The Verkhovyna Ukrainian Song and Dance Ensemble is a unique Ukrainian Ensemble, which has the ability to combine forces and blend Ukrainian song and dance in ambitious and exciting ways.
The Verkhovyna Ukrainian Song and Dance Ensemble is the cultural arm of the Edmonton branch of the Ukrainian Youth Association of Canada (CYM). A broad spectrum of the Ukrainian community is represented within the ensemble, from Ukrainians new to Canada to fourth-generation Ukrainian Canadians.
The Ensemble is comprised of three groups: the Verkhovyna Choir, Dunai Dancers and Verkhovyna Ensemble School of Ukrainian Dance. The Verkhovyna Choir and Dunai Dancers have toured together as an ensemble, as well as performed separately, for appreciative audiences in Canada, the United States of America, Brazil, Costa Rica and Eastern Europe.
The Dunai dance troupe was formed in 1974, when 14 young and energetic people signed up to dance to the choreography of Mr. Roman Manastersky. The group was named after the Danube River, in the heart of Eastern Europe.
The Dunai dancers are comprised of 35 female and 15 male dancers ranging in age from 15 to 28 years, under the direction of Shawn Ostafie. Like the Verkhovyna Choir, the company's unique choreography has been warmly accepted at performances, banquets, receptions, conventions and multicultural showcases, as well as festivals and full-length shows. Their repertoire consists of various traditional and staged folk dances from different regions of Ukraine.
The instructors' professional experiences have added to the flavour of the group's Ukrainian dances. The performances include dances ranging from calm and intricate movements of lyrical girls dances, right to the exhilarating rendition of the traditional Hopak.