Ukrainian Dance Troupe Begins Japan Tour in Nagoya

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Members of the P. Virsky Ukrainian National Folk Dance Ensemble perform at NTK Hall in Naka Ward, Nagoya, on Saturday.

The P. Virsky Ukrainian National Folk Dance Ensemble, which has continued to perform even after the Russian invasion of their country, began its Japan tour Saturday in Naka Ward, Nagoya, performing dances rooted in the culture of their homeland.

This is their third visit to Japan and first in 20 years. The troupe will hold 43 shows in 31 cities in Japan through Aug. 8.

The members of the Kyiv-based troupe were forced to flee after the invasion began in February last year, but they started their European tour the following month. In the Ukrainian capital, they are said to suspend performances and practices whenever an air-raid alert is issued.

A 38-year-old troupe member said the dance company has sought to give hope to people in difficult circumstances as it continues to perform, and that they want to present the culture and spirit of Ukraine.

On Saturday, the performers, dressed in traditional costumes, thrilled the audience with traditional dances spiced up with modern choreography. “The dances were powerful, and made me feel the importance of peace. I hope the war will end as soon as possible and they will spread the pleasure of being able to dance,” said a 65-year-old homemaker from Toyokawa, Aichi Prefecture.