Posts tagged Dance
The intriguing city of Poltava, Ukraine

If Poltava were an animal, it would be an alligator.

On our drive to the city, Kyrylo from Cobblestone Freeway Tours told us a story as a way to prepare us for our next home.

I don't remember the entire story word for word, so let me tell you my own version.

There was this guy. He was from a village. Not many people left this village. But he did. He went on an African safari where he spotted countless new sights. When he returned home to his village, he told his friends about what he saw.

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English magazine in Ukraine What's On Kyiv

Since October, I've been writing for What's On Kyiv, an English magazine about Ukraine based in Kyiv. Since this was only my second time in Ukraine, the idea for my WO column was to give a Canadian's take on the Ukrainian lifestyle.

Click the headlines in the post to read the full stories.

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Inside the Volyn ensemble studio

Since moving to Ukraine, I've been keeping a journal. I try to write in it every day, even if it's just a couple lines, about what I did, what I learned, who I met, how I felt, and so on. I wrote seven pages about my last night in Lutsk, the evening of our farewell dinner. Seven pages. About one night. I think that's an indication of how many memories I made in my two months there.

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Dancing with the Bukovyna State Ensemble of Song and Dance

To say the least, it's a dream come true.

Dances from the Bukovyna region have always been a favourite of mine. I love the stamps and the music and the costumes. So when I found out I'd get to dance with the Bukovyna State Ensemble of Song and Dance for a couple months, I was pretty darn excited.

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The legendary Virsky studio floor

I’ve danced on many memorable floors.

In Hungary, there was the stage made of rotting wood, the holes hidden by fallen leaves and twigs.

In Croatia, there was the concrete stage we danced on while it was pouring rain. And then it started storming, the lightning striking as we hit a pose.

In Ukraine, just a couple months ago, I danced on a raked stage, meaning it inclined toward the back of the stage so the audience had a better view (but the dancers had a harder time).

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A day full of dance in the Virsky studio

I'm still standing.

It's been a month since I started training with the Virsky studio group, and nearly two months since my Ukraine adventure started.

After one month of dancing six days a week for three hours a day that's right, 18 hours per week my body's not broken yet. Coming from dancing up to only six hours per week back home, I was worried about how I'd react to 18 per week. But so far so good.

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A week in the life with Virsky studio

While we're in Kyiv, we're training with the studio group of P. Virsky Ukrainian National Folk Dance Ensemble (commonlya known as Virsky). The studio group has about 40 dancers who train six days per week for three hours per day. There's also the Virsky school with younger dancers. Many of the studio dancers were with the school, but others have moved to Kyiv from surrounding areas.

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Starting my stay with Troyanda's tour

I was supposed to tour Ukraine with my dance group, Troyanda Ukrainian Dance Ensemble, in 2014, but because of the Euromaidan Revolution, the tour was cancelled. Visiting Ukraine has been on our minds since, and this year we made the trip happen. And conveniently, our tour ended just days before the yearlong program started.

I wrote about the 15-day tour at troyanda.com/blog, so check that out for more details of what we did and what we saw, but below are some photo highlights from the trip. We stayed in Lviv, the Carpathian Mountains, Zhytomyr, Chernivtsi, and Kyiv but also made stops in other cities and villages, including Kolomyia and Mamaivtsi.

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Why I moved to Ukraine for 10 months

Привіт!

What makes a science student turned journalism student move to Ukraine to study dance for nearly a year?

Well, if you think of a good reason, let me know and I'll pass it along to my parents.

Actually, it's not so out of the blue. I've been a Ukrainian dancer for 19 years, starting out with Rossdale Ukrainian Dance School then Troyanda Ukrainian Dance Ensemble, a group I joined seven years ago.

In 2014, Troyanda travelled through Croatia, Hungary, and Austria, and after our trip, I went with my mom and her cousin to Ukraine for a few days to meet our relatives. Our connection to them is my mom's baba (grandmother) who moved to Canada in the early 1900s.

I've been interested in Ukrainian culture for a while, dance sparking my interest. Through dance, I've learned about folklore, traditions, and history, but I never made studying Ukrainian culture my focus until now.

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