Saturday, 14 September 2013

Calgary Enjoys A Ukrainian Spectacular

Just returned home from an absolutely elegant evening of symphony music and beautifully performed, choreographed Ukrainian dance!  Can't believe how lucky we are to be able to enjoy Calgary's own Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra!  The fabulous musicians of the CPO tonight presented another "Destination" Series performance, a fifth such Ukrainian Spectacular!  And tonight the Tryzub Ukrainian Dance Ensemble again joined the fun! This evening's orchestral selections included Ukrainian born Reinhold Gliere's Overture on Slavonic Themes, Smetana's Three Dances from the Bartered Bride, and Selections from Ukrainian born Sergei Prokofiev's Cinderella, Suites 1 and 3. Dance features arranged by Donovan Seidle included Tryzub Hopak, Carichka, Transcarpathian Suite, Volynsky Tanets, and Virskyi Hopak.

Conductor Edmond Agopian and the CPO played a classy program of nineteenth and twentieth century music based on the folk styles, themes, and dreams of the Eastern European Slavic nation, Ukraine, and its neighbours.  As Agopian sweetly teased in his commentary, the flashy and energetic musical score would make for heated, if not steamy orchestra players.  Each of the selections showcased another distinct melodic or rhythmic theme, intricate patterns, and attractive, unusual colours, which both aided and contrasted with the beautiful dancing of Tryzub's performers.  Artistic Director Vasyl Kanevets's dazzling, enchanting choreography really took the dancers much farther than the familiar hopak.  Fancy footwork, intriguing gestures and very attractive costumes from different regions of Ukraine made for a very enjoyable dance performance.  

How exceptionally lovely to overhear the audience commentary too!  From the first warm words of welcome in Ukrainian by Adriana Bishop (violinist), to the embroidered attire on Conductor Agopian, and the sophisticated sights and sounds of this evening's performance, people were pleased and impressed, and perhaps surprised at the fascinating gemstones sparkling in the Calgary cultural scene - the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and Calgary's Ukrainian Tryzub Dancer Ensemble. Much applause and happy faces leaving the theatre!

Thanks to Nexen, the Calgary Herald, the Ukrainian Canadian Professional and Business Association of Calgary, and others for your sponsorship too!
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