How do you dance to northern soul

How to dance to northern soul | Life and style

Like any good student, I am telling my teacher how I think something should be done differently. “How about,” I say to my northern soul dance instructor, Sharon Sullivan, “I miss out the tricky shuffle part of this dance step you’re trying to show me and just slide my foot along the floor instead – it’s basically the same thing, right?”

“No,” cries Sharon in horror. “That’s dad dancing! And if I catch you dad dancing on a northern soul dancefloor, I’ll track you down and slap you!”

She’s joking (I think). But she’s also got a point: dancing to northern soul music may be a joyful, cathartic experience, but doing it properly is a serious business. Patience, practice and – initially at least – heaps of concentration are behind the effortless spins and elegant footwork you see at northern soul all-nighters across the country. it simply won’t do to just turn up drunk and jump about.

To understand the dancing you have to understand the music. The northern soul scene blossomed in the 1970s, when DJs would hunt down rare black American soul 45s and bring them back to play in venues across the north-west of England. The music – inspired heavily by the Motown sound, with fast tempos and a simple 4-4 beat – was a dancer’s dream.

Because the scene embraced competitiveness, with DJs trying to outdo each other by playing the rarest vinyl, so too the dancefloor became a showcase for audacious moves: spins, backdrops, high kicks.

Mastering even the most simple steps is no mean feat: there are no formal rules, but the general gist involves gliding across the floor – sliding one foot and swiveling the other – while maintaining good posture and looking straight ahead.

Sharon was a regular on the original scene, but it was only eight years ago that she realised this naturally evolved dance could be broken down into component parts and taught, like any other. She spends three hours with me and Helen Jane, my wife, guiding us through a couple of simple steps: first we learn to position our feet; next we slide along the floor instead of stepping; finally we progress to swivelling one foot as the other one slides.

Certain elements, such as shifting your weight from leg to the other, or quickly taking two steps in the space of a single beat – feel unnatural at first, but Sharon explains that only when these foundations are committed to memory can you transfer your mental energy to expressing yourself on the dancefloor. “The most important thing is, it has to be fun,” she says. Having fun, it seems, takes serious practice.

I’m thrilled by how much we pick up in one lesson. Sharon is a fantastic teacher and by the time we leave, we can (with a bit of concentration, admittedly) perform the two basic steps she’s taught us and also have a few tricks – handclaps, a small spin – up our sleeves to mix things up.

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The next night, I don some suitably authentic baggy trousers and we head for the Sheffield City Hall soul night. It should feel daunting – there are enough dancers from the original scene there to remind us where we stand in the pecking order. Yet, being surrounded by fellow northern soul fans on a proper dancefloor is liberating. Towards the end of the night – both of us drenched in sweat – I find myself switching between the two step patterns we learned without realising I’m doing it, leaving me free to lose myself to the music. I even throw in a few 360 spins and – improbably – a high kick.

Whether we eventually master backdrops and splits, or just remain gliding along in ecstasy to the music, I know one thing is certain: I won’t dad dance again.

Tim stayed at Jurys Inn, Sheffield

For information on northern soul dance lessons with Sharon, or to buy her DVDs, visit

Three of the best soul nights

King George’s Hall, Blackburn

Celebrating Wigan Casino’s 41st anniversary – 27 September

Rolls Royce, Derby

Probably the UK’s best-attended monthly soul night – 3 October

Kings Hall, Stoke

The country’s main gathering since 1996 – 4 October

For more information on northern soul nights around the country, visit goldsoul.

Four moves to practise

1. The backdrop

Drop backwards to the floor on to one or both hands – come back up quickly on the beat.

Illustration: Gary Calton

2. The spin

Make this move your own: pull your arms in or raise them high; spin slow or as fast as you can.

Illustration: Gary Calton

3. The kick

Think martial arts style – keep your balance, but if you topple, turn it into a new move.

Illustration: Gary Calton

4. Shuffle

Move your feet quickly back and forth while heading forwards or backwards.

Illustration: Gary Calton

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10 questions to the participant of the project "Dancing on TNT"

Happiness to those who have ever seen this fragile branch dancing, because with its movements it awakens a sea of ​​emotions and feelings. I remember very well the performance of Marina Yakovleva in the 6th season of the Dancing on TNT project. Bright, powerful, reminiscent of ball lightning and fireworks at the same time. Miguel said so that he sat through the whole room with his mouth open. Beauty Tatyana Denisova, judging by her facial expressions, mentally danced with Marina, and Yegor Druzhinin asked the participant why she needed a project, because she was already doing well. The choreographers announced the fact that our compatriot in "Dances" in chorus, she made such a strong impression on them. It was two years ago. nine0003

Marina Yakovleva did not stay long in the project, almost immediately she decided to return to Krasnodar. She speaks of “Dances” on TNT with great respect, the vision in the project of herself and her work simply did not coincide with the tasks pursued by the organizers of the show - to create some kind of universal dancer who can perform any choreography, regardless of personal preferences.

Read about how the flamenco maestro lives today and how the unique culture feels on the Kuban land, read in the material of Krasnodarskiye Izvestia. nine0003

- Marina, when the media talk about talented people, they often use the cliché "sings or dances from the cradle." Looking at you, you might think so too. When did you first meet flamenco? Where did you see?

— At first I heard flamenco, but didn't see it, but purely subconsciously I felt what movements should be done. And the first flamenco video is a video for the song Ain't It Funny by Jennifer Lopez. Professional dancers also danced with the star. Then, in the seventh grade, when the Internet came into our lives, I began to watch other clips, master classes. What impressed me the most was Carlos Saura's five films about the art of flamenco. They became my first "teachers". nine0003

— Why didn't you study in choreographic circles? Why only at home, by yourself?

— I have always danced by myself: at home, on the street, at family parties, school and city concerts. But for some reason, my parents did not want to send me to the circle. To all requests, my mother answered: "The set has already ended, let's do it later." Instead of dancing, she brought me to a music school. Now I understand that it was the right choice. I began to feel the music sensitively, which greatly influenced my dance. Perhaps that is why improvisation is easy for me, and this is very important in the art of dance. nine0003

When I started using public transport, which was in the fifth grade, I drove to the House of Creativity, where the choreographic studio worked, and signed up there myself. But the main school of dance was classes with oneself. Now I advise all novice dancers to spend more time in improvisation, this forms a personal style and taste and what is called art. One thing is skill, technique, and another thing is to dance to the music that you like and inspire you. If you just repeat the movements, you can get away from your body nature, and it is different for everyone. nine0003

— But you didn't reach the level of flamenco you have now, did you? At the TNT casting, you said that you studied in Spain. Tell us about the journey you went from dancing to Carlos Saura's movies to the professional you are today?

— After school, I entered the Faculty of Philology of the Arkhangelsk State University, under the student exchange program I left for Poland, the city of Poznan. In addition to studying, she attended classes in modern. Once I saw that the flamenco theater, which had come on tour, was rehearsing in the next room. I met the members of the group, I was allowed to attend the rehearsal. Probably, then the final understanding came that I couldn’t do without dancing, that this is the thing that I want to do all my life, but already professionally. nine0003

After university, I returned to Russia, entered the choreography department of the Arkhangelsk Art College. My trips began to Moscow, St. Petersburg, where I took master classes from the Spaniards. After graduating from college, I moved to Krasnodar: I wanted to be closer to the south - the northern climate never suited me.

— Well, Krasnodar is still closer to Spain than Arkhangelsk… How did the center of Kuban meet you?

— Here my independent life began, I got students. It was difficult: I taught and grew up with my students. nine0003

— And when did Spain happen?

- Fast enough. I started learning the language, going to master classes in this country, getting to know and spending time with flamenco people. It shaped me both as a dancer and as an artist. I just fell in love with the south of Spain. Andalusia with its narrow streets, multi-colored tiles, semi-circular window shutters turned out to be close to me in spirit.

It was very difficult for the Spaniards, but the teachers saw that I did not give up. Ursula Lopez, one of my first teachers, never took her eyes off me. It seemed to me that she understood my intention and put her strength into me, as she does with everyone who comes to her class for a reason. There, in principle, there is a very respectful attitude towards those who come to master classes - flamenco dancers are glad that they are interested in their art and are happy to pass it on to others. nine0003

— What else did they surprise you with?

- Because they have no age. We usually have adult dancers who only teach, they don't dance anymore. There is no such thing. When at my first master class in Moscow I saw Belen Maya - this is a very serious and weighty person in the world of flamenco, she starred in a film by Carlos Saura - I was amazed at her skill and speed of movement. But then Belen Maya was far over 40.

And there are many such examples! La Farruca, the mamita of a large gypsy clan that carries the flamenco culture. Despite her advanced age and rather heavy weight, she moves with incredible energy and grace! nine0003

I was also captivated by the openness and cordiality of people: when I got to a lesson with Carmen Ledesma, first of all she approached each student and hugged him. This Spaniards are very similar to our southerners.

— Is that why they also dance flamenco in the Kuban? And, in principle, why do you think Russians are very fond of Spanish culture?

- Good question. For some reason, it so happened that we dance our Russian dances a little. Look how often guys of Caucasian nationalities perform lezginka - it's great! This is their strength and unity. Thanks to the dance, they keep themselves in great physical shape, plus it is also an amazing psychological release. And we, Russians, somehow lost it. nine0003

Popular music does not relax the mind. Because it is very flat: tuff, tuff, tuff. And folk music is diverse, and a person by nature wants this difference, which really gives us psychological relaxation. Apparently, feeling this intuitively, we are happy to master the culture of other peoples. And flamenco is danced not only in the Kuban, but also in Siberia, the Urals, the Far East and in Russian capitals.

Speaking specifically about the Krasnodar Territory, I feel comfortable working with people here in terms of mentality, because southern people are open, and also weighty, they firmly plant their feet on the ground. As one of my students, a blooded Kuban, said: “We create life from the earth.” This is reflected in their character, feelings, because a person who often walks barefoot on the ground is more confident on his feet, he is closer to nature and to himself. It helps a lot to understand flamenco. nine0003

— Marina, for me, flamenco is the story of a woman, very middle-aged, with a broken heart, always with an unhappy love that José left. I don’t want to offend, but when I first saw you on TV, it seemed to me that you were much older.

- I heard someone say, "When you dance flamenco, it's like you're connecting with God." I think everyone sees their own. Probably, tragic flamenco is known a little more in our country, because it touches our deep soul more. In fact, there are many styles, this is the dance of life, it contains all the themes. There is, for example, the alegrias style, the name is translated as “joy”. There are styles with flirtatious notes and playful melodies - columbian, guajira. There is even a goofy, bizarre performance of flamenco. It all depends on how you feel and what kind of music you choose. nine0003

— By the way, you can also see adherents of this dance on Krasnaya Street on weekends. Is this your studio?

— Unfortunately, no. Rather, I don’t specifically participate there, but if I had a little more time, I would dance with pleasure on Krasnaya. We have several schools in Krasnodar. Perhaps among the dancers there are my students. If so, then I'm just happy about this fact.

— When I saw an ad that you were holding a master class, I came to try it myself with pleasure. To my surprise, people of all ages and builds gathered in the hall. What can you say about your students? Who are they? Why go to flamenco? nine0010

— Difficult to answer unambiguously. My students are people who do not shy away from difficulties, with a sense of humor, open and kind. Many come for physiological and emotional relaxation. And, of course, for aesthetics.

Flamenco is an aesthetic of the highest level. No one will say that this is a stupid dance. It is beautiful, graceful and very powerful and smart! And they go for truth and depth. A Russian person feels sincerity very well. That's why he goes to flamenco.

Text: Yulia Osipova

“Give me your blessing…”

For two decades, hundreds of women, old and young, noble and not so, were drawn to Rasputin. Some for treatment, others out of curiosity. The third is for consolation. Those who came to him for consolation fell in love. And how was it not to fall in love with a subtle connoisseur of the female soul? “Men have all sorts of activities that take a lot of time,” said Rasputin. “Women are more introverted. Here, their soul hurts, and I will talk to them, you look - and it will become easier. And I tell them that God will tell. He was an excellent psychotherapist. And now his eyes are striking, looking from old photographs, whose gaze seems to penetrate into the very soul. nine0003

Many, when he became a member of the royal family, applied for transfers, appointments of pardons, which were drawn up in the name of the Highest. Some asked for financial help. “I have a bunch of petitions brought by “our Friend” for you,” writes, for example, the tsarina to the tsar in January 1915. But only with some of his admirers Grigory Efimovich was in close relations. Three of them are pointed out: Olga Lakhtina, Khionia Berladskaya and Akilina Laptinsky.

Olga Lakhtina, who was ill with neurasthenia, was cured by "Father Grigory." Lakhtina was delighted, shocked, fascinated and infinitely grateful to him for healing. Chionia ("Amazed" in Latin) suffered grief. After she left her unfaithful husband, he committed suicide. In her memoirs, the exalted admirer talks about an intimate relationship with her spiritual father. Kilina (as the king's friend called her), a former nun, left the monastery for him. She met Rasputin in the spring of 19'07 at the "general" Lokhtina. She was amazed by the "simplicity of communication, kindness and love for people, which I did not meet with others." Over time, she became not only the closest supporter, but also the most irreconcilable opponent of the "enemies and ill-wishers of Father Gregory."

These three women visited Pokrovsky, lived there for several weeks and were among the ladies with whom, it was alleged, Rasputin went to the bathhouse. You shouldn't be surprised by this. Joint (general) washing in the bath of men and women in Siberia was common and was not considered shameful. And to Stolypin's report on the joint ablution of Rasputin with women, the sovereign replied: "I know that he preaches the Holy Scripture there too." Lakhtina, Berladskaya, Laptinskaya subsequently figured in the "debauchery case." Excellent material for sensation-hungry reporters! nine0003

Any story about Rasputin and the “weaker sex” around him inevitably raises the question of his influence on the queen. Alexandra Fedorovna believed that the elder's prayer had special power, and believed in him as a miracle worker. One of the reasons for Rasputin's influence was his ability to inspire the tsar and tsarina with self-confidence ... and to explain their actions in the name of God.

The “cream” of the imperial aristocracy, among whom there were many who could outdo the queen of the bloodline, disliked her, as they say, at first sight. The correct birth of only girls led to the fact that the world went to ridicule over the young queen, "giving birth with groaning girl after girl. " Finally, 30 July 1904 years, after ten years of married life, Victoria Alisa Elena Louise Beatrice of Hesse-Darmstadt (after baptism according to the Orthodox rite - Alexandra Fedorovna) gave birth to a son. “An unforgettable, great day for us, on which the grace of God visited us,” Nikolai wrote in his diary that day. “Alyx had a son, whom they called Alexei during prayer.” But great joy was replaced by great grief: the Tsarevich turned out to be prone to bouts of hereditary hemophilia. Hemophilia (literally "love of bleeding" in ancient Greek), was then considered an incurable disease, especially dangerous in the first 15-20 years of life. This disease affects only men, but it is transmitted through the female line. In a person suffering from the "disease of kings" (Alexandra Fedorovna is the granddaughter of Queen Victoria of England. - V.N.), any bruise, scratch, removal of a diseased tooth and other situations associated with bleeding could lead to death. The first time an attack of hemophilia, which caused severe suffering to the heir, happened at 1907 year. And here the inexplicable happened: a self-taught psychic saved the life of the Tsarevich, while the best doctors, holders of high knowledge and titles, showed their complete helplessness. They extremely disliked Rasputin. Why would they love him? The source of Rasputin's striking influence on the health of the heir, the Empress considered the highest heavenly powers. Having cured Alexei of hereditary hemophilia, the healer said that he would "grow" out of the disease. And so it happened. Thus, Rasputin won the gratitude, faith and love of his parents, who infinitely loved their only, so long-awaited son. The tsarina saw in Rasputin a deeply religious person and communicated with him not as "rootless" and "uneducated", but as a brother in Christ. She believed that "nothing is impossible for God" and that God would be heard by a "pure soul". And she believed that she had found this “pure soul” in Rasputin. Already during the first meeting, the empress reacted extremely favorably to Rasputin. Very soon, "friend Gregory" became his own for the royal children, for whom the monotony of the Tsarskoye Selo Palace was especially difficult. Rasputin generally, as they say, knew how to approach them. He arranged funny games, told fairy tales. Who did not get acquainted in childhood with the world of fairy tales? He spoke vividly and expressively about God, about his wanderings, about the beauty of the world, the nature of Russia. The children liked the Siberian wanderer, they felt at ease with him. The isolation of the crowned couple in Tsarskoye Selo, caused in part by the characters of Nicholas and Alexandra, constantly made it necessary to receive information in an unofficial way, from people from a different environment. This is where a niche appeared, which in the royal environment was occupied by a person from another world. Rasputin did not ask for anything, did not want to receive anything, did not insist on anything ... Mutual altruism arose between Alexandra Fedorovna and Rasputin. She gave him gifts: shirts, belts, amulets, icons, even a cross with a gold monogram "H", on a gold chain, a clasp with the letter of the Sovereign. Moreover, all silk shirts were embroidered by her. Rasputin always entered the royal house with prayer, with peace in his soul, with joy in his heart. When meeting with the empress, he “christened”, that is, he kissed. Didn't hesitate! For her, he was not a favorite, but a friend: original, unique, unlike others. In conversation, she called him "Gregory", behind his eyes "Father Gregory." He is the king and queen "dad" and "mother" - unassumingly, naturally and with great meaning. nine0003

The historian Alexander Bokhanov, in his book The Truth About Grigory Rasputin, speaks of the unwillingness of the high-society beau monde to believe in a pure relationship between the tsarina and Rasputin as follows: “If dirty slander was put into circulation about the tsarina, she did not react. She considered the "friend" a "man of God", endowed with a wonderful gift. This gift is given only to those whom the Lord, by his inexplicable will, chooses among the rest. He saves his son, consoles him with hope. More than once I observed how deeply he believes, how fervently he prays. Deeply devoted to them. The latter also serves as a pretext for slander. Again, the same thing: a lecher, a hypocrite, a charlatan, and there is even worse: a sectarian, a "whip." Grand Duchess Elizaveta Feodorovna: “When rumors began to reach me that Rasputin was not what he seemed to be, that in private life he behaved differently than in the royal family, I warned my sister. But she answered me that she did not believe these rumors, she considered this a slander that usually persecutes people of a holy life. Rumor attributed to Rasputin that he "did and slept" in the royal house. However, such a lucky man was there less often than a white crow. There are testimonies of domestic servants of the royal family who saw the life of the monarch from the inside. nine0003

“Rasputin did not visit the palace as often as they shouted about it. His appearance was explained by the illness of Alexei Nikolaevich. I myself saw him once, ”wrote the Englishman Gibbs, an English teacher. “I saw Rasputin here two or three times. Each time near the sick Alexei Nikolaevich. On this basis, he appeared with us. The empress considered him a righteous man and believed in the power of his prayers,” recalled Ereberg, the nanny of the royal children. “I saw Rasputin twice in the palace all the time. He was received by the sovereign and empress. He was with them for about twenty minutes, both the first and the second time. I have never seen even drinking tea with them, ”admitted the valet of the sovereign Volkov. nine0003

In fairness, let's say that in the last two years, Rasputin, in modern terms, has a "star" illness. Some temptations he could not overcome. Not wanting to change, he still changed. The test of power and flattery was difficult to endure. He felt dizzy from the consciousness of his strength, from the subservience of those around him, from the unusual amount of money and luxury never seen before. With all his natural mind, he turned out to be not protected from the indispensable norms of a stiff high-society society - hypocrisy, intrigue, hypocrisy, self-interest. Having become a Russian celebrity, he loved to be in the spotlight, he began to be flattered by popularity. And the more popularity, the more those who are ready to pour a bucket of dirt on you. nine0003

Rasputin fell in love with the feast, began to drink alcohol. Although he drank Madeira most often, sometimes red, after taking large doses he entered a state of alcoholic fun, even danced Russian. This was also facilitated by businessmen who wanted to “break through” profitable contracts and supplies to the army through him. After all, no business is done in Russia without drinking: first you need to “revive” the conversation, then “wash” the deal, then “treat” in connection with its successful completion. On March 26-27, 1916, there was a scandal in the Moscow restaurant "Yar". According to the report of the head of the Moscow security department, Rasputin arrived at the restaurant, accompanied by five of his admirers. The whole company was allegedly "drunk" before coming to the restaurant. One must think that 79-year-old grandmother Reshetnikova! A choir was invited and several songs were performed. Rasputin, as they claimed, "unbelted", supplementing the report with tasty details to please the authorities.

The legend spread... Human fantasy painted Rasputin as best it could. The "unwinding" of the fascinating Rasputin series has begun in countless publications. The Moscow mayor, General Adrianov, said and even wrote later that Rasputin did not do “any indecency” in Yar. Faithful Munya Golovina described how in January 1915 years was celebrated the 46th birthday of Grigory Efimovich. “There were a lot of people, a lot of gifts ... I gave a beautiful white silk shirt. They add wine to him, they push him, they beg him, they beg him: “You dance a Russian dance like no other. It's a tremendous pleasure to watch you dance. Do not deprive us of this great joy. Let's! And laughing, they pushed him into the middle of the room, accompanied by Russian songs. The last meeting of the crowned with the "spiritual sage" took place two weeks before his assassination - on December 2. Already on December 18, 19On the 16th, rumors arose in Tsarskoye Selo about the disappearance of Rasputin, but no one knew anything. A friend of the Empress Lily Den, close to the royal family, recalled: “The Empress was in the purple boudoir of the Alexander Palace. Never before had Her Majesty's living room felt so homely. The Empress was very pale, and there was anxiety in her eyes. Their Highnesses remained silent. Anna (Vyrubova) seemed to be crying before my arrival. I heard what I already knew: Grigory Efimovich disappeared...” A few days before the murder, those close to the “old man” suggested that he carry a revolver just in case. "God's man" laughed: "Something I'm a policeman." Finally, on the morning of 19December, the queen was told that he had been killed. For her, the death of a "friend" was a heavy blow. But at the same time, there were no “hysterics” and “faints”, which were then talked about in the Petrograd salons and which the “yellow” press later wrote about. There was anxiety, a sad, concentrated mood. And yet - faith in the providence of God.

The entire Romanov family did not immediately find out about this. However, the news of Rasputin's death split the dynasty. All petty displeasures and antipathies splashed out. The Grand Duke's Fronde moved into the public arena. The Grand Dukes and Duchesses unequivocally sided with the killers. A letter was written in defense of Grand Duke Dmitry Pavlovich, suspected of participating in a conspiracy, under which sixteen signatures were collected. It was "edited" by Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna. Early in the morning, when Rasputin's body had not yet been found, the sister of the Empress Elizaveta Feodorovna sent two telegrams: one to Dmitry Pavlovich, the other to Zinaida Yusupova, the mother of Felix Yusupov, who, as it became known, also took part in the murder. A virtuous, noble, warm-hearted woman, a nun, approved of the murder. When Alexandra Fedorovna was given copies of these telegrams, she burst into tears. According to Vyrubova, “this shameful message completely killed the Empress. She wept bitterly and inconsolably, and there was nothing I could do to comfort her.” A pencil note from Alexandra Fedorovna addressed to Yusupov the father has been preserved, perhaps not sent: “No one has been given the right to engage in murder. I know that the conscience of many haunts, since not only Dmitry Pavlovich is involved in this. I am surprised at your appeal to me ... " nine0003

According to Marianne von Derfelden, Dmitry Pavlovich fell victim to “the evil will of the Empress. On the night of December 23, the adjutant wing, Count Kutaisov, arrived at Dmitry Pavlovich. He informed him that the sovereign ordered that he go to Persia today at the disposal of the commander of the Russian expeditionary corps, General Baratov. Kutaisov was also ordered that Dmitry Pavlovich not communicate with anyone, to withdraw all letters and dispatches addressed to him. The Empress ordered that no one see him off. Only Grand Dukes Nikolai and Alexander Mikhailovich and Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna Jr. were able to get through and see him off. Dmitry was brought to a freight station, where a simple wagon was hitched to a freight train. It was ordered to carry in a roundabout way, bypassing Moscow and large cities. There was no kitchen in the car, no provisions were issued, so the Grand Duke was starving for a day. nine0003

Alexandra Feodorovna demanded that "a stranger among her own" be tried by a court-martial. But she met opposition from the tsar's cousin, Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich. He softened the fury of the empress, and the demand was rejected.

On December 20, the Empress arrived at the Chesme Church, dressed as a sister of mercy, where she was present at the funeral service. After the departure of Empress Akilina, Laptinskaya and the hospital attendant began pre-funeral chores. They washed Rasputin's body, filled the wounds with incense, dressed him in new clothes and laid him in a richly decorated oak coffin. A cross rested on Rasputin’s chest, and in his hands was a letter from the Empress: “My dear martyr, give me your blessing so that it is always with me on the mournful path that remains for me to go on earth. And remember us in heaven in your holy prayers." The funeral procedure was held in great secrecy. The body of the deceased was taken to Tsarskoye Selo, where Vyrubova was building the Serafimovsky infirmary for crippled soldiers. The emperor, empress, heir, three daughters (Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia) were present at the funeral of the "old man". The eldest, Olga, refused to go to the funeral. The entire royal family helped with the transfer of the coffin to the crypt, even little Alexei held on to the black silk ribbon attached to the coffin. The icon of the Sign of the Fedorovskaya Mother of God was also placed in the coffin, on the back of which the tsarina, the grand duchesses and Vyrubova signed. nine0003

After the funeral, an entry appeared in the imperial diary, which was stingy on the record: “My family and I were present at a sad ceremony: the coffin with the body of the unforgettable Grigory, who was killed by monsters in Yusupov’s house on the night of December 16-17, was lowered into the grave. Father Vasily served lithium, after which we returned home.”

The state of the “Crowned Martyr” was depressed, sad, desperately anxious. Here are the testimonies of those who were nearby, who knew and saw what was happening. The palace commandant Voeikov wrote: “The Empress simultaneously experienced two great sorrows: on the one hand, the death of Grigory Efimovich Rasputin, whom she honored, and on the other, a blow inflicted by Grand Duke Dmitry Pavlovich, whom Their Majesties loved from childhood, spoiled and with whom they were in the most close relationship." The mentor of the royal children, the Swiss Gilliard, recalled: “I will never forget the deep excitement that I experienced when I saw the Empress again. Her agitated face betrayed, against her will, the intensity of her suffering. They destroyed her faith, killed the man of God, who alone could save her child, without him all misfortunes, all sorts of catastrophes became possible. And the expectation began, the painful expectation of misfortune, which can no longer be avoided! nine0003

Chamberlain Naryshkina told in her diary about a prophetic dream that the Empress saw on January 15, 1917: the heavens were open, and in the heavens Gregory with raised hands blesses Russia. This mysticism resulted in words of confidence on the eve of the abdication of the king: “The sun shines so brightly ... I feel such calm and peace on his dear grave. He died to save us."

How did the tsar himself react to the drama that Alexandra Feodorovna was going through? In the imperial diary, which was sparing in writing, there was no reaction to the wife's first telegraph message about the disappearance of "our Friend." Maybe the king simply did not attach any importance to this news. He reacted more sharply the next day, having received a detailed letter from the empress: “Outraged and shocked,” he telegraphed. “In prayers and thoughts with you.” On December 21, he arrived at Tsarskoye Selo and saw his daughters, son and wife on the platform. nine0003

From the memoirs of Marianne von Derfelden: “When the train arrived, Alexandra Fedorovna entered the car and stayed there for 15–20 minutes. When the Sovereign got out of the carriage, there was no face on him. He, not paying attention to the guard lined up for the meeting, nor to those who were meeting, literally ran past them. He came to his senses only when he took hold of the handle of the car that was waiting for him. Here he seemed to pull himself together, found his face and did everything that was necessary. At 11 p.m., an audience was scheduled for Grand Duke Pavel Alexandrovich, who arrived at the palace 10 minutes before the meeting. It was accepted only after 40 minutes, since the Minister of the Interior Protopopov was sitting with the Tsar. When the Grand Duke came out, the Tsar could not be recognized. He was stern, condemned the murder and announced that from now on Dmitry Pavlovich was "persona non grata" for him. Alexandra Fedorovna insisted on bringing the participants in the murder to trial, was dissatisfied with the opposition from Protopopov. But still, he convinced her to agree to the expulsion of Yusupov and Grand Duke Dmitry Pavlovich. Felix Yusupov, the organizer of the crime and the murderer of the "Tsar's Friend" 19December I was going to go to my sick wife in the Crimea. But at the Nikolayevsky railway station he was detained. And soon "Felyusha" was exiled to his estate Rakitino, Kursk province, to a peaceful, safe rear.

And where was another defendant in the murder, Purishkevich? Nobody dared to touch him. The leader of the extreme right enjoyed immunity in the Duma and plays an active role there. On November 19, 1916, the Duma "Chrysostom" delivered his famous speech: "In former years, in former centuries, Grishka Otrepiev was resurrected in Grishka Rasputin, but this Grishka, who lives under different conditions, is more dangerous than Grishka Otrepiev." Purishkevich, the head of the army medical train, left for the front immediately after the murder. Two more accomplices - lieutenant Sukhotin and a military doctor, a Pole Lazovert - escaped with a slight fright. nine0003

In addition to the gift of healing, another amazing ability of Rasputin was his prophetic gift, recognized by both friends and enemies. The crowned martyr felt that the prophecies of the “Russian Pythia” were indeed coming true: “I will not exist, there will be no tsars, there will be no Russia!” The queen was destined to see the embodiment of this terrible prediction.

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