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Workshop in Winter Songs

Saturday, December 16 1:00 to 4:00 PM
in New York City

Yara Arts Group will present a vocal workshop in “Koliada” winter songs from the Carpathians with Alexis Kochan, Julian Kytasty and the Koliadnyky of Kryvorivnia. Discover the folk voice in you. Enjoy traditional singing, learn the ancient winter songs from the people who have preserved this ancient tradition and watch them play such instruments as the "trembita" (12 foot mountain horn) and "volynka" (bag pipes made of goat skin) -- up close. You do not have to be able to read Ukrainian or music to participate. You must pre-register. Saturday, December 16th 1:00-4:00 PM call Yara for place of workshop (212) 475-6474 or e-mail

Koliada songs are part of a winter ritual that now coincides with Christmas, but is much older in origin and symbolism. It is considered to be the most important event of the year, since people believe that spring and the harvest will not come to the village unless these songs are sung in every household. A separate winter song is sung to the household, both living and deceased. The songs are incantations that assume the magical power of words: “what is said, will be so.” For a translation of one Hutsul koliada see Winter Song to a Young Man

Ivan Zelenchuk is the lead singer and leader of the Koliadnyky. His father’s handwritten notebook of winter songs helped preserve this tradition in the village despite intense persecution under fifty years of Soviet rule in this area. Now in his fifties Ivan considers his involvement in the Koliada his personal mission. He met the members of Yara when they first visited the village in 2002. Afterwards he took part in Yara’s Koliada theatre productions in Kyiv in New York. Singing with him will be his brother Peter Zelenchuk and his son Mykola Zelenchuk who plays the trembita, a traditional twelve- foot long mountain horn. They will be accompanied by Dmytro Tafiychuk, a virtuoso traditional fiddler, as well as a master player of the volynka, bag pipes made of goat skin. Dmytro also took part in Yara’s project last year.

The Koliadnyky will be joined by vocalist Alexis Kochan, from Winnipeg. Drawing on the deep musical traditions of Eastern Europe, she and bandurist Julian Kytasty weave a universal sonic tapestry, working in strands of jazz and new music, medieval Slavonic chant, dance tunes inspired by Carpathian Mountain fiddlers and blind bandura players, and ancient ritual songs with roots in the Neolithic.

Yara Arts Group is a resident company at the internationally acclaimed La MaMa Experimental Theatre in New York. The group has created eighteen original theatre pieces that celebrate the cultures of the East since 1990. In addition, Yara presents art, stages music and poetry events, and conducts master classes and workshops. Last winter Yara artists created the installation Still the River Flows for the Ukrainian Museum and presented folk singing workshop with Mariana Sadovska

See also:
Koliadnyky in Concert at the Ukrainian Museum Dec 3, 2006
Still the River Flows in Philadelphia Dec 8-10, 2006
Koliada on Fifth Avenue at Ukrainian Insitute of America, Friday, Dec 15, 2006
Koliada Photographs at Spring Street Gallery, Saratoga Springs NY Sunday, Dec 17, 2006 to January 5, 2007

For reviews and photos of Yara's installation Still the River Flows at the Ukrainian Museum
For reviews and photos of Yara's show Koliada:Twelve Dishes at La MaMa
and Koliada:Twelve Dishes

Translation of a Koliada Song.
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Yara Arts Group
306 East 11th St., #3B
New York, NY 10003 USA

Phone/Fax: 212-475-6474
Email Virlana Tkacz at:

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