Derby City Council welcomed the Olympic Torch on Friday June 29th at The Derby Market Place.
The driving theme, following the idea of “One Big Place” that took place in the Market Place to celebrate the closing
ceremony of the Beijing Olympics in 2008, was to again invite Bana Congo, Hoverla Ukrainian Dance Ensemble and Surtal
Asian Arts to the start of the Cultural Olympiad celebrations. All three groups were involved that closing day and so will have
seen the flame at both ends of the journey. Derby City Council were also pleased to be celebrating through music and dance as
they did four years ago, with new and emerging talent Fires & Fireplaces, The Movement and The Struts.
A Main Stage was set up next to the Big Screen in The Market Place, on the side towards the QUAD centre with a full
production team. Hoverla performed 4 items just before 5pm in front of a growing crowd which swelled to over 10,000
by the time The Olympic Torch arrived. The younger girls performed Kolomejka followed by Boys from Kyiv dance.
By this time the crowd was aroused by appreciating the skills of our dancers with raptures of clapping and echoes of more and more.
Hoverla truly woke the crowd up and the girls continued the performance with a Kozaczok dance where 2 of the younger
members Evelyn Dziunka and Mia Wintoniuk performed their debut on stage – what a way to start their dancing careers !
The energetic boys concluded with the Cossack Dance from the Steppes of Ukraine performing acrobatic solos culminating
to a climax finish with rapturous encore from the audience.
The MC for the whole show was BBC Radio Derby’s Andy Potter and at the end of our boys Cossack performance decided to
ask younger members in the audience for volunteers to have a go at performing some of the boys Cossack steps in form of solos.
Danylo Perehinec the youngest boy member of the Ensemble aged only 8 came out and showed the 4 young volunteers a number of intricate
steps and himself gained an ecstatic round of applause. The volunteers also did themselves proud in having a go at Ukrainian Cossack
dancing now in front of a bulging crowd – no mean easy feat.
A screen stage was also used by Black Eagles and Ian Marchant during changeovers – where they did some incredible
acrobatic / juggling displays!
Derby was one of only 5 cities in the UK to organise a celebration event on such a big scale and Hoverla Ukrainian
Dance Ensemble were the only Ukrainian group in GB to attend such a prestigious event. I am very proud that Hoverla once again can
fly the Ukrainian flag and be strong ambassadors for the Ukrainian Community as a whole not only in the city of Derby but country wide.
A great day was had by all who participated and spectated a once in a life time event to witness the Olympic Torch
come through Derby City Centre before heading off to Darley Park for another celebration event.
The following day June 30th Hoverla had the privilege to perform at the Ruthin International Festival called Top of the Town.
Ruthin is a small beautiful quaint town situated in North Wales at the foot of the Denbighshire hills with its origins from the
13th century. For the last 10 years the organisers of Ruthin Festival have been trying to book Hoverla but it has always clashed
with Krayoviy Zdvyh CYM at Tarasivka on the first Saturday in July. This year the festival took place on Saturday 30th June and
Hoverla were excited to participate.
We were requested to perform two half hour spots at 3 & 5 pm slots. At 2.45pm the black clouds were visible and the crowd was
sparse. We all looked at each other and wondered what to expect. At 3pm the musicians set up at the back of the stage and
the lads were ready to perform their first act Boys from Kyiv dance. Suddenly the sun appeared and the crowd increased 7-fold.
Where they came from was a mystery but the music and dancing must have woken this sleepy town up. The girls then followed with
their Kolomejka dance and the audience swelled to the extent that cheers and clapping could be heard from all around. The lads
then performed the (2011 Llangollen runners-up) Hetman dance Yikhaly Kozaky which was appreciated by the audience with shouts of
more and encore. The girls continued the performance with Honiviter – the whirlwind dance from the Carpathian mountain region
before the lads concluded the first half performance with Cossack Dance from the Steppes.
At 5pm we commenced our second performance with Vasylky – the elegant girl’s flower dance. The lads then performed Zaporozets
– the sword dance – which generated ecstatic raptures of applause. The girls then continued with their Kozaczok dance from the
Poltava region before concluding with the lads Cossack Dance from the Steppes of Ukraine. This time there was an opportunity to
organise an audience participation section and Petro Kupranec performed his traditional solo routine to rile and attract the
audience for volunteers to perform some Cossack steps. Four young gentlemen volunteered from the crowd and the public appreciated
their efforts. A young local lass from the Ruthin area who was on a hen weekend wearing her red ‘L’ plate and white veil.
She came up to play the tambourine with the rest of the musicians in surprisingly good tempo whilst the four young men performed
their final routine together with our lads before having a go herself to rapturous delight and joy from the audience.
The lads concluded the Cossack dance with their traditional exciting finale routine to a crescendo of applause and appreciation
from the audience and organisers of the Festival.
A great 2 days of effort from members of Hoverla Ukrainian Dance Ensemble will stay in our memories for a long time to come.
Dancers, musicians and parents relaxed deservedly in the evening for supper at the famous local Old Anchor Inn which dates
back to1742 combining old world charm, oak beams and an open coal fire.
I would like to personally thank all the dancers, musicians and parents for their continued support in keeping alive and
spreading our Ukrainian culture, traditions and heritage throughout the world via Hoverla Ukrainian Dance Ensemble.
(Leader of Hoverla Ukrainian Dance Ensemble)