Sunday, 9 February 2014

Razom 2 in Calgary

What an absolutely fabulous event!  Today's Razom 2 - A Fusion of Ukrainian Dance performed by Yevshan of Saskatoon, Tavria of Regina, Tryzub of Calgary and Rusalka of Winnipeg spectacularly showcased the finest Ukrainian dancing on the Canadian prairies - and perhaps even further! The four city tour features four of western Canada's longest serving, and most empowered Ukrainian Dance Ensembles whose captivating programs have engaged talented dancers in the creation of community - Razom!  Whoever dreamed up this unique fusion of different talents in one stellar show should be congratulated!  Wow!

Wasn't sure I wanted to head out in the minus whatever weather, but it was well worth the drive.  Calgary's South Alberta Jubilee Auditorium proved, again, to be a wonderful host venue for the important art of Ukrainian dance - actually perhaps it is now Ukrainian Canadian dance!  Four Ukrainian dance groups represented the Ukrainian communities of Calgary, Regina, Saskatoon and Winnipeg, each with intricately designed choreography, and lovely outfits representing the different regions of Ukraine.  The program of 18 beautiful dances began with Virsky's Pryvit, meandered across Ukrainian regions including Bukovena, Polissia, Volyn', Kuban', Poltava, Transcarpathia, the Black Sea, and summed up with the absolutely amazing, and always loved Virsky Hopak.  The spirited dancers performed with class, grace, humor - flawless delivery. Based on Roman Brytan, the MC's statements, and the program of names, I have a strong impression that these are many generations Canadians, delighting in their youth, and the passionate art form of their ancestral homeland.  To perform a program of such artistry surely is a direct affirmation of the wonderful dance training of the various Dance Directors and Choreographers.  Clearly there is a very close bond among the dancers, their Dance Masters, and among the groups too!  Of course the opportunity to work collaboratively on such a program must have been super fun for all those involved.

I had the good fortune of sitting with two little ballerina dancers - the "fan club" of one of the Tryzub dancers who shared the stage in Calgary's Nutcracker.  Little Clara beamed with delight when she recognized her "lifter".  And behind me was an admiring group of perhaps former dancers, ooing and ahhing at all the most dancerly parts - clearly a knowledgeable audience.  Then a friend who picked up the dancing teacher role when I was making babies in Fort McMurray dropped into the chair next to me, equally impressed with the dancing.  Spoke briefly with some girls from Winnipeg, who absolutely adored working with the great people who put this show on the road.  What can I say?  Thankyou to all the Razom team - when are you doing this again?  And don't you think Edmonton should be on your next tour?

Hey, Winnipeg - make sure you get tickets soon!  
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