Asst. Director of Marketing & Communications for Public Relations
Division of Institutional Advancement
The Virsky Ukrainian National Dance Company will perform at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 27, at the UNF Fine Arts Center.
The renowned folk dance ensemble, named after Pavlo Virsky, is famous for its bright colors, the unity of content and form and the vivid embodiment of its stage concept. This magnificent artistic group has embraced the beauty of its native Ukraine, the wisdom of its people as well as the folk tradition of humor and optimism.
Each and every performance is a romantic, elevated, passionate and exciting show. The ensemble’s diverse concert program presents the exquisite charm of Ukrainian folk dancing and the wealth of its traditions have been warmly received by audiences all over the world. The history of the ensemble goes back to 1937, when Virsky and Mykola Bolotov, well-known Ukrainian ballet-masters, brought together a group of folk dancers.
From 1955 to 1975, Virsky headed the ensemble, and his outstanding talent was magnificently implemented in the performances of the company. It was under his guidance that the ensemble matured into a highly professional dance company whose art has won the hearts of countless reviewers and the general public around the world.
Proceeding from the folk traditions, Virsky created such artistic choreographic compositions as “We’re from Ukraine,” “The Sailors,” “The Dolls,” “We Remember,” and “The Funny Zaporizhia Cossack Dance Povzunets.” Full of soft humor are “The Stepp Wagoner’s Delight” and “Under the Cherry Tree” while “A Girl from Podillya” is soft and romantic, and “The Weeping Willow” is even sad.
Myroslav Vantukh, Virsky’s disciple and great expert in folk traditions and ethnography, has been in charge of the ensemble since 1980. His main objective and continuing creative quest is the careful preservation and development of folk choreographic art. First-class performance and expressiveness of the dancers, exquisite moves and the bright palette of costumes, the wealth of tunes and completeness of the choreographic plot are among characteristic features of the new numbers such as “The Carapathians,” “The Tambourine Dance,” “The Young Years,” “In Peace and Harmon” and “The Russian Suite,” which have entered the ensemble’s repertoire.
In 1962, Virsky created a children’s two-year choreographic studio. In 1992, it was turned by Myroslav Vantukh into a choreographic school for children, and later it became a source of talented young performers for the ensemble.
The ensemble has toured many different lands quite far from its native Ukraine. Among the viewers who have welcomed the leading company have been people of Austria, England, Argentina, Bulgaria, Brazil. Belgium. Venezuela, Greece, Ecuador, Italy, India, Spain, Canada, Columbia, China, Cuba, Korea, Mexico, Mongolia, Germany, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, the United States of America, Hungary, France, France, Czech Republic, Chile and Switzerland.
The foreign press has been unanimous about the high artistic and professional qualities of the company.
It may seem that the peak of accomplishment and professionalism has been reached, but the Virsky Ukrainian National Dance Company, under the direction of Vantukh, is creating new dances, full of surprises and delight, and is letting people of the world learn more about the wonderful land of Ukraine.
Tickets and Information: Individual tickets are $45, $34, and $25 for the general public and $10 for students. For complete information about any shows or to purchase single tickets, visit www.unf.edu/fineartscenter or call the UNF Ticket Box Office at (904) 620-2878. Patrons can visit the Box Office in person at the University of North Florida, Building 45, Room 1400, 1 UNF Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32224. Hours are 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and 2 hours prior to show time. # # #
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