Its a Ukrainian Thing

FTLComm - Ituna - Sunday, April 13, 2003
There are more than four hundred dance clubs like this one in Ituna Saskatchewan. All of them spread across the country from Ontario to British Columbia are involved in dance competition and all of them are hard at work preserving and celebrating the rich heritage of a group of people who came to this country and have definitely made their
mark in every walk of life from the Governor General to Provincial premiers to television and movie stars.

When the push came during the Trudeau years to make Canada hospitable to Francophones it came as a surprise to the Prime Minister and the country at the time that in places like Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta bilingualism did not mean being able to speech English and French but English and

To get a better understanding we have
a page that tells the story of this remarkable portion of Canada's multicultural population.

Ninety-five young people from ages six to eighteen are part of the Klenovee Lystky dancers who live in and near Ituna Saskatchewan. A rural village forty minutes West of Melville and about the same distance from Yorkton which has two outstanding similar dance groups.

Saturday night was time for the twenty-ninth annual dance concert and we were told to get there early to get a


seat and when we more than half an hour before the 6:30 show the parking lot and the Parish hall were full.

The glowering image above greeted us in the lobby and the display case with traditional dressed figures established the location of a place that holds their heritage with the respect and humour it deserves. It must be said that the evening and the programme were a pure celebration. Having never seen this kind of dancing I spent the first twenty minutes in laughter as the joy and exuberance on the stage spilled out into the audience.

The costumes, for each dancer changed many times during the show represented the portions of the

Western portion of the Ukraine. Hutzul is the primary cultural design and theme of most Ukrainian regions but there are variations on the theme illustrated by Poltavsky, Volyn, Transcarpathia, and Bukovina.

Though the show had several numbers were the music slowed to a mild blur most of the music these dancers performed to was fast, real fast and the performers swept onto the stage in number after number using every square inch of stage space as they stepped, spun and jumped their way to the light hearted music.

About twelve of the performers are not Ukrainian but living your life in a Ukrainian community

is all you need to feel a part of the fun.

Unlike other forms of dance male dancers are in significant numbers and also unlike other folk dance Ukrainian male dancers are each essentially solo performers.

An intermission and more dancing brought us through a fabulous evening.
  The picture below is a QuickTime Virtual Reality image and required the downloading of free QuickTime into your machine to allow you to put your cursor on the scene below and look around the room after the show was over and everyone enjoyed cake and coffee. QuickTime will not interfere with your computer's operation but will instead enhance its capabilities.


The mood of the evening was just what you see in the faces of these people proud of their youngsters and the club which has been winning in recent competitions with the big tough one coming up soon in Yorkton.

Below an impromptu dance began with some younger dancers who had
stolen the show all evening. The dance numbers are extremely intricate and involve complex sequences performed often independent of other dancers so that a performer can not rely upon following someone beside them.

As we left this little group of dancers were enjoying their cake in the coat room.

Now to see more of the show we have a series of
pictures on a separate page that tells that story.

Timothy W. Shire


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This page is a story posted on Ensign and/or Saskatchewan News, both of which are daily web sites offering a variety of material from scenic images, political commentary, information and news. These publications are the work of Faster Than Light Communications . If you would like to comment on this story or you wish to contact the editor of these sites please send us email.

Editor : Timothy W. Shire
Faster Than Light Communication
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306 873 2004