Hoverla Celebrates Diwali

Hoverla Ukrainian Dance Ensemble was invited by the Secretary of the Asian Association of Chesterfield & North Derbyshire to a Diwali Celebration Concert held at The Winding Wheel Theatre in Chesterfield on Sunday 4th November 2018.

After a successful event in 2015 we were invited again to perform 30 minutes as guest performers to incorporate cultural diversity and cultural integration as part of the Diwali celebrations. Other local Indian artists, singers, musicians and dancers plus a Chinese group contributed to the evening’s celebration concert.

Hoverla opened their act with a male Cossack Dance performed by the older boys. This was an exciting, energetic and expansive dance with solos originated from The Steppes of Ukraine. This opener definitely woke up and warmed the audience. This was followed by the older girls’ dance ‘Lastivka’. This graceful dance from the Central Region of Ukraine expresses the movements of a swallow bird with a crescendo ending.

It was then the turn of the younger members of Hoverla to perform their mixed dance from the Poltava Region of Ukraine. Incorporated in this dance were 2 debutant solos performed by the two youngest members of the group – Alysia Schumskyj (6) & Olliy Kaminskyj (4). They captured the audience with their young skilful enthusiastic dancing.

The final number performance was the most famous of all Ukrainian folk dances The Hopak from the capital of Ukraine Kyiv, a mixed dance performed by the older members. This really excited the audience with each dancer performing his/her solo during this 7 minute piece. After the solos Hoverla dance ensemble introduced a surprise element to their repertoire.

Petro Kupranec , one of the musicians, asked for volunteers from the public to take part in audience participation. Three gentlemen volunteered and all had a go at performing three different solos demonstrated by the older boys before a final joint Cossack routine stint together saw all 3 volunteers fall backwards on stage. This was fun because these three did not know what they were letting themselves in for but credit to them all for volunteering ! Then Petro had the nerve to ask The Mayor of Chesterfield to have a go! He willingly came up on stage but because he was wearing his mayoral chains we did not ask him to do anything too strenuous.

The climax of the Hopak mixed dance was the final element of Hoverla’s performance before all 16 dancers and musicians appeared on the stage for a final bow to tremendous clapping by a very enthusiastic and appreciative audience. Happy Diwali !!

JOE KUPRANEC – Leader of Hoverla Ukrainian Dance Ensemble

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