Emotions Starting To Get To UsAugust 11, 2019 in Ukraine ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C
This morning we slept in til just after 8 AM. The schedule for the day involves a parade and then we will be bussed off to our second performance of the festival, so it was good to get some extra sleep. We had breakfast downstairs in the hotel with Emma and then back up to get ready. Again had to be dressed in full costume for this parade, so we were geared up in Hopak along with bringing everything else we needed for the day (separate costume and change of clothes). Luckily we could load up the bus with our extra stuff and then it was a short walk to the start of the parade.
We congregated in front of the Opera House and then proceeded to wait, in the hot sun....in full costume. It is definitely an international dance festival because they have the hurry-up-and-wait part figured out. After about 20 minutes, they lined us into position and then the parade started shortly after. The parade was from the Lviv Opera House to the Taras Shevchenko monument which wasn't really that far, probably less than a km. Once there, all the groups lined up, there was a flower laying ceremony, and some sort of speech. We took a group picture at the end and it looked like it turned out well. Immediately after we loaded up onto the bus to head to Shevchenkivskyi Hai where we would be performing next.
Shevchenkivskyi Hai is an outdoor old-style Ukrainian village type attraction. Think like the Ukrainian Village east of Edmonton. It is very spread out and rolling walking paths. What that meant is the bus could only go so far and then we had to schlep our costumes all the way in. Plus keep in mind we are still in Hopak costume with boots on. Plus plus - it rained overnight last night and the path in was still wet soil in spots. Wish we had known the length of the walk so we could change our footwear on the bus.
We get to the stage and change area. The stage is covered and the audience seating is built in and permanent into the hill. Sort of like a mini-Dauphin stage. The change tents were right behind the stage and were a built up wooden floor. This was lucky because all around our tent was grass, which was also wet from the rain and muddy/squishy in some spots. Exactly what you want for dance costumes and boots.
We changed out of costume and into street clothes so we could go eat lunch. Walked over to the outdoor area where we were going to eat and had to wait another 20 to 30 minutes for everything to get set up. Lots of people were starting to get to the point of crankiness, Brooke especially who was getting hangry about getting her boots a bit wet. Nathan and I being the positive people we tried to cheer everyone up with a song......I don't think it worked, mainly due to the fact that we got told to shut up for being too load.
We had lunch in a fenced off part of the village. The food was a stew, cabbage salad, bread with salo, and fresh fruit. There was also limited space to eat as there were 4 cocktail tables in a small grassy area and some bench seating on the side. Nathan and I sat in a makeshift yurt (bench under a covered area). I actually really enjoyed lunch, it was quite tasty and the fresh apricots were a welcome addition.
After lunch we changed back into Hopak, not to perform yet, but to walk further and do a photoshoot. This time we had the good sense to walk in our sandals and change footwear later. We initially lined up for one of the festival photographers who set us up in a very weird way. It didn't make sense what he was doing and apparently the pictures didn't work out at all. Immediately after we ditched that guy, stepped into the sunlight in a grassy area, and then we banged out a great photo with our actual photographer. Afterwards we walked even further to find a nice scenery to take a nice vignette photo with a great backdrop.
It was then time to get prepared for this show. We were performing Hopak, Hutsul, and one Junior dance. I was legit concerned about having enough space to warm up due to the wet grassy area around us. Luckily the festival laid down some tarps so we could have access to the stage and then we realized that stage right had an actual full stone path. Perfect! Was able to properly warm up as best as can be expected.
This performance is actually an "adjudicated" show to determine what gets into the gala performance tomorrow at the opera house. I'm not sure if it actually means that some groups won't get in, or more so it determines how many and which dances we perform. I made the joke of whether or not they would have a bell to ding before we go on. Our actual performance went very well, the energy on stage was really strong, and the reaction from the crowd was great. In true fashion, I was last out of the change room again and was just dripping with sweat.
We then hauled everything back up the path to the bus. Some of the girls used up some coupons for carrying their stuff or a free ice cream, I think Jordan got the worst of it. Once we got on the bus Shane grabbed our attention and let us know that the feedback was very positive and they were very impressed with our performance and our technical skill. Shane then let us know that one Junior dance, Hutsul, and Hopak will be performed in the gala show tomorrow! We get to dance in the Lviv Opera House!
Once we got back to the hotel we had to fully unload the bus as this was the last time we would see it. Bye bus, we had some good times! Next it was time to do an initial pack of all the costumes we didn't need anymore. We all met up on the 5th floor elevator lobby and then started sorting, rolling, and packing. It didn't take too long and then it was time for a quick shower before dinner.
We headed out for dinner with Nathan, Audrey, Jordan, Christine, and Joren. My random suggestion was to go to a restaurant where I saw pumpjacks on the outside. Christine started polling the group for what they were hungry for and looked at Google Maps. She found a restaurant that one of guides had suggested and also had sizzling pans of meat. Turns out it was the pumpjack restaurant that I wanted to go to, so bonus!
The restaurant was called Gas Lamp and has a science / historic oil theme to it. There were hundreds and hundreds of gas lamps as decorations inside and the restaurant had 5 levels with a very narrow staircase throughout. There was even a red light green light system to direct traffic up and down.
The drink menu had a section called Chemical Experiements, basically their selection of different cocktails. We interpreted that you could actually sample each one and the drinks came in a rack of test tubes! It was fun to try them and not know what to expect for flavor. Some were really good, some we didn't finish. For an appetizer Brooke shared a pickle tray with Audrey that had red cabbage and pickled vegetables and I had spicy meatballs. Dinner I had a spiced pork sausage and Brooke had a braised beef with legit horseradish ice cream.
After dinner we wandered over to П'яна Вишна (drunk cherry) to have a famous cherry wine. Bought a bottle to share amongst the 7 of us and stood outside on the street and drank it in the provided glass tumblers. Brooke really wanted to bring a bottle home so she purchased one in a decorative hard tube. Packing is going to be fun tomorrow.....
We then walked back to Rynok Square. A couple of the guys decided to go for a beer at Pravda, local craft beer. The rest of us went shopping to souvenir stores around the square. At one point we got separated and it was Nathan, Brooke, and myself as a small group. We went back into Kryvika (Ukrainian bunker restaurant) to go to the souvenir shop but diverted downstairs to walk it through again. Realized there was a separate section outside where you could climb 5 flights of stairs to the roof where there was an anti-aircraft cannon that you could sit in and fully rotate. Super cool!
Shortly after, we headed back to the hotel as it was time for bed and we have our last performance tomorrow.