This is the name Zakarpattia or Transcarpathia is often given – a land rich in nature, unique culture and peculiar traditions. This richness is treasured dearly and passed down from one generation to another. A richness that is showed off to every visitor by the hospitable, open and talented Transcarpathians.
If one were to give a one-word answer to the question ‘What Transcarpathian culture is’ – they’d fail to! The culture of Transcarpathia is like a recipe to your favorite, most special dish: ‘Take the customs and traditions of Boykos, Hutsuls and Lemkos, add a dash of Slovak and Czech influences, a pinch of combo of Hungarian, Polish and Romanian flare! To finish off – add some Bulgarian motives, some Gypsy passion to spice things up and Jewish music to your taste. Thoroughly mix all the ingredients and cook on low for a couple centuries.’ )))
And this would be quite a simplified version of the ‘recipe’, as in reality, Transcarpathia is home to over 30 ethnic groups!
A lifetime wouldn’t probably be enough to fully study and understand the culture of Transcarpathia. But for someone, who’s looking for an introduction, an open door to the world of Transcarpathian dance, music, songs and traditions – working with the Honored Academic Transcarpathian Folk Choir would be an excellent opportunity.
The company’s repertoire is made up of the folklore of all the different national minorities living in the ‘Silver Land’ – namely ancient Ruthenian, Ukrainian, Slovak, Hungarian, Czech, Romanian, German, Gypsy and other songs and dances, which the ensemble proudly performs around the world!
The first professional company in Transcarpathia was established September 25, 1945. The original repertoire and authentic costumes, a unique sound (the company combines dance and choral art), a multi-ethnic coloring and professional skill and artistry have all contributed to the company constantly growing their army of fans – in Ukraine as well as abroad.
Throughout its existence the company has had a number of very talented individuals direct the ensemble. But among others, one person deserves special recognition – this is National Artist of Ukraine Klara Balogh, who devoted her whole life to the company. Her ‘Bereznianka’ is rightfully considered one of the Ukrainian Choreography classics. This Transcarpathian dance is also, by far, the most well-known all over the world.
This Summer, Ukrainian Dance World is taking the annual Ukrainian Dance Workshop Tour through the regions and dances of Gypsy (Romania), Bukovyna (Chernivtsi) and Transcarpathia (Uzhgorod). Our dance participants will have a unique opportunity to work with the Transcarpathian Folk Choir and experience the amazing culture of the ‘Silver Land’.