Dance group bringing thank you show

October 8, 2023 BY

Colourful: The Lehenda Ukrainian Dance Company mixes ballet, tap, jazz, and other styles and will be performing in Bendigo later this month. Photo: SUPPLIED

A MELBOURNE-based Ukrainian dance group will be performing their show, Ukrainian Soul, Australian Soil, in Bendigo as way of showing gratitude to Australia.

Artistic director and choreographer at Lehenda Ukrainian Dance Company, Melanie Dechnicz, said the group also wants to teach people as much as possible about Ukrainian dance and culture.

“We thought it would be a really lovely opportunity to come and thank the Australian Government and Thales Australia, and all the people in Australia who are responsible for manufacturing those Bushmaster protective vehicles,” said Dechnicz.

“We perform Ukrainian dance as much as we can around Australia, and we’ve toured internationally.

“It’s a really amazing dance style that’s really unique and energetic and uses a lot of technique from classical dance, and also acrobatics for the boys, and it’s full of great energy and excitement.”

As part of the two act performance there will also be video interviews of some of the dancers, teachers, choir conductors, as well as the president of the Federation of Ukrainians in Australia, and herself.

“Every region has its own dance style, like costumes, music,” said Dechnicz. “It’s kind of like putting ballet, tap, and jazz next to each other and saying they all come from the same place.

“It’s really diverse which is why I actually really love Ukrainian dance because there’s so much diversity within the country.

“It is really high energy and colourful costumes, and it’s quick and exciting.”

Act One of Ukrainian Soul, Australian Soil is a story about the founding of Kyiv, inspired by the beginning of the war.

“For as long as I remember, Ukraine has always been fighting for independence and this piece kind of represents that founding and discovery and building of Kyiv, and then that constant battle to keep the country, and then the victory coming out of that,” said Dechnicz.

“Ukraine has so much to offer, and it’s got such a beautiful culture, and we’d love for everybody to come and actually experience that.”

Ukranian Soul, Australian Soil will be at the Ulumbarra Theatre on Sunday 22 October and tickets can be purchased via lehenda.com.au/ukrainiansoul.