More than 50 years of performance history has shaped Shumka’s signature music and dance style. While maintaining deep respect for their heritage, Shumka continually challenges conventional boundaries in order to define the experience of Ukrainian dance in the context of today’s society. Shumka strives to ensure that artists who believe in Canada’s rich Ukrainian heritage, have a distinct voice on the national and international performing arts stage. This voice gathers its strength from Shumka’s profound passion to create original work that steadfastly reflects the changing world in which we live.
“One doesn’t just watch the Shumka Dancers – they are absolutely thrilling to experience. Their dash and vigour, their number and harmony, their sheer joy of dance makes them unquestionably unique.”
— VERONICA TENNANT
Shumka’s creative vision is built on the foundation of:
- diverse Canadian life experiences of Shumka’s artists;
- a rich heritage of Ukrainian folk and urban culture; and
- seeking a balance between the Ukrainian heritage “classics” while introducing original dance works and emerging artists.
The Shumka Dancers commission and produce original music and choreography based on Ukrainian rural and urban culture, both historical and contemporary. In the last four years Shumka’s works were enjoyed by live audiences in Canada, China, and Ukraine, and on television when White Boots to China was broadcast internationally on BRAVO. In the last three years Shumka has brought 18 new works to the stage.
“Shumka has turned the idea of folk dance into a living breathing art form, and emerged as one of the most contemporary dance companies around.”
— PAMELA ANTHONY, EDMONTON JOURNAL
Shumka is grateful for grant support from the Edmonton Arts Council and City of Edmonton, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Alberta Lotteries, the Ukrainian Foundation of Taras Shevchenko and the Canada Council for the Arts.