Porter Johnson is one of the many Sadok Dance Ensemble talents, which will be on display May 26. (Contributed - Wayne Emde)

Vernon celebrates Ukrainian roots

The 19th annual Okanagan Ukrainian Festival takes place Sunday, May 26 at the Vernon Performing Arts Theatre at 2 p.m.

A colourful display of Ukrainian culture and tradition is about to unfold.

The 19th annual Sadok Okanagan Ukrainian Festival returns to Vernon Sunday, May 26 at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre at 2 p.m.

This year’s dance theatre production is called Roots. It will celebrate Ukrainian traditions that have been passed down through generations, with special guests Pokotillo Ukrainian Dancers of Kamloops and the Baker Family Orchestra.

This musical production is drawn from the rich history and cultural traditions of Ukrainian Canadians. The story will take the audience back to various traditional dances that are performed during celebratory events of the cycle of life — from birth to marriage, and traditions of losing a loved one — the group will perform new signature piece entitled, Memory Eternal.

The Sadok Ukrainian Dance Ensemble is a local dance theatre troupe that that often pushes the boundaries of this unique art form by entertaining and educating their audience about their beautiful Ukrainian Canadian Heritage.

They have performed throughout the Okanagan Valley, Vancouver, Alberta and Los Angeles, Cali, and Ukraine. Their travels have taken them to Ukraine in 2006 to study at the Virsky State Ensemble summer dance program. In March of 2008 they performed at Disneyland, California where they shared their culture with the world. In 2013, Sadok returned to Ukraine to once again enjoy the country, visit family and study dance at the Yunist Dance Ensemble studio at the Palace of Culture in Lviv. In 2014, the Ensemble was the guest performers at the Cultural Showcase at the Vegreville Ukrainian Pysanky Festival in Alberta. In 2016 Sadok was the guest performers at the Vancouver Greek Festival. In 2018, they traveled back to Ukraine for the International Ukrainian Dance Festival in Lviv.

This is the 27th theatrical dance and music production choreographed by Artistic Director Andrea Malysh. Through her 40 years of Ukrainian Folk Dance and ethnographic studies, Malysh has had the privilege to work with other professional instructors and regional experts in Canada, Australia and Ukraine. In 2006, Malysh was awarded a diploma from the School of Choreography at the Virsky National University of Arts and Culture in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Related: Sadok brings taste of Ukraine to Vernon

Related: Sadok shares the spirit

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