Video Update: Dance, Jazz, Bluegrass, & “Hymn Ukraina”

Janira (center, in full Ukrainian dress) with some of her dance pupils

What a mish-mash post title, you must be thinking to yourself, what do these things have in common?

Well, they were all part of my good friend and neighboring-village-PCV, Janira’s, second annual Dance Competition/Fundraiser at her school here. Janira has a weekly dance club for her pupils and for the second year they prepared dances to put on a performance in order to raise money to buy English textbooks for the school. Like last year, Janira invited a bunch of us PCVs to help her out during the event and put on a little concert after the girls danced.

The girls danced really well — as one of the judges, I can say it was quite hard to choose the winners — and were much improved from last year. The PCV mini-concert was a blast: Ryan played his banjo and sang some classic bluegrass tunes with Abe accompanying on his washboard and a few of us helping out on vocals. Adam had brought his saxophone and so played a couple solo tunes before helping out with the bluegrass numbers.

Here are some videos for your viewing — and sing-along — pleasure:

Janira’s 6th-form pupils doing a traditional Ukrainian dance:

Abe & Ryan jam on their washboard and banjo, respectively:

A classic, “I’ll Fly Away”:

Adam’s jazzy rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”:

One of my favorites — “Country Roads, Take Me Home” — with some sax improv thrown in:

“When the Saints Go Marching In”:

For the final number, Janira surprised us all by appearing in full traditional Ukrainian dress and leading us in the Ukrainian national anthem, Hymn Ukraina or Shche ne vmerla Ukraina (“Ukraine is not dead yet”):

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3 thoughts on “Video Update: Dance, Jazz, Bluegrass, & “Hymn Ukraina”

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