The ensemble carried the spirit of Manitoba as it toured North America extensively. Tours to Newfoundland in 1971, Nova Scotia in 1975, the Montreal Olympics in 1976, Toronto and Hamilton in 1985, and Vancouver for Expo ’86 have all helped raise the profile for Rusalka in Canada. In 2004, Rusalka was the headline performer at the Bloor Street Festival in Toronto and has also participated in festivals in Edmonton and Saskatoon. At shows in Disneyland, Las Vegas, Chicago, New Orleans, New York, and Detroit they have always been crowd favourites.
The In 1977, Rusalka became the first amateur dance group to share the stage with Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Rusalka again showcased their dancing versatility in a performance with the RWB in 1999 in their production of Swan Lake. Rusalka’s ability to entertain audiences of all ages and cultural backgrounds was proven again when the dancers performed Hopak for a Winnipeg Blue Bomber half-time show in 1999, stopping the audience in the aisles. element is a way to create long, uniform sections of text in your design and is suitable for descriptions, explanations and more. Easily drag and drop a Paragraph onto your canvas and then edit properties such as font, position, color, fill etc. to complement your design.
One of the highlights of the 2006 artistic year in Winnipeg was the premier of The Legend of the Rusalka, Rusalka’s most ambitious project to date. The Legend of the Rusalka was a collaborative production with The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, featuring classical and ethnic dance, music and song. This was a unique Canadian product, showcasing the extraordinary talents of Winnipeg’s arts community to Canada and the world. Choreographed by Anna and Vasyl Kanevets, the suite explored the folklore behind Rusalka’s mythical namesake.
Rusalka has also acted as an ambassador for Winnipeg, Manitoba and Canada on several occasions. The Ensemble was the official gift from Canada to the city of Chicago for the American Bi-Centennial celebrations in 1976, and it represented Winnipeg while visiting the sister city Setagaya, Japan in 1986.
Originally from Ukraine, Valentyna is an accomplished dancer, teacher and choreographer who has shared her knowledge and experience with students for over 25 years.
She began her dance training at the Kyiv National Ballet School and obtained a Professional Dancer Diploma with Honors. She also completed her Master of Arts Degree in Choreography at International Slavic University in Kyiv.
While in Ukraine, Valentyna was a soloist and an instructor at the National Folkloric Company Kalyna and National Dance and Choir Company Veryovka. She has toured extensively in Europe, Asia, Canada, and the United States.
In 2001, Valentyna moved to Canada where she continued to work as a professional dance instructor/choreographer with Rusalka Ukrainian Dance Ensemble, Valery Dance Academy, and Susydka Ukrainian Dance Club.
DISCIPLINE. DEVOTION. CAMARADERIE.
Rusalka’s rich choreographic repertoire features dances from Ukraine's diverse regions, styles and moods to captivate any audience. World-renowned choreographers such as Anna and Vasyl Kanevets, from Kyiv, Roma Pryma-Bochachevsky and Roman Strockij of New York, Markian Komichak of Pittsburgh, Valery Debelly from Kyiv, as well as Olha Dvorovenko and Petro Nebrosky from the Veryovka Dance Ensemble, have all left their mark on Rusalka and its extensive collection of dances.
From its Winnipeg roots, Rusalka has expanded its horizon to reach out to an ever-widening audience. Major tours throughout Asia, Europe, North America, and Ukraine, and performances for heads of state and royalty, have placed Rusalka among the most widely recognized Ukrainian dance groups in the world.
Internationally, Rusalka has performed to rave reviews at the Festival Mundial del Folklore de Trujillo, winning best performance in both 2007 and in 2016. Other recent tours include New York (2014), Ukraine (2013), Scotland (2006). Past tours include: Ukraine (1979, 1992, 1997 and 2001) Australia (1990, 1995) Florida (1994), Italy (1982), England and Scotland (1973 and 1979), Mexico (1972).
In 1979, Rusalka became the first Ukrainian Canadian dance ensemble to visit Ukraine and study under Veryovka Ukrainian Dance Ensemble of Kyiv. In 1982, its 20th anniversary year, Rusalka gave a command performance and was granted a private audience with His Holiness Pope John Paul II at his summer residence outside of Rome.
More recently, in 2009, Rusalka shared the stage in camaraderie with 90 dancers, pooling the talents of the Cheremosh Ukrainian Dance Company (Edmonton, AB) and the Tryzub Ukrainian Dance Ensemble (Calgary, AB). In 2014, Razom 2 reunited Tryzub and Rusalka, while also featuring Tavria Ukrainian Dance Ensemble (Regina, SK) and Yevshan Ukrainian Folk Ballet Ensemble (Saskatoon, SK).
In August 2006, Rusalka returned to warm crowds in Scotland to perform at the Aberdeen International Youth Festival. This festival included 10 days of stunning entertainment, music, theatre and dance celebrating the best youth talent from all over the world. As one of the main headliners, Rusalka was featured on banners, newspapers, and postcards all over Scotland. Rusalka had the opportunity to perform The Legend of the Rusalka for the first time overseas for an enamored international audience.
In 2007, amidst a devastating earthquake in Peru, dancers once again enchanted audiences at the XIV International Festival of Folk Dance in Trujillo, Peru. The Ensemble was awarded "Best Performance" and donated the proceeds of the prize to local earthquake relief.
At home in Winnipeg, Rusalka celebrated their 50th Anniversary on the Centennial Concert Hall Stage with alumni, guest artists (Hoosli Ukrainian Male Chorus, O. Koshetz Choir), in a memorable evening of celebration!
The spirit that was the inspiration for its founding is still alive today, helping to ensure that Rusalka remains an integral part of the arts community, in our city, our province, and on the world stage!
UKRAINIAN DANCE ENSEMBLE
Tours of North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia, combined with performances for heads of state, religious figures and royalty, have placed Rusalka among the most widely recognized Ukrainian dance groups in the world.
Dancers have the ability to showcase their cultural pride in a unique way that transcends all boundaries, to tell a story or express an emotion without uttering a single word.
For over 55 years, Rusalka has been capturing the imagination of audiences around the world, with its often fiery, always colourful presentation of Ukrainian dance.
PASSION FUSED WITH TRADITION
It is with ancient Ukrainian folklore in mind that our founder, the late Peter Hladun (2005) brought together a group of promising young dancers in October, 1962. Hand-picked from the Ukrainian National Federation School of Dance, the eager and dedicated students, under Hladun’s watchful guidance, soon developed into one of the most exciting Ukrainian dance ensembles in Canada. The tradition continues!