Crimean Tatar Cultural Recovery

Voloshky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble

2017
$60,000

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Voloshky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble performing Ukrainian Gypsies, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, June 2017. Photo by Hayim Heron, courtesy of Jacob’s Pillow Dance.

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Voloshky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble in Hopak. Photo by Andrew Zvarytch.

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Taras Lewyckyj, artistic director of Voloshky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble. Photo courtesy of the Ukrainian Federation of America.

Voloshky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble will research Crimean Tatar choreographic practices, with the goal of incorporating Crimean choreography into its company repertoire. Voloshky’s artistic director, dancers, and a Crimean Tatar cultural leader from the US will travel to Lviv, Ukraine to work with indigenous Crimean Tatar choreographers who are currently living in internally-displaced-person neighborhoods, after fleeing the invasion of Crimea. Voloshky’s mission is to promote artistic exchange and dialogue between Ukrainians and the global community through dance. For this project, they will convene a series of master classes and sohbets—the Tatar word for a historical, artistic philosophical discussion—to fully immerse the company in the distinct mystical and aesthetic characteristics that form the movement vocabulary of a culture that has been geographically displaced for many generations. Following the research trip, the company will hold a symposium in Philadelphia to share its findings and to foster a deeper understanding of Crimean Tatar culture.