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Song and dance ensemble "Cossacks of Podillya"

Creative biography of the ensemble began in 1938 with the choir chapel, which included the best representatives of amateur performances and professional artists ("Red Border" newspaper dated 24.11.1938). The first head of the chapel was Boris Svitlychny, the talented symphony conductor of Tbilisi Conservatory. Due to the glorification of his region and discovery in songs independent character, and because of difficult war conditions authorities reduced the composition of the ensemble and changed the name "Wind of Podillya" in 1944, they made the bandura choir from the singing collective. Subsequently, the chapel acquired the status of song and dance ensemble and received the name "Podolyanka". The group had such a name until 1989, and was renamed to "Cossacks of Podillya" after. Nowadays this name is still in usage.

Also this change of name influenced the popularity of the team. The newly created "Cossacks of Podillya" successfully toured in France, Great Britain, Germany, Belgium, Greece, Switzerland, India, Spain, Poland, Portugal, Italy.

The patriotic direction of repertoire gave impetus to the creation and execution in collective new contemporary works about Ukraine and Ukrainians, their past and present along with ancient cossacks songs. Main of works is "Cossack's kind will never die", written in 1989 by M. Balema on poems by P. Karas, M. Vonyo. Very quickly the song became popular and iconic work of collective, and now it is being performed all over Ukraine and far beyond its borders. In 1987, in the Republican review-competition of creative teams of Ukraine, "Cossacks of Podillya" together with the chapel "DUMKA" and the choir was named one of the best collectives of Ukraine. In 2008 ensemble granted the status of "Academic". In 2011 in the third All-Ukrainian folk dance festival-contest named after Pavlo Virsky ensemble won honorary first place.

"Cossacks of Podillya" ensemble is an universal artistic collective, by its perfect art it represents the best of the inexhaustible folk art treasury in all regions of area. In its programs there are historical dumas, cossacks and chumaks songs and dances, humorous choral scenes, family and household, ritual lyrics, kupalas songs, harvest, wedding songs and dances, carols, shchedrivkas.

Throughout all creative path, ensemble is in a state of constant creative search, that makes a special artistic style of  "Cossacks of Podillya". Along with deep penetration into the essence of folk songs and dances of Ukrainian Podillya, ensemble  repertoire was created the the way, where folklore was originally combined with different trends in contemporary music (pop music, jazz, etc.).

Since 1975 the collective was headed by composer, People's Artist of Ukraine, prof. Mykola Balema. Till to 2008 his associate was People's Artist of Ukraine, Valery Yaretsky, conductor-choirmaster of the ensemble. Since 2018, the collective has been headed by Stepan Drobit.

During all history "Cossacks of Podillya" brought up people's artists of Ukraine (Mykola Balema and Valery Yaretsky) and honored artists of Ukraine (Oleksandr Korol, Olga Balema, Herman Datkov, Ivan Galynyak, Mykola Mykolaichuk, Iryna Fitsko, Volodymyr Shtepa, Volodymyr Glushenkov, Yuri Avdiyevsky, Iryna Fushtey, Oleksandr Bolgarchuk, Liudmyla Golub, Olena Yefimchuk, Maya Onyschuk).

During its artistic creative activity period the collective wrote a bright page in the chronicle of cultural life of Podillya region. A number of different thematic concert programs were created in the ensemble: "Through Podillya fields", "Beauty of Ukraine, Podillya", "On Sunday on the market", "Shevchenkiana", folk opera "Eternal stage" - about Ustym Karmalyuk (libretto by P. Girnyk), "Ukraine, love, future ...", "Podillya's vechornytsi", "I am a human!", "Your Majesty, Woman!", "The Prophet" - by Taras Shevchenko work, "The Cossack's Council", "Love Your Ukraine "and many others ...

The ensemble "Cossacks of Podillya" is a universal artistic collective, which represents the best of the inexhaustible treasury of folk art in all regions of area.

Nowadays "Cossacks of Podillya" have 82 creative units: 38 chorus performers, 24 ballet dancers and 20 musicians in orchestra.

 

Artistic director — Stepan Drobit. Chief chorus master — Katerina Drobit. Chief choreographer — Sergiy Kachurynets. Director and conductor of the orchestra — laureate of International competitions Oleksandr Yakubov.