Cheremosh Ukrainian Dance Ensemble
Cheremosh Ukrainian Dance Ensemble captivates audiences with its rich repertoire of traditional folk dances representing diverse regions of Ukraine. From the Carpathian Mountains to central Ukraine and its fertile steppes, each region boasts unique styles, authentic costumes, and its own music. The dancers’ “Hopak” is an exhilarating, crowd-pleasing finale to each performance.
As part of the Ukrainian American Youth Association, Cheremosh is dedicated to preserving Ukrainian culture through dance and cultural enrichment activities. Most of its 60 dancers, who range in age from four to 24, are children or grandchildren of Ukrainian immigrants and several dancers themselves were born in Ukraine. The group performs throughout the Twin Cities at annual events including the Festival of Nations in Saint Paul and several held each year at the Ukrainian American Community Center. It has also performed at the Minnesota State Fair, Lake Harriet Band Shell, and frequently dances by invitation at various public and private events.
A Trip Home
In August 2017, nearly 20 of our oldest dancers traveled to Ukraine to perform at the International Ukrainian Dance & Culture Festival in Lviv, for the trip of a lifetime. The itinerary included dance workshops and tours of museums, churches, and other historical buildings. In addition, the dancers visited the Carpathian Mountains—home to the Hutzul people—and performed in Kolomyia at the annual Spasa festival.
In years past, the ensemble has danced at Folklorama in Winnipeg, a large annual ethnic festival held at various venues throughout the city. Cheremosh has also traveled throughout Minnesota and to Chicago for performances.
Today’s ensemble traces its roots to the Ukrainian Folk Ballet of the Twin Cities, which began in 1934 under the direction of legendary Ukrainian choreographer Vasyl Avramenko, the founder of Ukrainian dance troupes throughout North America and Canada. Nearly 80 years after founding members performed at the Shubert Theatre, our dancers performed in that same theater, which was moved to a new location, renovated, and now operates as the Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts.
On May 14th, 2017, Cheremosh dancers, parens, community members were excited and honored to welcome the Ambassador of Ukraine to the U.S.A., Valeriy Chaly at the annual spring concert. Ambassador Chaly awarded Cheremosh Ukrainian Dance Ensemble, led by Ken Matlashewski, its Artistic Director, with Honorary Diploma of the diplomatic mission for promotion and support of Ukrainian culture in Minnesota.
Other guests of honor present at the concert were Vitalii Tarasiuk – Minister-Counsellor, Embassy of Ukraine in the U.S.A., Larysa Gerasko – Consul General of Ukraine in Chicago, and Yevgeniy Drobot – Vice-Consul, Consulate General of Ukraine in Chicago.
Ukrainian American diaspora of the Twin Cities is proud of the Cheremosh Dance Ensemble’s achievements and is happy to nurture its ties with Ukraine and share its cultural heritage!