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Lusia Pavlychenko (1933–2012)

20121126pavlychenko-lusia-404wUCC-SPC mourns loss of Nation Builder

A Great Pioneer of Dance has Passed

З глибоким сумом повідомляємо про передчасну смерть пані Люсі Павличенко.

Хореограф, педагог, організатор та ініціатор безлічі проектів, які вплинули на мистецьке життя Саскачевану, вона лишила світлу пам’ять у серцях багатьох людей нашої громади.

Lusia Lydia Lubka Pavlychenko (“Miss P” to most) passed away peacefully at the age of 79 on November 25th, 2012.

Lusia is survived by her sister Larisa Pavlychenko, and her children Nina (Serhij) Koroliuk, Tanya Sotnikow, Renata Sotnikow and Tymothy (Sascha) Sotnikow, plus her grandchildren Kirylo Koroliuk and Kai Sotnikow.

Lusia was the eldest daughter of Dr. Tymofij and Anastasia Pavlychenko who were prominient leaders in the Ukrainian community.

It is difficult to assess the value of dance on the prairies without referring to Lusia Pavlychenko and the inspiration she was to others. Lusia was a Pioneer, a visionary, she has truly left a legacy that has changed the landscape of dance.  Lusia was an Honorary Life Member of the Royal Academy of Dancing, Canadian Dance Teachers Association, and Dance Saskatchewan.

Lusia’s mother Anastasia had taught her and her sisters Ukrainian folk dance as young girls. After being exposed to Ballet at the impressionable age of 15, the spell was cast and she was hooked. Lusia was a force to be reckoned with and she fought brilliantly with her parents for nearly 3 years for permission to take Ballet. This was quite a feat especially for a young woman in the 1950’s choosing to pursue a non-traditional career path.

Lusia had trained in the summers with The Royal Winnipeg Ballet which earned her the attention and respect of the esteemed Artistic Director, Arnold Spohr. They maintained a relationship of mutual admiration and appreciation until his passing.

Lusia was a visionary. She thought outside the box, she marched to her own drum and was determined to follow her heart’s desire thru gut determination and endless hard work. She studied Ballet at the Royal Academy of Dance in London, England. After inheriting a tiny ballet school from Shirley Whittet, her mentor and teacher, in 1954, she established the Saskatoon School of Ballet, still operating today as the Saskatoon School of Dance; she pioneered the concept of dance festivals and competitions for the purpose of exposing dance students to an audience. Lusia persuaded Dr. Gathercole, Director of Education, to agree to give dance study the same status as music studies by permitting students of the Royal Academy of Dance to take their dance exams during school hours without penalty.

In 1959 she co-founded the Yevshan Ukrainian Dance Ensemble with her sister Nadia. She then discovered her own personal opus when loyal students encouraged her to start the Pavlychenko Folklorique Ensemble (PFE) in 1967. This provided her stage, where her soul was able to soar as she expressed her love, joy and importance and influence of the Ukrainian culture and traditions to her life thru dance and movement. Her choreography was unparalleled. She communicated and spoke directly to the hearts of her students and audiences. Her accomplishments reached from coast to coast, and crossed oceans and included two soul-stirring tours of Ukraine which earned her honour in the Kyiv Choreographic Hall of Fame. Miss P originated the critically acclaimed Saskatchewan Dance Theatre, the first professional Ballet company in Saskatchewan.

UCC-SPC Nation Builder's Award, Women's Hall of Fame, Dance Saskatchewan - Honorary Member, and Saskatchewan's highest honour, the Saskatchewan Order of Merit round out an abbreviated list of her awards.

Lusia received great pleasure from the connections she made and continued to make with her students. She simply loved to teach. With strict discipline and unyielding expectation of excellence, she mentored, guided and helped develop several generations. She had the ability to push her students and instill in them a deep love of dance and culture, to go beyond what they thought they were capable of. There are no such words as, “I can’t!”... but there were, “ Pull up your thighs!”

Many of her students have pursued careers in dance and art-related fields and continue to inspire and guide other generations. Her efforts are a testament to a life committed to the passionate pursuit and actualization of one's dreams.

Lusia will be missed by all those who were touched by her powerful presence and by how much she cared. Her passing has created a deep void.

Her family will miss her deeply. If you'd like to share any memorable stories about Miss P, please email the family at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

As the arts were such an integral part of Lusia’s life, the family is in the process of establishing The Pavlychenko Legacy Fund to provide future scholarships for Arts and Culture. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation of support to the holding account at:
TD Canada Trust
Acct #: 77406400571

Prayers: Wed, Nov. 28 at 7:00 p.m.
Funeral: Thurs. Nov. 29, at 10:00 a.m.
Services at the Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral of Holy Trinity, 919 20th Street West, Saskatoon, SK.

Вічна їй пам’ять.

Ukrainian Canadian Congress - Saskatchewan Provincial Council, Inc. • Провінційна Рада КУК Саскачевану
4 - 2345 Avenue C North • Saskatoon, SK S7L 5Z5
Phone: 1.306.652.5850 • Toll-free: 1.888.652.5850 • Fax: 1.306.665.2127
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