We're proud to say, 14 years after our last time here, Troyanda is back in Ukraine! The majority of the group came to Lviv on Thursday, meeting up with others who arrived earlier to visit family and tour Europe. We're here with our friends Sopilka's Performing Ensemble who we will perform alongside throughout the tour, and some of our ladies will join them in one of their dances.
In the late afternoon, we had a short rehearsal at Yunist Palace to run through our dances for Saturday's show. The studio we practiced in is home to Yunist Honored Ukrainian Dance Ensemble, founded by Myroslav Vantukh, the current artistic director of P. Virsky National Ukrainian Folk Dance Ensemble (a group we'll have a workshop with later on in Kyiv!).
We’re starting to get our bearings of the city, which is the largest city in western Ukraine. Friday morning, we took a city-wide bus tour, learning about the centuries-old buildings and their history. After lunch, we had free time to discover more of the city on our own, some of us heading to the mall nearby while others checking out the bazaar — a market.
We had a quick supper at an Armenian restaurant before heading to the opening ceremonies of the International Ukrainian Dance and Culture Festival. Groups from across the world, including Canada, the US, England, and Argentina (a country celebrating 120 years of Ukrainian immigration), will perform at the festival. On Saturday, we're looking forward to meeting all the performers at dinner and the zabava.
The Volyn Folk Choir and Dance Ensemble performed during the opening ceremonies — WOW. They were absolutely amazing. We laughed, we cried, we clapped, we sang, and gosh, did we ever enjoy ourselves. We will attend a ballet class and choreography workshop with the ensemble on Saturday morning.
Saturday afternoon we'll have our first of three performances in Lviv. And in the evening, Ukrainian superstar Ruslana will perform.
We've made so many memories already — and our tour just started! Keep checking back for updates along the way.
Ukrainian phrase of the day
не газований (ne hazovanyy): no gas
In Ukraine, and throughout Europe, carbonated water is a popular option, so when ordering we ask for "no gas" (no carbonation), or if buying at a store and can't read the label, we shake the bottle and look for bubbles.
P.S. We wish Troyanda alumni Nick Krawetz and his wife Nataliia a life full of love, happiness, and health! They got married in Lviv on Thursday (hence half of Winnipeg's Ukrainian population is currently in Ukraine!).