Dunai is an adult dance ensemble, which is part of the Verkhovyna Ukrainian Song & Dance Ensemble. Verkhovyna is an Edmonton, Alberta based Ukrainian song and dance ensemble consisting of Dunai , the Verkhovyna Choir and the Verkhovyna School of Ukrainian Dance. Dunai and the entire Verkhovyna Ukrainian Song & Dance Ensemble take tremendous pride in showcasing and sharing the vibrancy of Ukrainian culture.
Dunai was formed in 1974, when 14 young and energetic people signed up to dance to the chorography of Mr. Roman Manastersky. The group was named after the Danube River, in the heart of Eastern Europe.
Dunai is currently comprised of 36 dancers ranging in ages from 17 to 32 years, under the direction of Shawn Ostafie, and assistant Kelsey Olijnyk. The company’s unique choreography has been warmly accepted at performances, banquets, receptions, conventions, and multi-cultural showcases locally and internationally. Dunai has toured various countries in Central America, Eastern Europe, South America and most recently Spain. Their repertoire consists of various traditional and staged folk dances from different regions of Ukraine.
The instructors’ professional experiences have added to the flavor of the group’s Ukrainian dances. The performances include dances ranging from calm and intricate movements of lyrical girls dances, right to the exhilarating rendition of the traditional Hopak.