The Evolution of Ukrainian Canadian Dance Over the Twentieth Century




Ward, Alicia

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Ukrainian Canadian folk dance has undergone several transformations since the arrival of the first Ukrainian immigrants in the 1890s. Throughout the twentieth century, Ukrainian territory was divided among great powers, occupied by foreign invaders, and pulled into the Soviet sphere of influence. Ukrainian immigration to Canada during the interwar and post war periods led to new developments in choreography, costume, and style. This research addresses how the political landscape at home and abroad impacted the development of Ukrainian- Canadian stage dance. In addition, I investigate how members of the Ukrainain-Canadian diaspora subscribed to different political ideologies, and utilized folk dance as a platform to build a unified and cohesive national identity. The diaspora community in Canada, despite being separated from their homeland, were able to transform old country folk dances into national and spectacular dances that have since become a symbol of Ukrainian cultural identity, and a popular source of entertainment for both Ukrainian-Canadians and non-Ukrainians alike.



Ukrainian-Canadian folk dance, Ukrainian-Canadian culture, cultural identity, diaspora