World Academy of Carpatho-Rusyn Culture


Transcarpathian Folk Choir

Transcarpathian Folk Choir/Zakarpats’kyi narodnyi khor — state-supported folk ensemble established in 1945 in Subcarpathian Rus’. Originally called the Transcarpathian Song and Dance Ensemble/Zakarpats’kyi ansambl’ pisni i tantsiu, its first director was a Russian emigre living in the region since the interwar years, M. Dobrodiev. As a White Russian Dobrodiev was unacceptable to the local Communist authorities and he was soon removed. The second director, Petr *Miloslavskii (1946-1954), another White Russian emigre, was followed by the Subcarpathian-born Mykhailo *Krechko (1954-1969) and Mykola Popenko.

According to the concept of Miloslavskii, the ensemble’s basic goal was both to collect and perform the folk music of *Subcarpathian Rus’. The Communist regime, however, quickly transformed the ensemble into an instrument to propagate the new “happy life” in “reunited [with Ukraine] socialist Transcarpathia.” Local folk songs were performed, but only those which had been carefully “reworked” and ukrainianized. The ensemble’s ballet corps was less susceptible to “ukrainianization,” and especially under the choreographer Klara *Balogh it successfully preserved and performed authentic folk dances of Rusyns (although described under the official name “Ukrainian” or the vague term “Transcarpathian”) and of other national and ethnic groups living in Subcarpathian Rus’. Known for its high level of professionalism, the Transcarpathian Folk Choir has performed widely throughout Ukraine, in other republics of the former Soviet Union, and in several European countries, including former Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Germany, France, and the Netherlands.

Bibliography: Ivan Khlanta, Pisni nad Karpatamy: Derzhavnyi zasluzhenyi Zakarpats’kyi narodnyi khor (Uzhhorod, 1994).

Mykhailo Almashii

Entry courtesy of Encyclopedia of Rusyn History and Culture.

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