Return of the Whirlwind

Ukrainian Shumka Dancers and the country that sent their ancestors out into the world a hundred years ago. Under artistic director John Pichlyk, these whirlwind dancers performed in some of the most prestigious Opera-Ballet houses in Ukraine. The tour earned artistic and critical acclaim – an intense…exhilarating…emotional experience for dancers and audience alike.
This reunion took place during the summer of historic change in the Soviet Union. It was equally a summer of change for the 64 talented 3rd and 4th generation Canadians. The tour was not only an occasion for pride in the group’s Ukrainian heritage, in equally strong degree, it defined for them their Canadian identity. For Shumka, the Canadian flag flying through the air at the end of their Hopak was a symbol of joyous identification with the country to which their ancestors had emmigrated in search of peace, dignity and freedom – including, among other liberties, the freedom to dance.

Roman Melnyk, Director of Network Television, CBC, Toronto “…You captured the energy, colour and emotion of the Shumka Dancers tour and blended the backstage and performance elements with great skill. It is a fine production.
Bob Hunka, Vice President, Television Music, Columbia Pictures, California “We’ve watched it four times already…it’s a very wonderful and heartfelt production. In fact, I feel that it’s so good that I wanted an additional copy to lobby the Canadian Consulate down here to see about putting copies of the tape in various Diplomatic Missions around the world. …In the meantime, thank you for all the time, effort and love you obviously put into the entire production.”

Michael Schreiner, Director of Programming, ACCESS Network “…your program has been broadcast several times on ACCESS Network…and has been one of the most requested programs.”