Discovering Manitoba

Vinok Ukrainian Dance, Rossburn: Dance for Joy

Ukrainian dance has been popular in Rossburn since the early 1980’s and out of this has grown the Vinok Ukrainian Dance Group. The group is dedicated to promoting the art and joy of Ukrainian dance in children and youth. It is made up of dancers from Birtle, Shoal Lake and Rossburn, but it still has room to grow. Presently, the there are more than 25 dancers in the beginner, intermediate and novice levels.

Vinok (Ukrainian: BiHOK) is a headdress made from leaves, f lowers, and branches worn by girls and young unmarried women. The flower wreath remains a part of Ukrainian national costumes and is worn on festive occasions, holy days and as a part of the costume for dancers of the Poltava region.

Our concerts to date have focused on dances from central Ukraine, in particular the Poltava region, the region most commonly associated with Ukrainian dance. The region is made up of fertile farm land on flat plains. To represent this, the dancing is very open, wide in its choreography and its steps. The dance style is crisp and acrobatic for men, and feminine and technical for girls. The costumes for the dances of this region include blouse, a vinok, a plakhta (girls skirt), a poyas (belt), sharyvary (loose mens’ trousers) and red boots. Most commonly, the blouses are white with black and red embroidery. The Ukrainians believed that life should include both red (the colour of joy) and black (the colour of sorrow).

The Vinok Ukrainian Dance Group’s winter concert takes place in March 2010 at the Rossburn Town Hall. Every year our dancers look forward to demonstrating their love of the dance, they will spin fast and jump high. As in previous years, a raffle and silver collection will take place at the concert. The Group also performs at various functions throughout the year including local festivals, competitions, care homes and special events.

The Club stays afloat through registrations and fundraising. As well we have been fortunate to receive grants from Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism—Arts/ Audience Development program. Funding from this program goes toward costs related to dance instruction, travel, promotion and advertising.

The Vinok Ukrainian Dance Group practices at the Town Hall in Rossburn every week and is under the exceptional instruction of K risten Stebeleski from Oakburn, MB.

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