded the collective with generous applauses.
Each dance is a special energy that performers give to an audience from a stage. Once again we saw in performance of adult and young dancers delicate East, and plastic “fiery” India, and sunny Greece, and vigorous Georgia. Estonian dance opened a concert programme and closed it with a cheerful, sparkling, expressive, and showing the spirit of Russian people dance “Ah vy, seni, moi seni”. An audience along with traditional dances of “Souvenir” also saw premières. For example an old dance of Argentinean tango that was composed in an old times by troubadours, Creoles, and Blacks. It contained a good sense of rhythm and virtuosic play of feet. The version of Hungarian “Czardas” was also very inflammatory and attractive, because “czardas” in Czech means tavern, pub.
Costumes are one of the most necessary and expressive components of a concert, which like a dance itself, are able to show identity of the nation. Natalia Rasskazova, who is unchallenged leader of the collective for many years, sews costumes for “Souvenir” herself.
The world of dance is of many faces and is very beautiful. Thanks to Natalia Rasskazova, her irreplaceable assistant Ekaterina Rasskazova, to ensemble for invitation on a fascinating adventure through times and countries that they give us. And not only to us, the citizens of Sillamae, but also they give it to audience of another countries. Because “Souvenir” has made people of France, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Switzerland glad with its art and has also performed in different Estonian towns. The collective is an active participant of national Estonian dance festivals, “Slavic Wreath”, and other local dance festivals.
“Souvenir”, you are a real souvenir!” in this expressive way vice-mayor Eevi Paasmäe complimented the collective after the concert was finished. And an audience had filled this souvenir up with flowers… 

Concerto 02.05.2010 – Galerii

Concerto 08.05.2011 – Galerii