Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Ukrainian Dance Festival in Southern Alberta

Just as the rhythms and melodies of folk singing are closely tied with the language and cultural work of regular people, so it is with folk dance.  Folk dancing is universally tied with real life - the work of planting and harvest, the work of war, the practice of healing and  spirituality.

And so it isn't any surprise that Southern Alberta is home to so many Ukrainian dance groups, schools and affectionate supporters.  It really is a total family event when Ukrainian dancing enters the picture.  From endless hours of driving to lessons, to rehearsals, to costume fittings, to creating the intricately embroidered designs, to - and this is the point - to an immersion into the culture and folklore of the Ukrainian people.  All the dances mean something, beyond the steps.

All the movements have emerged from some ancient tradition.  And the opulent visuals of the Ukrainian folk dance costumes all have historic presence through the centuries.  The colors, the patterns, the flowers all convey meaning.  The embroideries are magical talisman prayers for the future - handiwork that speaks through the generations.  And the clothing tells of the physical landscape, the work, the celebrations, the economic realities of the times.

A while back someone told me Alberta alone had over 100 Ukrainian dance schools - amazing.  And in each school, instructors share their passion for Ukraine - and its dance traditions.  Then again, recently I discovered there will be over 20 Ukrainian Dance Festivals here on the Canadian prairies in the spring of 2013 alone.

For more information about Ukrainian Dancing in Alberta - contact the Alberta Ukrainian Dance Association at http://www.abuda.ca

Southern Alberta Ukrainian Dance Festival
Calgary, Alberta
March 16, 2013
Tel: (403) 681-0759
trevorshular@shaw.ca
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