THE NATIONAL DANCE COMPANY “VIRSKY” When I was very young, I listened to the music of this company on my father’s phonograph. It unconsciously engraved on my memory forever. The Virsky Dance Company of Ukraine was the pride of Ukrainians emigrants, their music was an anthem, and it is still the case today. I saw for the very first time the VIRSKI Ukrainian dance ensemble during the 1960’s. I wasn’t even 10 years old and I was literally captivated by the number of talented dancers facing me. In front of my marveled eyes of child, magnificent dancing-girls adorned with flowers crowns were sliding on the theater stage as on ice, while dancers competing with virtuosity seemed to fly. I think that if I became a dancer years later it is a little bit thanks to them. At the end of the show, my dad tried to meet the artists. But a KGB agent intervened and stopped him. I could see in his eyes how sad he was at that moment… When I took these photos you can imagine that I went back to childhood. What a joy when I got the authorization to take photos of them in their rehearsal studio in Kyiv (Kiev) where there is a school preparing children to become tomorrow’s dancers. Then my heart started beating really fast when I heard the music, MY music from MY phonograph, played live by the band during the rehearsal. Created in 1937 by the Ukrainian choreographers Pavlo Virski and Mylokai Bolotov, the National Ballet of Ukraine moved the whole Earth its tours. The NEW YORK TIMES wrote “At their best, the brilliant dancers in this company cannot be surpassed. To see the delicacy or swiftness of the women’s footwork, or the precision and still-astounding air turns, barrel turns, butterfly leaps, scissor jumps, squatting dances and toplike spins of the men is to see dancing in its essence.” Since 1980 this prestigious ballet is directed by Myroslav Vantukh, a choreographer who used to be a disciple of Pavlo Virski.