Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Kvitka Dancers' year-end concert

The Kvitka Ukrainian Dancers of Surrey made Mother's Day special for a lot of folks this year with their year-end concert at North Delta Secondary School.

This group had 110 (count 'em!) students this year from ages 3 to 20+. The little tykes were just too adorable! The costumes were gorgeous (most direct from Ukraine) , the music was great (I would notice!) and the choreography was super. Two hopaks ... fantastic! Lots of regions represented. The seniors got their new Volyn costumes this year and those numbers were out of this world (the energy was unbelievable!) Lots of brilliant colour and energy throughout the show.

About the only disappointment my guests voiced was that there wasn't more leaping et al by the boys, but that's a chronic complaint by anyone who isn't sufficiently educated on the challenges of the fancy footwork in Ukrainian dance, some of which was truly amazing for a bunch of kids! Kvitka's PR guy, Nester Trafanenko, tells me they had a lot of new members this year across the board age-wise. Given that this is a volunteer effort on everyone's part, the concert really was spectacular. Definitely a point of pride for Vancouver!

Speaking of boys, it was a pleasure to see so many on the stage at one time. They did an awesome Zaporozhian skit, which most dance groups would give their eyeteeth to have enough boys to do! Needless to say it was a huge hit. (Last year the senior guys did one bare-chested, which I was looking forward to seeing again, but maybe someone complained that it was too "beefcake" or something. If so, it sure wasn't me!)

The girls, of course, were dazzlingly beautiful and utterly charming. I was out of breath just watching some of the more intricate choreography. I could just see myself falling flat on my face if I tried some of those steps! Nester said that 60% of the choreography is "home-grown" ... which speaks to the impressive artistic talent in our midst.

The group has wrapped up for the season, with the exception of one performance at the Dance for Life cancer fundraiser at St. Mary's Ukrainian Catholic Centre in Vancouver on June 10. (Tickets may still be available, check here for details. It's bound to be a great evening!)

Their next season starts in September and anyone age 3 to 20-ish interested in Ukrainian dance is welcome to join. Details on their website. Have a look around, it's a gorgeous site! For registration details or to book Kvitka, give Nester a call at 604-572-9157 or email him.

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