We had an early start leaving Chernivtsi and after a 4.5 hour bus ride (a very quiet and sleepy bus ride), we arrived in Vinnytsia, the home town of Darmohrai! We were greeted at our hotel by band member Valeriy and ate a quick lunch while we checked into "Podillya" Hotel. We would only be sytaying here for one night, which was a welcome thought to most people as this hotel is a little bit older, a little bit smaller beds and some "interesting" showers. From the hotel we loaded up our costumes and headed to the venue for our performance that evening - the Officers' Palace. It was an older theatre, but the stage was a great size. While the choir had a quick sound check, dancers spent some time resetting dances (again) and getting some understudies up to speed as we had another dancer go down over lunch. Many have been battling stomach bugs and head colds and injuries over the last few days. And to our misfortune, another male dancer fell ill during the show. Thankfully the Viter dancers are quick to react and pick up new choreography and we could still put on our full show - we even had our stage manager, Nick Doblanko (who dances with Cheremosh in Edmonton) make a couple of cameos for solos during Hopak.
Other than the sick boys, the show wet off without a hitch and we had such a generous audience to help us pull through. One audience member even threw flowers at dancer Nick Fedori in the middle of a dance! And when I say "throw", I mean literally, she wound that bouquet up like a baseball bat and chucked it on stage...she hit Nick right in the face! She must have REALLY like that dance! At the end of the show, there were some very genuine speeches made and once the curtain closed, Darmohrai surprised us all with a toast and a souvenir shot glass for each of us!
Once we had costumes and props packed, we headed to the famous Roshen Fountain. It is one of the worlds top five floating fountains, and was donated to the city by President Poroshenko. Our friends from Darmohrai insisted that we not leave Vinnytsia without seeing the light show at the fountain. We got there just in time! As we found a place to sit, the show was just beginning. It was quite extravagant, with the fountains, lights, music and projections all coordinated. We watched the full show then took the bus back to the hotel for a late dinner.
[wpvideo ObamG3vy] As we leave for Kyiv in the morning, for our LAST show in Ukraine, we have many tired bodies and voices and everyone is trying to get as much extra rest as possible. We have heard that there are many dignitaries who may be attending our final performance, and we were told after our show in Vinnytsia that Myroslav Vhantuk, the Artistic Director of Virsky (just the most highly respected Ukrainian dance group in the world), phoned a director in Vinnytsia to say he is waiting for Viter in Kyiv, and will be in the audience - NO PRESSURE!