Chaika Dance Ensemble celebrates 15th anniversary with dinner-dance
The Chaika Dance Ensemble of Yonkers, N.Y., celebrated its 15th year of existence with a dinner-dance held at the Ukrainian Youth Center in Yonkers on November 23, 1996. The 130 participants included 65 Chaika members. Over 120 dancers from the tri-state area have performed with Chaika over the past 15 years. Chaika, operating under the auspices of the Ukrainian American Youth Association of Yonkers, has performed at the Lincoln Center, the United Nations, the Southern Baptist Convention in Georgia, the Garden State Arts Center in New Jersey and the University of Pittsburgh, and at festivals at Hunter Mountain, the Verkhovyna estate in Glen Spey, N.Y, the SUM-A resort in Ellenville, N.Y., Wilkes- Barre and Chester, Pa., Baltimore and Montreal, to name a few. The troupe has donated thousands of dollars from performances to benefit the Ukrainian Medical Relief Fund of the Ukrainian American Youth Association and for the building of a new youth camp at the SUM-A resort. The dinner-dance provided an opportunity to pay tribute to Chaika founder and choreographer Orest Rusynko, who announced his retirement this year. His tremendous energy and choreographic talent powered Chaika to recognition as one of the premier Ukrainian dance ensembles in the diaspora. A vibrant "Kolomyika" (seen above) by all past and present members of Chaika highlighted the celebration. Chaika now embarks upon a new era under choreographer Gregory Momot, who is a graduate of the Ukrainian Folk Dance program at Kyiv University. Chaika invites any dancers interested in joining to contact Oksana Tomaszewsky at (914) 739-8003.
Copyright © The Ukrainian Weekly, March 9, 1997, No. 10, Vol. LXV
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