Abstract. The article is concerned with life and creative path of P. Virskyi and the ensemble he leads in the context of cultural diplomacy. The author analyses that the aspiration to create realistic and folk plays by nature has influenced the artist in his exploring and further developing the folk dance. Therefore, applying the experience of folk talents, Virskyi was committed to create characters of Ukrainian stage dance, expanded and enriched its expressiveness.
Pavlo Virskyi directed some choreographic performances already in the first days of his activity as choreographer, but his actual work on the formation of the Ukrainian stage dance started in 1936, particularly following successful performance of the outstanding theatrical play “Zaporozhets za Dunaiem” (Eng. A Zaporizhian (Cossack) Beyond the Danube).In 1937, Virskyi and Bolotov organized the first ever in Ukraine folk dance ensemble and quit Taras Shevchenko National Opera and Ballet Theatre of Ukraine, where they headed a ballet group. The choreographers involved in the ensemble skilled young people as well as a team of experienced ballet dancers, among whom was M. Ivashchenko − their old friend and companion, brilliant performer of folk dances. Later B. Tairov and I. Kurylov engaged in choreographic process.
The ensemble captured people’s attention, successfully performing at the VI World Festival of Youth and Students in Moscow in the summer of 1957. The group of youngsters of the ensemble attained the title of winners of the VI World Festival and was awarded gold medals and the first-place diploma (soloists V. Kotliar, L. Zastrozhnova, H. Chapkis, N. Birka, L. Sarafanov, B. Mokrov, V. Holyk).
Artists of the dance ensemble of the Ukrainian SSR performed for the audience from many countries of the world: Poland, Czechoslovakia, China, Vietnam, Cuba, Angola, France, Austria, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, USA, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela. All of the countries equally acknowledged the ensemble.
The troupe performances abroad not only were a great success, but also sparked a massive political resonance.
The national press continuously wrote about the unsurpassed art created by renowned Ukrainian choreographer P. Virskyi and his invaluable contribution to the development of Ukrainian folk dance choreography. V. Korniichuk, Honoured Journalist of Ukraine, author of the article “To pioneer of Ukrainian folk dance” noticed the festive concert dedicated to the 90-annivarsary of P. Virskyi’s birth. In his speech before the concert, Y. Stanishevskyi, Doctor of Arts, Honoured Art Worker of Ukraine, member of the International Academy of Dance, declared, “P. Virskyi is a distinguished master of choreography, director and pioneer of Ukrainian folk dance, who not only formed a unique dance group, but also glorified Ukraine on all continents by the high art.”
Keywords: cultural diplomacy, Ukrainian folk dance, art, artistic view, Virskyi.
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