Kurbasy, a folk-based multimedia performance group from the Ukraine, presents Ukrainian songs that reflect stories and cultural traditions during its Santa Fe concert at Paradiso on November 10.
Viewing culture as a living organism, vocalists/actors Maria Oneshchak, Myroslava Rachynska and Natalia Rybka-Parkhomenko collaborate with multi-instrumentalist Vsevolod Sadovyj, double bassist Artem Kamenkov and violinist Markiian Turkanyk in a performance that brings a touch of the Ukraine to Santa Fe.
“This is not a simple concert with a list of songs,” explains Sadovyj. “Melodies flow from one to another, and songs are connected to one another.”
The first part of the performance focuses on customs and rituals that are part of the Ukrainian wedding ceremony and includes songs about the bride’s mother, mother-in-law and the bride herself.
How people connect with each other and with nature is the subject of the concert’s second half. Vocalists sing about love, mountain meadows, wide open fields and the nightingale.
“Our songs show the Ukrainian people’s tight connection with nature and what is in our hearts and minds,” Sadovyj adds.
Hailing from the town of Lviv, Kurbasy was founded by Maria Oneshchak, Myroslava Rachynska and Natalia Rybka-Parkhomenko.
Oneshchak, who was born in the city of Ivano-Frankivsk in Southwest Ukraine, moved to Lviv to study drama and psychology at Ivan Franco National University. Before co-founding Kurbasy, she was an actor at Les Kurbas Theatre.
An actor and singer who’s a native of Lviv, Rachynska studied computer science at Lviv’s National University but eventually earned degrees in music and choreography. She has served on the faculty of Les Kurbas Theatre for 18 years.
Rybka-Parkhomenko is a native of Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine. A conservatory graduate who majored in drama and film acting, she has worked with a number of theater companies across the Ukraine. She also teaches acting and is a vocal coach.
The vocal trio works closely with their musicians, a costume designer and a digital artist to present a performance rich in Ukrainian-inspired sights and sounds.
Kurbasy is on tour with Center Stage, a cultural exchange program initiated by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.