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«Study Guide For Teachers Thirty-minute lecture-demo program for audiences K to 6. 700 Cedar Road About the Program Jenkintown, PA The mission of the ...»

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Study Guide For Teachers

Thirty-minute lecture-demo program for audiences K to 6.

700 Cedar Road

About the Program

Jenkintown, PA

The mission of the Voloshky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble is to strive for excellence in the presenta-


tion of Ukrainian dance. To Voloshky, Ukrainian dance is a living, breathing, evolving art form –

Tel: 215/663/0294

an art form that portrays the past and present culture of the Ukrainian people. By combining the


highest level of dance technique and stage presentation with the unique character of Ukrainian info@voloshky.com dance, Voloshky creates an exciting blend of art and energy. The resulting style is bold and power- ful, clearly native to Ukrainian dance, yet classical enough to be appreciated and enjoyed by all.

Learning Goals

1. Students will learn how dancers need to work together to create a dance that tells a story.

2. Students will learn how dancers can tell a story without words, using only movements.

3. Students will learn aspects of Ukrainian characteristics that both differ and coincide with other cultures.

4. Students will learn some Ukrainian words Background Information For Students Ukrainian Dance Ukrainian folk dance is a truly unique art form which relates the history, life and work of the Ukrainian people, their past and present.

Ukrainian folk dancing developed dramatically from ancient times when it was once considered a ritual means of communicating with the divine forces of nature. Christianity provided an opportu- nity for further adaptations based on Christian rituals and festivals of the church calendar. Varied historical periods lend folk dancing heroistic and patriotic themes capturing the dynamic ever changing life occurrences.

Dancers, through their movements and gestures, also portray events that occur in everyday life.

Through dexterity and intricacies a people's way of life, a trade or occupation can be portrayed and displayed most delicately.

Although based on traditional folk culture, Ukrainian dance varies by region in choreographic method, content, dynamics, costumes and musical accompaniment.

For Choreographic studies, it has been widely accepted that Ukraine contains nine stylistic regions (see map). This said, each of these regions could be easily split into many other more specific

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Some general characteristics of costume in Ukraine Certain components of Ukrainian folk dress are universal: shirts, skirts, and sleeveless jacket or vest.

Both men's and women's shirts were sewn from homespun and home-woven linen or hempen cloth, polotno. Folk-shirts were long-sleeved, and generally quite lengthy, falling to the ankles or mid-calf.

In most regions of Ukraine, men's shirts are worn over the trousers. Both men's and women's shirts have their opening down the center front. The opening edges of the women's shirts are minimally decorated with embroidery, while the men's shirts are more heavily embroidered along both openings, forming a unified design when the shirt is closed. Skirts are of a wrap-around style and consist of panels. Aprons are worn over the skirt.

Generally, female costumes show greater variety and more elaborate ornamentation than male costumes. Unmarried women all over Ukraine wore their hair in one or two braids everyday. For work, young women covered their head with a kerchief. When not working, and on special occasions, maidens tied their hair back with a ribbon and inserted flowers into the ribbon on both sides of the head. Or they might cover their head with a wreath of fresh or artificial flowers with multicolored ribbons attached to the back.

During the marriage ceremony, a covering was placed on a woman's head. From then on she always kept her head covered. A typical headcovering was the ochipok of the Dnipro Region, a turban-like wrap that covered the whole head. For special occasions, a married woman would wear a namitka, a long cloth that was draped and tied around the head to resemble a wimple.

Study Guide For Teachers

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Land and People Drained by the Dnieper, the Dniester, the Buh, and the Donets rivers, Ukraine consists largely of fertile steppes, extending from the Carpathians and the Volhynian-Podolian uplands in the west to the Donets Ridge in the southeast. The Dnieper divides the republic into right-bank and left-bank Ukraine. In the north and northwest of the country is the wooded area of the Pripyat Marshes, with gray podzol soil and numerous swamps; wooded steppes extend across central Ukraine; and a fertile, treeless, grassy, black-earth (chernozem) steppe covers the south. The continental climate of the republic is greatly modified by proximity to the Black Sea. Administratively, Ukraine is divided into 24 oblasts, two municipalities with oblast status (Kiev and Sevastopol), and one autonomous republic (Crimea).

Ukrainians make up slightly less than three fourths of the population; Russians constitute around 22%, Jews around 1%, and there are Polish, Belarussian, Moldovan, and Hungarian minorities. More than half the population is urban. The majority of those practicing a religious faith belong to a branch of Orthodox Christianity—either the Ukrainian (formerly Russian) Orthodox Church, which is subordinate to the Russian patriarch, or a rival independent Orthodox Church that is headed by a Ukrainian patriarch and has attracted many Ukrainian nationalists. Separate from both is the smaller West Ukrainian Catholic Church (also known as the Uniate or Greek Catholic Church), which in 1596 established unity with Roman Catholicism but was forced by the Soviet government in 1946 to sever its ties with Rome; these ties were reestablished in 1991, and the church experienced a revival. The republic’s many educational and cultural institutions include seven universities.

Economy Ukraine’s steppe is one of the chief wheat-producing regions of Europe, and the area was long known as the “breadbasket of the Soviet Union.” Other major crops include corn, rye, barley, potatoes, sugar beets, sunflowers, and flax.

Ukraine possesses numerous raw materials and power resources, and its central and E regions form one of the world’s densest industrial concentrations. The heavy metallurgical, machine-building, and chemical industries are based on the iron mines of Kryvyy Rih, the manganese ores of Nikopol, and the coking coal and anthracite of the Donets Basin. The Dniprohes dam powers a hydroelectric station and has made the Dnieper navigable for nearly its entire length. The region also produces aluminum, zinc, mercury, titanium, nickel, oil, natural gas, and bauxite.

Ukraine’s main industrial centers are Kharkiv, Dniprostpetrovsk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhya, Makiyivka, Mariupol, and Luhansk. Odessa is the principal Ukrainian port on the Black Sea. The W Ukraine, although mainly agricultural, has significant petroleum centers at Drohobych and Boryslav, natural gas at Dashava, coal industries at Novovolynsk, and rich salt deposits. Lviv is the cultural center and the main industrial city in W Ukraine. Zhytomyr and Vinnytsya are the main agricultural centers. The republic’s leading industrial products include machinery, steel, rolled metals, tractors, cement and other building materials, mineral fertilizers, chemicals, and consumer goods. Food processing, notably the refining of sugar, is also a major industry. In spite of its many resources, Ukraine must import large quantities of natural gas and oil. The main trading partners are Russia, Turkmenistan, Belarus, and China.

Government Ukraine is governed under the constitution of 1996. The head of state is a popularly elected president who serves a fiveyear term.

Bibliography See R. Szporluk, Ukraine: A Short History (1979); O. Subtelny, Ukraine: A History (1988); I. L. Rudnytsky, Essays in Modern Ukrainian History (1988); J. A. Armstrong, Ukrainian Nationalism (3d ed. 1989).

Study Guide For Teachers Developing a Ukrainian Perspective From Language and Travel Guide to Ukraine, Hodges and Chumak, copyright 1994, 1996, 2000 by Linda Hodges.

The adage that history is written by the winners is well-understood by those with roots in Ukraine. Without a Ukrainian state, Ukrainian history was handed down as a footnote, considered no more than a provincial expression of dominant powers. By an extension of a stunted, simplistic logic, without a Ukrainian state, there was no Ukrainian identity. There ceased to be, for most of the world, not only a country with its own history, but a separate and distinct people who shared a unique language and a rich cultural heritage. With the possible exception of the batik Easter eggs, nearly every aspect of Ukrainian history and culture had been attributed to other groups. The mislabeling of things Ukrainian was carried to its logical absurdity in library card catalogs, encyclopedias, and history books. For example, college-level history of civilization textbooks discussed the Kyivan-Rus legacy without once using the word "Ukrainian."

Ukraina means borderland. As a frontierland bridging the East and West, Ukraine was vulnerable to invaders from all sides. Among the early peoples who roamed across the steppes and navigated the Dnipro and Black Sea were Scythians, Greeks, Goths, Huns, and Khazars. After the establishment of the modern state, Ukraine was threatened by the ambitions of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Ottoman Empire, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Tatar Khanate, and Muscovy. For centuries various parts were under the Russian Empire, Poland, or Austria. The many foreign powers that occupied and ruled Ukraine sometimes enriched the country, but also brought exploitation and devastation.

As a nation that for most of its history was not in charge of its own destiny, Ukraine has over and over again been trapped between two bad choices, forced to choose the lesser of two evils. Ironically, fate has thrust upon Ukraine the opportunity to emerge from the shadows and stand as a free and independent member of the family of nations.


With 233,100 square miles (603,700 sq. km.), Ukraine is the largest country completely in Europe. In size it's slightly bigger than France but smaller than the state of Texas. To the north is Belarus; Russia is to the northeast and east;

Moldova and Romania and Hungary are to the south and southwest; Slovakia and Poland border on the west and northwest. The southern border is on the Black Sea and Sea of Azov. Ukraine is a relatively modern country with a highly educated population that is two-thirds urbanized. Even so, traditional family values still prevail, including a strong work ethic.

Its population of 50 million is Europe's fifth largest, after Germany, Great Britain, Italy, and France. Ethnically, 73 percent of the population identifies themselves as Ukrainian and 22 percent as Russian, with Ukrainians predominating in the western and central oblasts, and the Russian population in the south and east. Sizable minorities are Jews, Belarusians, Moldovans, Poles, Armenians, Greeks, Bulgarians, Hungarians, Romanians, and Tatars. Not surprisingly, the non-Ukrainian population tends to be concentrated around the borders.

The country consists primarily of fertile steppeland with a forest-steppe area across the north and low-lying mountains along the western border. The Dnipro River flows down through the center separating the country into east and west regions and has played an active role in the country's development from prehistoric through modern times. Ukraine's rich soil and moderate climate make it ideally suited to agriculture. Its huge coal reserves and deposits of iron and manganese ore have led to heavy industrial development, especially in the eastern part.


In forging a new national identity, Ukraine is looking to its past and turning to its most durable symbols as a rallying point for patriotism. There's something appealing about a nation whose greatest hero is a poet and painter. Taras Hryhorovych Shevchenko, was born on March 9, 1814 into a serf family in Moryntsi, a village that today is in the Cherkasy region. Orphaned as a teen, Shevchenko accompanied his master on his travels, serving as a houseboy. In St.

Petersburg his talents as a painter attracted attention, and in 1838 a Russian painter helped him buy his freedom.

Shevchenko trained at the St. Petersburg Academy of Art where he had many contacts with Ukrainian and Russian artists and writers. His first collection of Ukrainian poems, Kobzar ("The Bard"), was published in 1840 and hailed as Study Guide For Teachers

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As a painter, Shevchenko was skilled in portraiture, landscape, and architectural monuments, but his most noteworthy paintings are the scenes of country life and historical events that are sympathetic to Ukraine and critical of its oppressors. For example, Shevchenko's tragic story of Kateryna, the Ukrainian girl who was seduced, impregnated, and abandoned by a Russian soldier, expressed both in ballad and later in a painting, are allegorical references to the fate of Ukraine under the Russian tsars who introduced serfdom.

Shevchenko's reputation as a leading Ukrainian poet and artist was already established when he came to Kyiv in 1846.

There he joined the first modern Ukrainian organization with a political ideology, the Brotherhood of Sts. Cyril and Methodius. In 1847 brotherhood members were arrested. Shevchenko was the most severely punished when the authorities discovered his unpublished collection of poetry satirizing the oppression of Ukraine by Russia. He was sentenced to ten years military service in a labor battalion in Siberia. Although Tsar Nicholas I himself stipulated, "under the strictest supervision, forbidden to write and sketch," Shevchenko managed during part of his term to write and paint clandestinely. After his release, Shevchenko was a broken man. He was not allowed to live in Ukraine, but permitted to visit. That led to his re-arrest and banishment to St. Petersburg where he remained under police surveillance until his death in

1861. His gravesite, the monument, and the museum in Kaniv (in Cherkasy oblast) are a popular tourist destination.

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