#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. The ensemble founders were the choreographer Tamara Mihnevich and musical director and choirmaster during the ensemble’s life first 15 years Anatoly Kolovsky. Tamara, a young girl who came to the North from Grozny, headed the dance group and performed herself.
At that time the Combine’s Palace of Culture had not yet been built, but there was the Pioneers’s Palace named after A. P. Gaidar. A small dance club was organized in it which did not yet bear its big name School Years. The idea of the teachers to unite the choir, dance group and folk instruments orchestra into a single team was supported by the Palace of Pioneers’ head Elena Dobrovolskaya.
According to the former students’ recollections, the prospects to perform in the team were slim: as in a prestigious university, only one among 15 people was successful. Teachers had to look at up to 300 candidates per day.
They say that the Norilsk future mayor Oleg Budargin, as a child, applied for performing in School Years but did not pass the entrance examination. Later, at the team’s anniversary party he joked from the stage: “If you only knew who was refused that day…”
In 1971, the ensemble got the title of national, and in 1974 became the laureate of the Krasnoyarsk Komsomol Prize. Later, School Years became the winner of the All-Siberian Regional Children’s Choreographic Competition named after M. Godenko.
In the last issue of the History Spot photo project, we told that Norilsk can produce its own mineral water: the city is rich not only in ore and coal, but also in high quality hydro-mineral resources.
Text: Svetlana Samohina, Photo: Nornickel Polar Division archive