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Ukraine Trip – Summer 2017
By Hannah Suss
This past August, the Sopilka Performing Ensemble had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Ukraine along with our friends from Troyanda.
Our travels started in Lviv, where we participated in the 2nd annual International Ukrainian Dance & Culture Festival. We performed in one of the main squares in Lviv, in the Shevchenkivsky Hai heritage village, and in the beautiful Lviv Opera House. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience!
From there we travelled to the Carpathian Mountains, where we tried our hand at ceramics and attended a re-enactment of a traditional Hutsul wedding. The next stop was Chernivsti where we learned a lovely Buko dance from Leonid Sydorchuk, a talented Bukovenian choreographer, and went to a performance by Gerdan Theatre, which brought the audience to tears.
We then took a day trip to Mamavtsi for a performance with local performers and musicians as well as the local dance school. Next was a short visit to Zhytomyr, where choreographer Rafail Malinowski taught us a beautiful Polissian ladies dance.
The final stop on our tour was Kyiv, where it was all about Virsky! We attended a Virsky workshop, sat in on one of their rehearsals (with a full orchestra!) and went tosee them live in the concert hall. We had an amazing experience and learned so much about Ukrainian culture, music, and folklore (and food!). The only question we have left is: “When can we go back?!”