More than 2,000 gather for Ukrainian Festival in Horsham
By: Kimberly Flanders
Aug 26, 2013
Photos by Carl Kosola. Video Report by Alexandra Finnie.
Arts, dance, sounds, flavors and culture — the 22nd annual Ukrainian Folk Festival on Sunday had it all.
More than 2,000 people gathered at the Ukrainian American Sport Center in Horsham to view the celebration, which is held each year on the anniversary of Ukrainian independence.
Twenty-two years ago on Aug. 24, Ukraine gained independence from the Soviet Union.
Aleksandr Ursta and Khrystyna Muravyova of the Voloshky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble
performs on stage at the annual Ukrainian Folk Festival at the
Ukrainian American Sports Center in Horsham Sunday afternoon.
Eugene Luciw, one of the hosts of the event, said each year the festival celebrates Ukrainian culture with an array of arts and crafts, music, dance and food. Guests were invited to learn about the symbolism of the pysanka, the Ukrainian Easter egg, or watch the rhythm and power of the hopak, an ethic dance.
He said a group, whose name translates to Battle Hopak, performed for the first time in America at the festival. The dance is thousands of years old and incorporates martial arts and acrobatics.
“It feels good to be here in America,” said Petro Velinec of Battle Hopak. “I’ve gained 9 pounds already,” he said, smiling.
Alexandra Kuzyszyn of the Iskra Ukrainian Dance Ensemble performs
on stage at the annual Ukrainian Folk Festival at the
Ukrainian American Sports Center in Horsham Sunday afternoon.
“It is our obligation to show how Ukrainian heritage was practiced so many years ago. I’m so pleasantly surprised to have so many people here to watch.”
The festival also featured a public dance, Ukrainian foods and baked goods, a barbecue pit, arts and crafts displays and a kid’s fun area.
Eugene Soltys of Florence, N.J., was visiting the festival with his family, and being of Ukrainian heritage said this wasn’t his first time at the event.
“This is the most beautiful weather we’ve had, the Ukrainian community is small and close, and we’re just celebrating our independence. It’s nice to see all the culture, dancing, food; it’s a nice day to be Ukrainian,” he said.
Note: The performers at this year’s festival included ISKRA Ukrainian Dance Ensemble; Voloshky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble; violinist Innesa Tymochko Dekajlo; The Fourth Wave Ensemble; and The Vox Ethnika Orchestra, which also play live music for the Zabava – Social Dance that followed the concert. Boyovyj Hopak (“Battle Hopak”), a Ukrainian Marshall Arts school that practices the same fighting styles as the Ukrainian Kozaks made a special appearance at the festival, demonstrating their arts and skills.
Photo Gallery - Festival 2013
Photos Courtesy of Christine Syzonenko
22nd Annual Ukrainian Folk Festival
Sunday, August 25, 2013
12:00 – 8:00 P.M.
ENJOY THE FUN, FOOD, MUSIC, DANCING AND ARTS AND CRAFTS
VISIT VENDORS GROVE
Exciting, spectacular, dazzling, breathtaking, exhilarating, spirited, soulful, enchanting, captivating, and intriguing – modest words which describe but by no means capture the essence of Ukrainian folk art, music, and dance. From the rich color and deep symbolism of the delicate “pysanka” (Ukrainian Easter Egg) to the thunderous power, rhythm and strength of “HOPAK” – the world’s most exciting ethnic dance - and every brilliant “Kolomiyka” (polka) and soulful folk song in between, we invite you to experience the 22nd Annual Ukrainian Folk Festival, celebrating the anniversary of our ancestral homeland’s independence. This year’s extravaganza will take place on Sunday, August 25, 2013, beginning at 12:00 Noon at the Ukrainian American Sport Center - Tryzub (www.tryzub.org) located at County Line and Lower State Roads, Horsham, PA.
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12:00 p.m. – festival begins; vendors; food; kid's fun area
1:30 PM – 4:30 PM – Gala Festival Stage Show
4:30 PM – 8:00 PM – Public Social Dance (“Zabava”)
Vox Ethnika Orchestra – traditional, modern, ballroom and Polka
FESTIVAL STAGE SHOW FEATURES:
Voloshky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble (Jenkintown,PA). Voloshky has earned international renown for the vigor and resplendence of its performances. The Voloshky style is bold, powerful, and one of sparkling athleticism. The Ensemble generates a dynamic blend of art and energy characterizing the vitality of the Ukrainian people. Voloshky's artistry and portrayal of Ukrainian dance is testament to a vibrant and enduring culture steeped in rich history. www.voloshky.com.
Emily Knihnicky of Voloshky performs during the Ukrainian Gypsy Dance
Photo by Carl Kosola/Intelligencer-Record newspaper.
Voloshky performs "Hopak": the most exciting folk dance.
Photo by Christine Syzonenko
Voloshky performs Hutsul Dance. Photo by Christine
The Iskra Ukrainian Dance Ensemble (Whippany, NJ) was formed in 2011 by professional dancer, teacher and choreographer Andrij Cybyk. After spending 8 years growing the Iskra Ukrainian Dance Academy in Whippany, NJ, Mr. Cybyk decided it was time to create a semi-professional ensemble to give his students something to strive for. The Iskra Ensemble is comprised of 20 Professional and pre-professional dancers hand-picked by Mr. Cybyk to express his unique style of Ukrainian dance. To date, the Ensemble has amazed audiences at many local New York and New Jersey festivals, as well as the “Wild West Ukie Fest” in Phoenix, Arizona.
Iskra Power. Photo by Christine Syzonenko
Iskra Beauty. Photo by Christine Syzonenko
Iskra Precision. Photo by Christine Syzonenko
- Fourth Wave Ensemble.Composed of professionally trained
and accomplished singers and musicians, The Fourth Wave Ensemble has a
rich repertoire of Ukrainian traditional folk and contemporary pop style
songs. Their unique arrangements often fuse the two genres into a very
unique performance style.
- Violinist Innesa Tymochko Dekajlo (Lviv, Ukraine) starting
at the age of six, Innesa has studied violin with some of Europe’s greatest
masters. She has fused the beauty, power and soul of traditional Ukrainian
folk music with the classical string instrument - the violin. Her fresh,
inventive style has gained critical acclaim from both classical and traditional
music critics. Innesa has toured throughout Europe and North America. www.innesa.com.
- Vox Ethnika BAND (New York City) Its unique compositional approach to music has received wide recognition in the USA, Canada and Europe; its style of transforming East European folk music is influential. Vox Ethnika is the only band that performs all manner of Eastern European Folk and Pop music (Ukrainian, Lemko, Rusyn, Czech, Slovak, and Polish, Rusyn, Ukrainian) set to unique modern arrangements. It also carries a wide, varied and rich repertoire of American and British music – from the twenties to contemporary top hits.
Enjoy Vox Ethnika both on stage and as your band for social dancing at the festival. www.voxethnika.com
Photos courtesy of Christine Syzonenko
Festival 2013 photos:
Festival 2010 photos:
Festival 2009 photos:
Festival 2008 photos: