Volya Ukrainian Cossack Dance Workshop

WOMADelaide  is about to deliver an awesome line up of talent again. And right now as we head towards March you can sense that real feeling of anticipation, knowing that there will be some of the most amazing musicians on the planet on show at The Botanic Park in 2019.

But I want to focus on the D in the World of Music and Dance acronym, as the Dance component sometimes flies under the radar, and talk about the Volya Ukrainian Cossack Dance Workshop on Friday 8th March at 6.00 pm on the Zoo Stage.

Rostyk (Bob) Becker spoke to Marko Kvasniuk, dancer and Media Publicity Manager for Volya Ukrainian Cossack Dance about their WOMADelaide Dance Workshop.

Marko, tell us about the name of your ensemble. What does it mean?
Volya means Freedom in Ukrainian, and I guess, for us the word carries a lot of meaning. It’s about the freedom to move that only dance can offer. It’s the freedom to fully express yourself – your feelings, your emotions, with your body. And it’s got a deeper meaning too. Even though Ukraine is an independent country now, for many years it was subject to invasion and oppression. The Ukrainian Cossacks were basically the freedom fighters who fought for freedom and independence from invaders.

So that’s how you connect Volya (Freedom) and the Ukrainian Cossack (Freedom Fighters) in your name?
Basically yes

And the Ukrainian Cossacks – were they dancers as well as freedom fighters?
As far as I can gather, a lot of research has been done to suggest that the Ukrainian Cossack dance moves were originally martial arts movements or exercises that they invented for fitness, battle, and eventually recreation.

Will you be demonstrating some Ukrainian Cossack dance steps?
Sure. There will be a performance. We love dancing. And performing at WOMADelaide is a dream come true. But we will also teach some dance steps. One of the dances we’ll teach is from the Hutsul region in the Carpathian Mountains in Ukraine. It’s a partner dance known as the Arkan.

Can you tell us about the Arkan?
It’s a Hutsul dance that’s performed in villages during festivals and gatherings in the Carpathian Mountains. The Hutsul region is actually right next to Bukovina, so participants at our workshop might be able to use the steps they learn from us during the Shantel and the Bucovina Club Orkestar shows on Sunday and Monday night at WOMADelaide.

Sounds good. I like the sound of that. Without giving too much away, is there anything else that participants can expect at your dance workshop?
Expect to have a lot of fun. If you just want to watch – that’s great, there will be, as I said, a performance. But if you are willing to move your body and do the workshop, we can guarantee you will really enjoy it. I mean Friday 6pm after a crazy week at work. WOMADelaide, Botanic Park. The beautiful Zoo Stage. Volya Ukrainian Cossack Dance Workshop. Sounds perfect. Right? Oh did I mention that we will have some live music, with musicians performing with us who have appeared at previous WOMADelaide Festivals? Bonus right? So come along. It will be a lot of fun. We are really looking forward to it.

Interview By Bob Becker

Volya Ukrainian Cossack Dance Workshop will be on Friday 8 March at 6.00 pm on the Zoo Stage, WOMADelaide

For tickets and set times for WOMADelaide head to https://www.womadelaide.com.au/

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