THE FOLKLORE ENSEMBLE
"LEMKOVYNA"


The following summary, written originally in Rusyn/Lemko* by Bohdan Horbal, was translated into English by Walter Maksimovich.

In 1994, well known song and dance ensemble "Lemkovyna" from Bilyanka (near Horlytsi/Gorlice) in Poland, celebrated its 25th anniversary. It was created through the efforts of Fedir Gocz (Goch), Mikhal Donskyj and Pavel Stefanivskyj. Founded in Lemkovyna in late 1969, leading to first performance in Hanchova, near Horlitsi/Gorlice on February 15, 1970, in commemoration of 80th birthday of I. Rusenko, followed by performance in Zhdinya on March 10th, in Smerekovets on May 1st, and in Bilianka on May 10th. "Lemkovyna" was in short time made up of 50 performers (including 10 musicians), who resided in four nearby villages: Bilianka, Zhdinya, Han'chova and Konechna. There were several unsuccessful attempts to create a dance troop within the ensemble, one of them however paid off, resulting in dance ensemble "Kichera". Causes for failure were always the same: lack of professional coreographer, no accomodations, and no single concentration of talented youth.
It disbanded for several years (1973-80), due to removal of its conductor, Yaroslav Trokhanovskyj, by the authorities. This was the Polish communist authorities response to him signing (along with other Lemko activists) of a petition, requesting better treatment of Lemkos, for equal rights. He was questioned on this matter in Gorlice, Sanok, and even Warsaw. This action by the authorities contradicted prevailing laws, but then not for the first time, nor last.
The ensemble resumed its activities, leading very successful work in publicizing and development of Lemko music. Its popularity has gained following even within the Polish community.
In 1987 "Lemkovyna" gave 25 concerts, while on a tour of Canada and the United States, (in filled auditoriums of Montreal, Toronto, Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, Pittsburg, Washington, Philadelphia, New York, Boston, and other cities), only to follow it a year later with several highly acclaimed religious concerts, to celebrate the millenium of Christianity in Rus'.
It disbanded for the second time in 1991, after political upheavals in the country. In 1993, the ensemble resumed its activities, this time as an independent, registered legal entity. By 1994, 200 individuals went through "Lemkovyna's" ranks. The ensamble reportoire consisted of 100 Lemko songs, which it performed on 300 concerts, several radio programs and TV shows, and has recorded on LP's and cassettes.

Source: Petro Trokhanovskyj, "25 rokiv ansamblu Lemkovyna" (25th unniversary of Lemkovyna) as it appeared in "Lemkivskyj Kalendar - 1994", Legnica-Krynica, 1994, pg. 110-119.


* The title of this article, as displayed herein, was changed from THE UKRAINIAN FOLKLORE ENSEMBLE "LEMKOVYNA" per author's request.



Artistic Director-Conductor - Yaroslav Trokhanovskyj.


Here's a list of songs from one of their releases (in my possession):

[check also here for an update]

SIDE A

1. WEDDING MARCH
2. THE VERSES
3. OUR MOUNTAINS
4. IN LEMKOVYNA
5. THE HARD LIFE
6. BLACK SOIL
7. AS I WENT
SIDE B

1. SONG OF LEMKOVYNA
2. AS I GATHERED GRASS
3. UNDER A CLOUDLET
4. A KOZAK RODE BY
5. LEADING A HORSE
6. THE OLD HERDER
7. COME TO US
8. THE MIGHTY DNIEPR



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Document Information Document URL:http://lemko.org/lih/music/lemkovyna.html

Page prepared by Walter Maksimovich
E-mail: walter@lemko.org

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Originally Composed: August 4th, 1997
Date last modified: January 19th, 2003