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Markian Tarasiuk on the First of its Kind Exhibit About Ukrainian Dance in Winnipeg

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In this episode of Community Hour, Yuliia Kovalenko interviews Marina Tarasiuk about an exciting new exhibit at Oseredok Ukrainian Cultural and Educational Centre that will go on through the summer.  Called “The Journey Through Ukrainian Dance” is an exhibit developed in partnership with Rusalka Ukrainian Dance Ensemble. 

Tarasiuk, whose Ukrainian family has been here for generation, talks about how important it has been throughout his life to ensure Ukrainian Culture is preserved – an important issue for many Ukrainian-Canadians whether they came in the late 1900s or in recent years because of the war.

This special new exhibit, presented by Rusalka and curated by Rusalka alumnus Markian Tarasiuk, will be a multi-dimensional, immersive presentation of the legendary style of Ukrainian dance. Opening on June 5th, 2023, and running until September 30th, 2023, the exhibit delves deep into the history and art form of Ukrainian dance, while celebrating the illustrious 60 years of the Rusalka Ukrainian Dance Ensemble. 

Visitors to Oseredok will have the opportunity to explore brand new interactive displays, gain both historical and artistic knowledge, and examine the unique and diverse world of Ukrainian dance like never before.

Markian Tarasiuk, a curator of the “Journey through Ukrainian dance” exhibit says that curating an exhibition was his childhood dream: “My mother was a curator at one point, a curator for Parks Canada. I was surrounded by her influence growing up and loved museums. When this project came up I was excited, because now I had the chance to do one. And I’ve always been fascinated in the process behind creating a museum. This is my first one so it’s been a massive learning curve. However, I always wanted to say that if I’m going to do this project it’s going to be like a world class exhibition. That’s what I believe it is.”

During the past 18 months, Markian and the rest of the team have been working on this project. This project demands many people’s involvement, including authors, translators, text people, projection guys, builders, painters etc. 

“I think anybody who visits a museum looks at it like “wow, this looks great” but every single detail had to be thought of and there was intention behind every single part; every screw every piece of text”, says Tarasiuk. 

Even though Markian has been involved in Ukrainian dancing since childhood, he was blown away by the information he never knew or learned as a Ukrainian dancer.

“I think that is a great part of the exhibit. If you’ve seen Ukrainian dances or you are a Ukrainian dancer you can still learn something from this. We go through all the regions from Poltava to Polesia, Bukovina, Volhynia, Zakarpattia. The exhibit explores what each of these regions mean and why they dance the way they do,” emphasizes Tarasiouk.  

Markian hopes that with this exhibit will increase the appreciation for Ukrainian dance. He hopes that people will understand better how effective dance is to, first, for our community, but also to people personally.

– Yuliia Kovalenko, U Multicultural

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