International Ukrainian Dance & Culture Festival
The IUDCF is clearly becoming one of the coolest new Ukrainian dance festivals around the world. What is it? This festival brings together Ukrainians from all around the world to celebrate and share their passion for Ukrainian dance, music and culture.
Last year there were groups from all around the world including Canada, Australia, England and of course Ukraine. Some came just for the festival and enjoyed their time in and around Lviv. Other groups toured around and performed throughout Ukraine. Yet others just went off to the Carpathian mountains or to other parts of Europe to explore, relax and enjoy!
The festival itself included sold out shows featuring Lviv’s own Yunist Ensemble, Ruslana the famous Ukrainian pop star, Nazar Savko a well known Lviv star, Burdon Ukrainian Folk Band and Canada’s own Tyt i Tam.
The Zabava was a spectacle to behold with people of all ages, from all around the world partying together and making friends. Where else can you meet with Ukrainian dancers, singers, musicians and artisans from around the world, who share the same passion as you?
This coming year, at Shevchenkivskyi Hai open architecture museum, which houses beautiful examples of folk buildings from around Ukraine, there will be an outdoor festival with a Kozak feast, artisans and craftsmen and an atmosphere to inspire.
Special guests this year will be the Volyn National Song & Dance Ensemble from Lutsk, Ukraine who will be the feature performers with their soul inspiring folk traditions and powerful style which will leave you with goosebumps. Not only that, they will also be offering workshops for the singers and dancers throughout the weekend.
Lviv itself makes the festival cool with a combination of medieval old streets, Austrian architecture and Ukrainian spirit with new cafes, restaurants and micro breweries surrounded by a UNESCO protected city centre that will charm each and everyone of you.
Performers were met by cheering crowds on the stage by city hall in the ploshcha rynok or market square as a Hopak washed over the crowd. “Are these professionals from Lviv”? people asked. “Nope” they are from abroad. Audience members were brought to tears with the very real impression that for over 100 years, Ukrainians around the world had not only not forgotten their homeland but they honoured it by keeping the traditions alive and representing the beauty of Ukrainian culture in their new country.
This year there are double the amount of groups from Canada, the USA, England, Ukraine, Croatia and Argentina. Besides the festival - many of the groups that attending this year will be travelling around Ukraine and finishing up their grand tour with a festival and performance on Independence Day in Kyiv! They may take in the parade and then even dip their feet in the mighty Dnipro river.
You don’t have to be a performer to attend. If you just want to come and enjoy the atmosphere and attend the workshop and performances and Zabavas, you can do that by buying a weekend pass. But don’t wait too long - it’s sure to be a sold out show!