Cossacks and Wallflowers: Ukrainian Stage Dance, Identity and Politics in Saskatchewan from the 1920s to the Present

by Staniec, Jillian D.

Abstract (Summary)
Ukrainian dance is a popular means of expressing Ukrainian cultural affiliation, for the dancers as well as for the audience. It also performs a didactic function by sanctioning specific identities through the instruction and presentation of dances. This thesis examines the interaction of politics and the arts in shaping these identities in Saskatchewan.

By tracing the establishment and development of staged dance, this thesis explores the formation of the Ukrainian Canadian identity in the twentieth century. Through analysis of primary documents, archival footage, and interviews with leaders in the dance community, a record of the development of Ukrainian dance in Saskatchewan has been created. As the reasons for the dances changed over time due to internal and external pressures, so did the dances and identities that were expressed and encouraged.

This study also reveals that dance and politics are inextricably intertwined in the province. An internal nationalist / progressive political division shaped Ukrainian Canadian identity and the expression of that identity, including dance. Politics were imposed through control over the locations of dance training and performance. The legitimacy of the political divide, however, was challenged in the postwar period as artistry and aesthetics were emphasized. Political influence upon Ukrainian dance also extended beyond the Ukrainian Canadian community, and included consequences of general Canadian developments, such as the multicultural policy. By tracing the intersection between politics, identity and the arts in this ethnocultural community, how various influences shaped Ukrainian cultural identity is explored and critically examined.

Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Waiser, William A.; Korinek, Valerie J.; McCannon, John; Handy, Jim; Brenna, Dwayne

School:University of Saskatchewan

School Location:Canada - Saskatchewan

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:ukrainian national youth federation association of united canadians nationalist progressive dance canadian vasyl avramenko poltava ensemble yevshan ethnic arts


Date of Publication:08/27/2007

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