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Ukrainian folk group “Rusalka” (Mermaid) from Hengelo, Netherlands.
“Rusalka” is a group of enthusiastic Dutch, Ukrainians and people of other nationalities, who are united by their love for the Ukrainian culture, fascinating folk songs and flaming Cossacks dances.

The Ukranian folkdance group “Rusalka” was founded in 1966 by four young Ukrainian fellows, who had been taken out of their country by the Germans for forced labor during World War II.

It so happened that after the war these Ukrainians found themselves in the Netherlands as they couldn’t go back to Ukrain. The history of “Rusalka” began with the performance of some Ukrainian dances by these Ukrainian fellows and some Dutch girls at the anniversary of a mandolin orchestra. This performance was so successful that young people decided to continue the dance practice together. That was the birth of “Rusalka”. The group concertized all over the country and participated in many international festivals. It’s flaming dances, performed in colorful Ukrainian national costumes, caused furor and were appreciated very much by the audience. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the group “Rusalka” has visited Ukraine in the year 2000 for the first time. With tears of admiration in their eyes Ukrainians discovered the “Cossacks” from Holland. In return, the meeting with Ukraine and the incredible warm advantage will stay in hearts of the members of “Rusalka”.

Royal insignia:
One of the founders of “Rusalka” and it’s honorary chairman at the moment, Roman Pyndus, was, untill 2015 very active in the the group. Being far from his Motherland, he gathered information for choreographing dances and Ukrainian national songs. The personal contribution of Roman Pyndus to the activity of “Rusalka” in difficult and successful times has been honored by the Ambassador of Ukraine in the Netherlands and the President of Ukraine Victor Yuschenko during their private meetings. For the assiduous work, that became an integral part of life for Roman Pyndus, the Queen of the Netherlands has honored him with Knightly order.

“Rusalka” today:
Members of the group are people of different age, professions and preferences, but the only common thing which unites them all is love to Ukrainian music and dance. Today there are 20 members of “Rusalka” – 7 men and 13 women. The group participates in folk festivals and fairs, performs live at schools and nursing homes. Our songs can be heard at thematic Ukrainian evenings, birthdays and weddings. There are dances and songs from different regions of Ukraine, theatrical scenes and solo performances in the program. Choreographer of “Rusalka” Olexandra Provozina now teaches the members how to dance Ukrainian dances. Creative director and choirmaster Olena Dat-Kopanychuk was a soloist of a Kyiv chorus named after Grygoriy Veryovka and the group “Youth of Podillya” from Khmelnytsky city, Ukraine. They promote Ukrainian national culture and continue the work of Roman Pyndus.

Performances of “Rusalka” :
You always can invite “Rusalka” for a concert. For each performance we prepare a program to satisfy your wishes in the best way and create the atmosphere of real Cossack holiday. The whole evening program contains sketches of Ukrainian village life, filled with Ukrainian songs and dances performed by “Rusalka”. This theatrical action is performed against the background of a Ukrainian village house with a thatch roof and other everyday national attributes. Our audio system is available for performances both inside and outside. The profit received from the concerts is used for the development of the group.

Open “Rusalka” for yourself:
We kindly invite you to visit our rehearsals that take place every Wednesday from 8 p.m. till 10:30 p.m. at Kulturhus Hasselo, Henry Woodstraat 62, Hengelo. Join the friendly talks in a free atmosphere after each rehearsal. Also you may discover “Rusalka” during our performances.

To become a member of “Rusalka” :
“Rusalka” is always opened for new members. If you have talents for dancing, singing or music – that’s great! But it is not the main thing. Almost every member who already sings or dances in “Rusalka” discovers various manifestations of Ukrainian folk creativity and traditions right here. We invite you to join us and meet Ukraine in Holland. You are welcome to visit our rehearsals every Wednesday evening.

If you need any additional information, please contact Jos Klaczynski: tel. +31 – (0)6 – 54 25 15 09 ; Email: info@roesalka.nl