| Group | Leader | Soloists |

Entrancing, gorgeous, inspiring, full of powerful energy, lighting souls with the flame of her genius…

This person is the heart of Mayuri, without whom the existence of the ensemble, its foundation and progress would have been impossible.

Leader of Mayuri Vera EvgrafovaLet us introduce Ms. Vera Evgrafova, the creator of the Indian Dance Group MAYURI, its permanent leader and inspirator.  25 years ago she founded a dance studio which later grew in what we now proudly call “Mayuri”. But everything started much earlier than 25 years ago…

“When I was a child, Indian cinema was highly popular with Soviet audiences. Once, when I was about 3 years old, my parents took me along to the cinema theatre for a dubbed Hindi movie, and it turned out to be one of the strongest impressions of my childhood years. I do not remember anything except the feeling of happiness on hearing a high-pitched piping voice of an Indian singer. Since that time I have realized myself as a person who needs Indian music for being happy, and Indian Cinematograph has become the object of my focused attention”, – says Vera Evgrafova, Leader of Indian Dance Group MAYURI

That was her very first acquaintance with the wonderful world of Indian culture.

Leader of Mayuri Vera Evgrafova

Later a Hindi movie “Geet gaaya pattharon ne” released in the Soviet cinema theaters. Somebody would say – it’s just a movie! But it proved to be life-changing.

Reminiscences of Vera Evgrafova: “The movie “Geet Gaaya Pattharon Ne”, which released in the USSR in the middle of 60’s, opened the world of Indian Dance to me. Its impressive direction, artistic shooting of samples of Indian architecture, fabulous music, beauty of the main characters and dance items performed by the leading actress (Rajashri Shantaram) – all this inspired me to dance in the blink of an eye. I could feel the dawn of tremendous energy inside; it has kept me going till now. This energy makes me dance and create more and more new dance items”.
Leader of Mayuri Vera EvgrafovaOn return from the cinema, 10-year-old Vera just turned on the music and started dancing. In fact, that day was the beginning of the long journey which led to creation of MAYURI. In those times she would buy gramophone records of Indian songs wherever they were available and would listen to music continuously. She would travel regularly to different cities of the USSR to buy some new records for her own collection, displayed at the trade fairs of Indian art and craft. At the age of 15 she decided that she was ready enough to perform in front of the audience, so took part in a dance contest held in Petrozavodsk. She won the first prize. After graduating from school she headed to Moscow where she enrolled to the historical and archival department of Moscow State Historical and Archival Institute (now Russian State University for the Humanities), but studies were not the only reason for leaving. A lot of world festivals were held in the capital of the USSR, besides, it was much easier to find someone who could teach her Indian Dance there. And she got the opportunity – under the guidance of Mrs. Das Gupta Vera learned the basics of 2 Indian classical dance styles – Kathak and Bharatnatyam.

Leader of Mayuri Vera Evgrafova

After graduating from institute she returned to Petrozavodsk, got married, gave birth to a son. Vera had worked in the archive for a year, but she realized soon that it was not destined to be her life-work. She started thinking of creating a dance studio which would give her an opportunity to share her knowledge, dance experience and love for art with people. She was allowed to organize such a group at the Cultural Centre of Railworker and in 1987, where she enrolled students to her first group.

A genius person is brilliant in everything. The leader of MAYURI is blessed with various talents: she dances, writes poetry, composes music, sings, draws, manages stage plays, works on design for the costumes, cooks deliciously. She is an aesthete, who appreciates Beauty keenly and aspires to perfection in every field of her activities.

Leader of Mayuri Vera EvgrafovaEvery dance item of Vera Evgrafova is a whole life in itself, a separate story with its own characters, feelings and development. Mayuri’s repertoire consists of more than 200 items and all of them are the embodiment of creative energy of their creator and her unique perception of music.

Vera Evgrafova: “For me Dance is a form of existence, which allows me to stay in a particular state of mind. It is something which does not lead me out of this state and even makes it deeper. Indian culture is the reflection of some other worlds, and whatever I do in this life, I do for keeping my mind there in that state, despite my residing in this material world. Be it dances, music, or philosophy – the main thing is that the perception of the objects always haы the same perspective”.

Over the past 25 years Vera Evgrafova has created the ensemble consisting of the like-minded people, which has been highly acclaimed not only in Russia but abroad as well. Now the main team of the group comprises about 60 members. 400+ children are enrolled in the dance studios, based at different schools and kindergartens of Petrozavodsk and led by the disciples of Vera Evgrafova, the members of the touring team. The atmosphere of the ensemble, charged with the energy of this amazing woman, has its own hue. And those who had a chance to plunge into MAYURI’s atmosphere even once, will always cherish the memories of that period of their lives.Leader of Mayuri Vera Evgrafova
Leader of the ensemble says: “MAYURI is, first of all, a creative community, (or rather a family) where my disciples are my friends and like-minded people who are able to understand what I mean instantly, at one glance, at one gesture. They help to embody my ideas into stage images. MAYURI means our gatherings, laughing our heads off, working up a sweat, sewing till the pain in our backs. Mayuri is also our trips to India, where we imbibe what we see, learn a lot, go for pilgrimage, absorbing the energy of the holy places… We then tell stories, discuss, sing, and dance again, and once again together…”

This is what her students say about their favorite teacher:

Leader of Mayuri Vera Evgrafova– “She taught us to do everything beautifully: not only to dance, but also to walk, sit and even sew, keeping a needle gracefully!”
– “This is a fire which warms our hearts. This is that very energy which turns over consciousness!!!”
– “The One who has many faces, Generator of ideas!”
– “The embodiment of Energy”
– “Perpetuum mobile, eternal engine in all the directions”
– “Whirlwind! The spring of ideas! Embodied grace”
– “Dancing music”
– “The one, who instigates, making you experience the most various emotions and thus stimulating you for the progress in the fields of creativity and your personal development. The Master, who brightened up my life by letting me become her disciple!..”
– “The One, who helps people to see more than they were used to seeing…”
– “The best Syrnik cooker! :)”

Leader of Mayuri Vera Evgrafova

32 comments on “Leader

  1. I am in complete awe of your story, dance group and inspiration. A few months ago, I accidentally came across your dance videos on Youtube and was hooked. The grace, the coordination, the expression is simply breath taking. You’ve taken Indian art to another level. Thank you. 🙂

  2. I am totally awed by the videos, I wished they toured the States, I think they would get a lot of attention with the right guidance and exposure.
    Talented dancers, you can tell the passion behind the work ….

  3. i’m not even Indian…., but you made me appreciate and learn more about an art I was only aware of since childhood. You are a blessing to the Indian culture, heritage, and performing art. The Indian Dance Group Mayuri is Legend now!

  4. I watch your amazing performances on youtube regularly. You are as good as any of the top Indian artists. I wish you well.

  5. I have worked with leading cultural institution of India called ICCR (Indian Council for Cultural Relations). I have presented artistes from all over the world, including Bolshoi Ballet, Alla Puga chova, Leontiv, Moessive Dance company and artistes fro all over the world.
    But what you have done is great, I am really impressed. At present I am living in Canada and arrange Indian events, I want to work with you, let me know how we can do that.
    Best Regards
    Sanjeev Sharma
    PH: 604 767 4366

  6. I do often watch your Indian Dance Group Mayuri almost every day, since learning about it a month now. It was as a result of surfing and fell in love watching the various Bollywood Flash Mob across the Globe. You are undoubtedly a great leader and an inspiration to all Indians across the Globe. I absolutely adored all the performances and your dancers who are remarkably beautiful. Thank you and your group for sharing the love of this remarkable culture. I can

  7. As I have been a big fan since I checked out a random Mayuri Youtube video couple of years ago, I put a snippet of my favorite performance in this personal entertainment drone video, in and around my house in Northern California . I made sure I left Mayuri’s credits. I would like your permission (I have not heard my previous emails)..It is nothing but a compliment to a great dance endeavor so far from where I live.
    This is the video : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfbQaEcXlGs
    Thanks, Ron Karim

  8. I am from India,, you have really done excellent work on Indian bollywood songs, it is awesome to see the flawless performance done by Russian dancers at one go on stage, even in films the filming of songs take many days. Keep it up.

  9. You all Mayuri stand tall and alone among all such groups in the sense that you all have been presenting art of dance, music,singing,etc to the commonman/general audince in a manner that they can enjoy everything whole heartedly. Thank You Mayuri ! Jai Ho, Mayuri !

    • I don’t have any word to describe your graceful dance, amazed by beautification of costume to physical expression….. treat to watch.. I can say MAYURI is a group of Indian classical dancer with Bollywood flavor..thank you.

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  11. Dear Vera,

    Respect from my heart, even Indians do not have such passion and love for indian music and dance. Hats off to you.
    Love from India.


  12. I am impressed.. You and your group are inspirational to the entire world as Bollywood Music is recognized all over. Thank you for the great entertainment you provide…

  13. I am an indian in the USA, and I am only marginally interested in Bollywood movies and culture.
    Howver, I have watched your dances on Youtube. In my humble opinion you are as good … if not better than most of the Bollywood dancers.
    Your passion and your dedication to your profession and calling is very commendable. The dances are magnificent !
    I salute you !!
    And, on behalf of indians, everywhere, I am grateful for the culture of indian dance, that you have danced, taught and cultivated. Thank you.

  14. Your performances are great , but cannot state that you are doing pure Indian art.You are using Arebian Muslim costumes also which is not Indian.
    You are diluting Indian art and it is shameful to Indians.
    Please remove name India and use another name..

  15. My husband I are very impressed by your and your groups performance . The dances are well synchronized, clean, fast and brisk. Enjoyed them all.
    Kudos to you and thank you.

  16. I am from Mauritius, an island siruated in the Indian Ocean, ever since I came across your video, I can’t stop viewing your performance. I am totaly amazed of such great and fine of bollywood performance. keep going on and good luck.

  17. I am from Mauritius, an island siruated in the Indian Ocean, ever since I came across your video, I can’t stop viewing your performance. I am totaly amazed of such great and fine of bollywood performance. keep going on and good luck.

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