Driveway Dance Performances
Caledon, ON - Rayissa Palmer and Sandy Bodnar recently supported the arts in an innovative way: driveway dance performances. On August 8, several dancers from Kalyna Performing Arts Company, a professional Ukrainian dance company, showed up on Rayissa’s driveway in full costume (plus masks) to perform for an audience of 60 neighbours, friends and politicians.
The troupe gave an encore performance a few streets away for an audience of 25. Attendees generously donated over $750 to Kalyna, which normally performs at festivals, concerts and other cultural events.
“We’ve been looking for a way to support the arts, which have been decimated without live performances in these COVID times, so I was thrilled when Kalyna’s director Stefan Kuziw reached out to offer a driveway dance performance! Stefan and I are both members of the GTA Ukrainian community (my family immigrated from Ukraine and I’m a first generation Canadian) and he’s also a REALTOR®.”
Once Caledon was well into Phase 3 with larger gatherings approved, Rayissa sent out invitations to neighbours, family and friends including the Mayor of Caledon, Allan Thompson, and Caledon City Councillors Jennifer Innis and Christina Early. The crowd of 60 guests at the first performance spread out their chairs on the lawn and a vacant lot next door.
The driveway dance performances were a success in a few ways: “They gave us a chance to gather safely while social distancing, to watch an amazing dance event and to raise money for an amazingly dedicated group of artists.”
Kalyna’s dancers are all professionals. Stefan Kuziw, the director and choreographer danced professionally for 15 years. His energetic style of Ukrainian dance often has audience members in awe of the highly athletic leaps, kicks and complex routines.
Rayissa frequently gives back to her community. This year, she has organized a food drive and participated in the Ron White Shoe Drive and the Coldest Night of the Year.
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