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Friday, September 20, 2024 at 7:00 PM MDT
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Lesia Ukrainka: A Woman of Strength & Vision

Lesia Ukrainka is a renowned Ukrainian artist, musician, story- teller, poet, and writer. February 25, 2021 marked the 150th anniversary of her birth. She had a troubled life - suffering with physical ailments - and lived vicariously through her art. She is a legend among the Ukrainian diaspora, and as a woman, is especially inspiring in a patriarchal culture.

Ukrainian dance normally explores themes or stories, but not individuals. It depicts celebrations, but rarely the trials and challenges of life. Shumka’s Artistic Director, Les Sereda, is inspired to develop a dance theatre work for Shumka that focuses on the life of Lesia Ukrainka - its artistic angst, its physical hardships, its creative triumphs, and escapes.

Along with her literary achievements, Lesia Ukrainka explored ethnography and collected data on folk traditions, specifically, Ukrainian folk melodies. She recorded 220 of the latter, published a work on children's games, songs, fairy tales and formed a collection "Folk Songs for Dance,” making her one of the pioneers of the ethnic studies scholarly field in Ukraine, amongst other accomplishments.

Lesia Ukrainka made an invaluable contribution to Ukrainian folklore as a collector and performer of folk music. Her repertoire included traditional, Cossack and lyrical songs, lullabies, children’s songs, ballads, ritual chants, and, most unique of all, fairy tales.

Ukrainka was well on her way to becoming a pianist, but due to tuberculosis of the bone, she did not attend any outside educational establishment. Writing was to be the main focus of her life. Despite her continuous pain and intense medical treatments, Ukrainka led an extremely active cultural and social life. She was a member of the Ukrainian national and feminist movements, published three poetry collections in L’viv from 1893 to 1902, and wrote over 100 poems throughout 1903-1913 during her trips abroad.

Said Sereda, “I believe that Lesia lived out her dreams through her writing. Her health limited her physically but through her writing she could experience the world. She wrote not only of love, but also social justice and human rights. This was at a time when such subjects were frowned upon. Now is a time when these subjects are at the forefront.”

Lesia Ukrainka journeyed through her imagination living the life she never could. And she did so with strength, conviction and a deep sense of artistry that depicted the real and imaginary. The current generation of the Ukrainian diaspora has limited knowledge and understanding about the significance of her life and her work. Knowing their belief in social justice, human rights, and women’s rights, she is the legend they know little about.


Cargill Theatre
4501 50 Street
Camrose AB T4V 5J1

Performance Notes

**Digital Ticket Access for Livestream Performance**
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This is a general seating performance - the seats are on a first come, first serve basis when you arrive at the venue.

Doors open 1/2 hour prior to start of performance.