Center for the Arts Welcomes Virsky Ukrainian National Dance Company

Posted: October 27, 2009 at 1:02 am, Last Updated: October 26, 2009 at 4:34 pm

615_20071031_04The Virsky Ukrainian National Dance Company comprises professionally trained artists from Kiev who perform spirited dances reflecting the geographic and cultural diversity of Ukraine. The Virsky Ukrainian National Dance Company performs at Mason’s Center for the Arts on Saturday, Nov. 7, at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

A discussion, free to ticket holders, begins 45 minutes prior to the performance on the Center’s Grand Tier III.

Every Virsky performance is imbued with romance, passion and excitement.

The program begins with “Ukraine, My Ukraine!” a traditional greeting dance found throughout the Ukraine. It is followed by the well-known, “Povzunets” (Cossack Playful Dance), a light-hearted jaunt that demonstrates the technical ability of the performers with impressive tricks and amazing technical mastery.

After the intermission, the company performs “Moriaky” (Sailors), a dance that churns like the foam of the hollow sea and evokes the characteristic qualities of sailors – endurance and durability. The program would not be complete without the “Hopak” (Hopping Dance). With its incredible choreography, it is the quintessential Ukrainian art form and a fitting way to end the program.

The company was formed in 1937, when renowned Ukrainian ballet masters Pavlo Virsky and Mykola Bolotov brought together a group of folk dancers. From 1955 to 1975, Pavlo Virsky headed the ensemble. Under his guidance, the ensemble matured into a highly professional dance company whose art has won the hearts of numerous critics and audiences around the world.

Myroslav Vantukh, Virsky’s disciple and an 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.

The ensemble has toured across Europe, South America, China and the United States.

Tickets are $43, $38 and $23; tickets for children, 12 and under are half price. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit www.gmu.edu/cfa.

Write to gazette at gazette@gmu.edu