Location/Culture Reports

Russia

Russian literature includes some of the greatest books ever written. Russian authors include Nikolai Karamzin (Letters of a Russian Traveler, Poor Liza, History of the Russian State), Alexander S. Pushkin (Eugene Onegin, Boris Godunov, The Captain's Daughter), Nikolai V. Gogol (Taras Bulba, Inspector-General, Dead Souls), Ivan Turgenev (Fathers and Sons, A Month in the Country), Leo N. Tolstoy (War and Peace, Anna Karenina), Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov, Crime and Punishment), Anton Chekhov (The Three Sisters), Boris Pasternak (Doctor Zhivago) and Alexander Solzhenitsyn (One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich).

Famous Russian composers include Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky, Igor Stravinsky, Sergei Rachmaninoff and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.

Russia has had a very important influence on the world of Ballet. Among the world famous ballet companies that are Russian are the Imperial Ballet of St. Petersburg (which produced some of the greatest dancers in ballet history including Anna Pavlova and Vaslav Nijinsky), Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes (which actually never performed in Russia), the Kirov and the Bolshoi (they introduced Swan Lake in 1877). Other famous Russian dancers include Rudolf Nureyev, Maya Plisetskaya, Galina Ulanova, Natalia Makarova and Mikhail Baryshnikov.

The Russian nesting doll or matryoshka is probably the most popular Russian national souvenir. This website has a history of the dolls.

 

Moscow

Movies that have been filmed in Moscow include Air Force One, Anna Karenina (1997), The Bourne Supremacy, Cast Away, The Jackal, K-19 the Widowmaker, Prêt-à-Porte, Red Heat, The Russia House, The Saint and The Sum of All Fears.

Books written about Moscow include The Winter Queen, Boris Akunin; The Russia House, John Le Carre; Holy Russia, Sir Fitzroy Maclean; Discovering Moscow, Helen Boldyreff Semler; and On the Golden Porch, Tatyana Tolstaya.