Culture News, 14/12/2017

When Kharkiv is Similar to Chicago

On December 14-15, an incredible stunning show is staged in Kharkiv National Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre – American and Ukrainian artists dance and sing in “Broadway Bound” musical. The Kharkiv Great Symphony Orchestra accompanies the performance.

This joint American-Ukrainian project, initiated by the US Embassy in Ukraine within celebration the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between two countries, has become unique and overwhelming in several ways.

To start with, the castings for the musical took place in four cities of Eastern Ukraine – Dnipro, Kramatorsk, Sloviansk and Kharkiv, where American coaches selected 69 dancers and singers, some of whom were amateurs and students. There were only ten days for rehearsals and nobody could believe the amazing show had been created in such a meager term.



For Kharkiv musicians, the project has become “a once in a lifetime chance” to work with the best American musicians. The Orchestra’s conductor Dmytro Morozov says he is happy and grateful for this opportunity, and particularly, for being involved in creating a musical, which is his passion.

The performance has become the embodiment of the dearest dreams of many participants – for many Ukrainian artists, it was unbelievable touch to the world of famous professionals.

And both American and Ukrainian artists, who appeared on the stage, admit they enjoyed every single moment of working together.

The basics of the Broadway musical were taught by guests from the Company E, Washington D.C., who acted as culture diplomats to Ukraine. According to them, they didn’t choose Kyiv but the country’s Eastern part on purpose as they aimed to support the people, suffering from warfare and who “need to get their links with the world enlarged.”


The Company’s director Paul Gordon Emerson says that Ukrainian artists were a real discovery for him, their devotion, imagination and hardworking seemed fabulous.

Virtuosic musician and composer Clifton Brockington, who accompanies the show, echoes these words. He is full of excitement whilst commenting on the project’s participants. “This is my first time in Kharkiv and I haven’t seen much of the city. But when I was walking along the streets, I had an impression that I’m in Chicago! Whether it is buildings or city’s atmosphere, I don’t know what. But I had that feeling several times really,” he adds unexpectedly.

And yes, these days Kharkiv has become different to a certain extent. It got its own Broadway at last.



Text, photo: Olena Sokolynska