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Vohon Ukrainian Cossack Dance Group, Perth

Vohon Ukrainian Cossack Dance Group (Perth) is a CYM-based dance group for anyone aged 13-17 interested in performing Ukrainian Cossack dancing. At the present time, Vohon is a 10-person strong group with people of many different dancing levels. For some, the Vohon Dance Group was their first experience of Ukrainian Cossack dancing. For others, it was a chance to continue practising and refining their skills learnt with previous Ukrainian dance groups. But, for all who are apart of Vohon, it is an opportunity to learn as much as possible about Ukrainian Cossack Dancing, meet many other Ukrainians from Perth, Australia and Internationally and to continue the dance tradition within the Ukrainian Perth community.

Vohon Today
Vohon has grown and is now accomodating close to a dozen dancers ranging from the ages 13 to 18. Recently, with the help from CYM Sydney dance instructors, Vohon has continued to extend its reporteoire to incorportate two new dances from a weekend workshop held during the winter school holidays. Vohon plans to continue dancing around Perth and hopes to perform to a wider audience in the future.

History of Vohon
The Vohon Dance Group's foundations started with a group of eight boys eager to continue Ukrainian Cossack dancing after graduating from Ukrainian school. Under the instruction of Father Wolodymyr Kalinecki, a new independent group was started simply known as the "Ukrainian Cossack Dancers".

For two years, the group performed at many Ukrainian events, community events and multicultural events. Some of the largest performances by the group in Perth were at the Northam Multicultural Festival and the City of Stirling Multicultural Festival. However, by far the largest performance by the Ukrainian Cossack Dancers was in Albury-Wodonga in Acknowledgement of the Ukrainian Olympic Team in September 2000.

Stirling Multicultural Festival
Ukrainian Cossack Dancers at the City of Stirling Multicultural Festival

After two years of performing as the Ukrainian Cossack Dancers, interest had grown in the group and was soon accompanied by female dancers. The new group was supported by CYM Perth and under the instruction of Erica Konderewicz and Andrij Mandyczewsky. At the start of 2001 the new group was officially established and was given the name "Vohon Ukrainian Cossack Dancers, Perth". The first task for this new group of males and females, was to come up with a new dance and have it ready for performance in six months time for the Sydney Zlet in 2001. After the many months of practise and instruction, this goal was archieved and the first ever perfomance made by Vohon was on Access 31 television in June 2001. One week later, the group made its first public performance at the Sydney Zlet with the "Pryvit".

The group grew in numbers and ability and continued to peform at many of the regular events that the Ukrainian Cossack Dancers had performed at previously.

One the major turning points in Vohon's growth came in July 2002, when the group was invited by the Roztiazhka Ukrainian Cossack Dancers to take part in a two-week workshop with Sergei Makarov. Sergei Makarov is a former performer of the Virsky Ukrainian Dance Group and is a current instructor in Canada. The workshop taught both dance groups many skills and its goal was to teach all present the Virsky Hopak. Since then, a close relationship has formed between both the Vohon Dance Group and the Roztiazhka Dance Group with many dancers from Vohon now dancing in both groups. Since the workshop, many of Vohon's dancers have performed live on Access 31 television, Australia-wide on SBS television and live on the internet.

At present, Vohon is still strong and looking for any opportunity to perform. Now with close links to the other two Ukrainian dance groups in Perth, Vohon continues to look for new ideas and people to join the group and help teach people about Ukrainian Cossack Dancing.

This site in Ukrainian

Contact Vohon Dance Group

Saint Michaels School (May 2004)

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