Moscow, Nov 2 (UNI) Russia's legendary folk dance choreographer Igor Moiseyev died of heart failure last night at the age of 101, a spokesman for the Russian Culture Agency said.
Moiseyev established the Soviet Union's first folk dance group , Moiseyev Dance Company in 1937 now globally famous for its interpretations of traditional dance, and served as its artistic director for six decades.
He received numerous awards, including three Lenin Orders and several foreign titles.
The Moscow government gave Moiseyev the ''Legend of the Century'' title in 2001.
He also shared an award for his ''outstanding contribution to the development of cultural relations between the US and Russia'' with pianist Van Cliburn and cellist Mstislav Rostropovich.
At 95, Moiseyev received the Mozart Medal, one of UNESCO's most prestigious awards, for his ''outstanding contribution to world music culture.'' At a gala performance held at the Kremlin palace in Moscow on Moiseyev's 100th birthday, President Vladimir Putin presented him with Russia's top civilian honour for his services to the nation.
Moiseyev was born in Kiev on January 21, 1906. Together with his family, he moved to Poltava and then to Moscow.
After graduating from the Moscow Choreographic School, Moiseyev bwcame a ballet soloist and a choreographer in the famous dance company, but folk dances attracted him more and more.
He wrote a letter to Molotov, proposing to set up a folk dance group. He received an answer that his proposal was good and it was supported.
The first rehearsal of the State Folk Dance Ensemble of the Soviet Union was held on February 10, 1937.
There are about 300 dances in the repertoire -- invaluable multinational dance treasure enriched with the talent of the genius choreographers, who could bring folk dances to perfection to be on the level of the ballet classics.
Moiseyev will be buried at the elite Novodevichye cemetery on November 7.