The State Academic Honoured Dance Ensemble of Dagestan “Lezginka” was founded on September, 6, 1958. The founder of the ensemble, its first programme author and constant leader for 20 years was a People’s Artist of the USSR, Mr Tanho Israilov. The Artistic Director of the ensemble from 1979 to 1982 was an Honoured Artist of the Russian Federation, a People’s Artist of Dagestan Mr Kourban Kourbanov. From 1983 to 1993 the leader of the ensemble was a People’s Artist of Russia, People’s Artist of Dagestan, the State Prize Laureate of Dagestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic after G.Tsadasa’s name  Mr Iosif Mataev. The ensemble’s current Director since 1993 Mr Djambulat Magomedov is a Russian Federation Government Prize Laureate and Honoured Cultural Worker. The Artistic Director of the ensemble is an Honoured Artist of the Russian Federation, The Russian Federation Government Prize Laureate, Mr Zulunkhan Khangereyev.

Mr Djambulat Magomedov has preserved the multinational cast of the ensemble, in which the beauty of Dagestan folklore has been glorified by not only 33 nationalities of Dagestan and the Northern Caucasia, but also those of Russian Dagestanian descent. There are no other ensembles in the world with such a multinational structure. Mr Djambulat Magomedov has created a format that has allowed  representatives of all the nationalities to combine  all their creative efforts to create  brilliant  and exciting productions.  

In 1961 the government bestowed upon “Lezginka” the rank “Honoured”.

On June 27, 1994 the government also bestowed upon the ensemble the supreme title “Academic”.

During its existence the ensemble has toured throughout 65 countries around the world and has been the winner of 48 world renowned Festivals of Folklore dancing competitions specifically catering for professional companies. The ensemble has created over 100 dance items influenced by the cultures of the peoples of Dagestan, the Caucasus and other Russian regions. In March 1994 the ensemble produced a 3 - part ballet “Partu-Patima”, which is the first in the history of Dagestan.

Since its foundation there have been 59 Honoured Artists of the Republic of Dagestan, 5 People’s Artists of the Republic of Dagestan,  5 Honoured Artists of the Russian Federation,  1 Honoured Artist of the USSR,  1 Honoured Cultural Worker of the Russian Federation and 2 People’s Artists of Russia working in the ensemble.

On April, 2, 2001 the ensemble was honoured “For their great services in the development of choreographic art” by the President of the Russian Federation Mr Vladimir Putin.

As a result of “Lezginka”’s great services in the development of choreographic art, their high level of performances and their promotion of Dagestan’s national culture in November 2004 the ensemble were awarded with a Diploma of the Republic of Dagestan by the Decree of the Council of State of the Republic of Dagestan. 

An invitation to take part at the cultural programme dedicated to the Summit “Group of 8 ” in St. Petersburg, as well as in the 9th Festival of Russian Art in Cannes in 2006 was evidence of the ensemble’s high artistic level.

In June 2007 the ensemble returned from an enduring and triumphant 3 month tour of Australia and New Zealand, where 70 concerts were presented.

On September, 19, 2007 the ensemble was awarded with a Diploma of the Ministry of Culture and Mass Media of the Russian Federation for their great contribution to the development of culture in mass media.

On December, 3, 2009 “Lezginka” performed a solo concert at the opening of the Festival of Russian Art “Russia – Italy - Through Centuries”.  Patron for the Festival was the first lady of Russia Mrs Svetlana Medvedeva.  The performance was a great success and was widely praised by the media. Subsequently the ensemble’s performances within the Festival’s framework have become an annual event. 

In 2010 “Lezginka” toured Lebanon and Spain.

In 2011 “Lezginka” performed at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès of Cannes (France) for the opening of the 4th Festival of Russian Art. In October 2011 “Lezginka” completed their third tour of the USA.

In November 2011“Lezginka” performed for the Asia Pacific MIPIM ASIA 2011 Property Leaders Summit in Hong Kong. The concerts presented by “Lezginka” were recognized by the MIPIM ASIA organizers as the most outstanding events during the whole time.

In 2014 “Lezginka” was invited to present special concerts for the guests of the Sochi Winter Olympic Games. 

In March 2014 “Lezginka” also presented concerts during the 11th Para Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. It is well known that the ensemble always supports charities including those dedicated to the disabled.

In September 2014 “Lezginka” was honoured to participate at the Astrakhan concert  of the 4th Caspian Summit. The Summit includes five countries that surround the Caspian Sea: Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan. “Lezginka” ‘s programme for the concert consisted of the best dance items of the ensemble’s Gold Fund.

Of special significance is the fact that Mr Ziyavudin Magomedov, who is the founder of “Lezginka”’s Title Sponsor Company Group “Summa”  is committed to presenting Dagestan’s original culture.

“Lezginka”’s Director Mr Djambulat Magomedov has stated: “We have been supported by Mr Ziyavudin Magomedov for many years at many significant projects. We are sure that this cooperation will move the ensemble up to a new qualitative level with respect to the material, technical rigging and expansion of tour activity, which will let us achieve new level of creativity and augment the rich culture of Dagestan and multinational Russia”.