Voloshky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble received support from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage in 2011 to present the premiere of a work by choreographer Mark Morris. The ensemble has just released a video trailer for the performance (see above), Steppes: A Crossover. The program featured the premiere of a Morris piece in addition to several other traditional and contemporary arrangements. Taras Lewyckyj, the artistic director of Voloshky, also received an individual grant in 2012 to recover the lost works of aging Ukrainian choreographer Anatolij Kryvochyzha, who was the artistic director and chief choreographer of Yatran Ukrainian National Dance Company in the 1970s.
Voloshky, which was founded 40 years ago to preserve the tradition of Ukrainian dance, continues to make connections between Ukrainian heritage and contemporary culture. In the video, Lewyckyj discusses how the instrumental support of the Center allowed the company to begin its ongoing collaboration with Morris, and to embark on the recovery and restaging of the choreography of the Yatran program. Though the two projects were initially separate, Lewyckyj and Morris agreed that a hybrid of the two would form a powerful program, and Steppes: A Crossover was the result.
Watch the full video above, in which Lewyckyj talks about his creative process against a backdrop of rehearsals, master classes, and performance footage.