DISCOVERING THE VOLYN REGION
Volyn State Academic Folk Choir
The group was established in 1978 in Lutsk, on the base of the Volyn Regional Philharmonic. One of the organizers and the first artistic director of the company was composer, People's Artist of Ukraine, A. Pashkevych. Since 1993, Alexander Stadnik has carried on his artistic legacy. The group’s main cast is made up of about 80 artists, 24 of those being the dance troupe. This talented bunch is led by and experienced and talented choreographer Valery Smirnov. Volyn Folk Choir’s repertoire is huge and very diverse. In the years they’ve existed the group has recorded six CDs. The ensemble also boasts about 200 songs, orchestral numbers, dance, vocal and choreographic compositions. There are many original authorial pieces, but the base is a constant - folk songs, ‘woven’ into typical Volyn context.
These are songs, musical and choreographic traditions characteristic for the Volyn region, which, in many ways, focuses on the artistic legacy and recordings made by Lesya Ukrainka.
Situated in the North West of Ukraine, the region of Volyn has had many influences, including that of a bordering Ukrainian region of Polissia, as well as neighboring countries – Poland (in the West) and Belarus (in the North). The cultural and folk traditions of these states explain why presence of many not typically Ukrainian dances, like polka and quadrillion among Volyn dances, and, consequently in the Volyn Folk Choir’s repertoire!
Constant success and sold out shows primarily are the result of a well thought out repertoire. The all time favorites that the company has been using for years now, include pieces like: "We are from Volyn" ("Ми з Волині"), "Kozaks are coming" ("Козаки йдуть"), "Reaping time" ("Обжинки"), "Dance, dance, hulyanochka" ("Гуляй, гуляй, гуляночка"), "Midsummer" ("На Івана Купала"), "Кроковеє колесо" ("Walking wheel"). These are traditional spring songs, games and dances turned into stage numbers.
On the other hand, apart from traditional pieces, Volyn Folk Choir’s repertoire is constantly enriched with new works inspired both by Ukrainian and world folk classics, providing originality and modernity to the group’s concerts.
In 2012, during the annual Ukrainian Dance Workshop Tour, organized by Ukrainian Dance World in collaboration with Cobblestone Freeway Tours, participants attended a workshop with the Volyn Folk Choir’s dance group, where the hosts shared history and basics of Volyn dances, helped understand its specificity and identity. Here you can see a short video from the tutorial.
Volyn or Volhynia, Volynia (Ukrainian - Волинь Volyn’) is a historic region in Central and Eastern Europe straddling Poland,Ukraine, and Belarus. The alternate name for the region is Lodomeria after the city of Volodymyr-Volynsky (Vo-Lodymer) that once was a political capital of the medieval Volhynian Principality.
Volyn now form the Volyn, Rivne, and parts of Zhytomyr, Ternopil and Khmelnytskyi Oblastsof Ukraine, as well as parts of Poland (city of Chełm). Major cities nclude Lutsk, Rivne, Kovel,Volodymyr-Volynskyi, Kremenets (Ternopil Oblast), and Starokostiantyniv (Khmelnytskyi Oblast).