Meet Viter's talented artistic team — bringing our vision of song and dance to life.
Lesia Pohoreski, Choral Director
Lesia formed the Viter Ukrainian Folk choir in 2008 and from a small enthusiastic group of fourteen singers, the choir has grown to include musicians and close to forty energetic voices under her direction.
As the conductor of the Edmonton CYMK choir and a Ukrainian children’s choir in Sherwood Park, she realized her calling and chose teaching as her profession. Lesia currently teaches fine arts and Ukrainian language at St. Theresa Catholic Middle School in Sherwood Park. She has been instrumental in implementing a performing arts program at the school.
Lesia is thrilled to be a part of the Viter team and says that she is living her dream of having the opportunity to blend traditional Ukrainian folk music with the repertoire of the dancers. Lesia’s artistic flair is evident in the multiple projects she undertakes. Whether working with students in her school or directing singing, her passion and enthusiasm are echoed in the resonance her choirs create.
Anna Kanevets, Dance Director
Anna Kanevets comes from Kyiv, Ukraine, and has dedicated herself to the art of dance her entire life. In 1981, Anna was accepted into the Kyiv State Institute of Culture, Faculty of Choreography, where in 1985 she graduated with Honours and received her Ballet Masters degree. She spent eleven years in the position of dance teacher and administrator of the Faculty of Choreography, Kyiv College of Culture and was the Artistic Director of the Molodoshchy Performance Ensemble which traveled throughout Ukraine and Russia.
In 1996, Anna Kanevets moved to Canada, and became the Artistic Director for both the Yatran Dance Academy in Edmonton, Alberta, and the Koperoush School of Ukrainian Dance in Sherwood Park, Alberta. From 2003 to 2005, Anna was Repetitor for the Volya Ukrainian Dance Ensemble of Edmonton, Alberta. In 2006, as Artistic Director of the Rusalka Ukrainian Dance Ensemble, Anna Kanevets’ choreography was showcased in The Legend of the Rusalka in Winnipeg, Manitoba. In addition to her commitment to Ukrainian dance, she is a director of the Vaganova Dance Society in Edmonton. Anna was the Artistic Director for Tryzub School and is the Instructor & Choreographer for Shumka School’s Intensive Division. Currently, Anna is the Dance Director for the Viter Ukrainian Dancers and Folk Choir.
Nick Pawluk, Dance Instructor
Nick grew up dancing with Veselka Ukrainian Dancers in Victoria, British Columbia before moving to Edmonton to continue his dance career with Viter Ukrainian Dancers and Folk Choir. After a six year career in the ensemble, which included opportunities to perform for audiences from Edmonton to Kyiv and Buenos Aires to Vienna, Nick retired from the dance corps. Post-retirement, he was honoured to have the opportunity to continue to serve the ensemble as Past President of the Board of Directors for three years.
With a background in musical theatre, classical violin, and ballet, Nick brings a wealth of knowledge and understanding of the various elements of storytelling and stagecraft to the Viter Artistic Team. He is excited to return to the studio to work with Anna Kanevets and Lesia Pohoreski to support the current generation of Viter dancers and choristers.
Nick believes that a story told through music and dance has the power to evoke emotion and engage audiences in a manner rarely experienced in a world dominated by electronic media. An example from Viter’s repertoire that he feels embodies this is “Pioneer Suite” (Choreography: Leslie Sereda and Tasha Orysiuk), a story of immigration, loss, hardship, reconciliation, and love. Complemented by a rich score highlighting stringed instruments and vivid visual projections by Larisa Sembaliuk-Cheladyn, the piece is representative of Nick’s belief that Ukrainian dance must continue to tell stories that are relevant to a 21st century audience while remaining true to its heritage.
Outside of Viter, Nick currently dances with the Ukrainian Shumka Dancers and is studying Biology and Psychology at the University of Alberta. He enjoys riding his bicycle in the summer and escaping the city for the mountains in the winter.