The Surrey-based Kvitka ensemble danced its way to a pair of big wins during last weekend’s B.C. Ukrainian Cultural Festival.
The 23rd annual event, held at Mission’s Clarke Theatre on Saturday (May 5), featured competitive dance groups from across B.C., Alberta and Washington State.
The festival’s top two trophies were won by Kvitka, according to Gord Yakimow, who photographed the action and told the Now-Leader more about the event.
“Kvitka edged out groups from Nanaimo and the Comox Valley to carry home the previt (traditional welcome dance) award, then followed up by outscoring all others for the hopak (national dance of Ukraine) award,” Yakimow wrote in an email.
“Kvitka’s hopak score of 95/100 was the highest doled out by a very demanding adjudicator (Tymothy Jaddock),” he continued. “(Jaddock is) currently a performer with Cheremosh of Edmonton, one of Canada’s top Ukrainian dance troupes, has officiated at many events in Western Canada, including the prestigious National Ukrainian Festival in Dauphin.”
The festival featured more than 300 performers from 11 troupes, including Surrey’s Kvitka, AUUC School of Dance (Vancouver), Barvinkok (Seattle), Dolyna (Comox Valley), Doylna (Kelowna), Pokotillo (Kamloops), Tropak (Richmond), Veselka (Victoria), Vesna (Nanaimo), Yevshan (Abbotsford) and Zirka (Okanagan).
“A crowd of approximately 1,500 attendees enjoyed performances, food, music, and an array of booths featuring arts, crafts, and clothing,” Yakimow added.
As a dance school, Kvitka’s roots date back to 1989, according to a post at kvitkadancers.com.
That year, “the Ukrainian Ladies Association of St. Mary wanted to promote Ukrainian culture through dance and organized an instructor and small group of students who started to learn the fundamentals of Ukrainian dance. In 1990, the Ukrainian Ladies Association asked Linda Trafananko to become the school’s artistic director and that year, Kvitka Ukrainian School of Dance was born.”
What’s more, “Kvitka’s gravity-defying leaps and spins along with their visual splendour of elaborately embroidered and ribboned costumes has dazzled audiences throughout the Lower Mainland for over 25 years.”
The dance school’s spring concert is set for May 27 at Laura Muir Theatre in New Wesminster, starting at 6 p.m.