Art Therapy in a Country at War: Ukraine’s Contemporary Dance Practices

Lyudmila Mova*, Viktor Ruban**, Hanna Veselovska***

Abstract

The article examines the art-therapeutic potential of contemporary dance and, to this end, looks at the case of Ukraine in the current wartime circumstances. The authors focus on some of the most indicative art therapy projects initiated by Ukrainian choreographers and dancers over the last year and a half, the period since the Russian full-scale invasion of late February 2022. The projects in question are based on the application of advanced training methods and techniques of Blanche Evan, Joan Skinner, Anna Halprin, Moshé Feldenkrais, Thomas Hanna. The undertaken analysis of how these methods and techniques are actually working reveals significant rehabilitation capabilities inherent in contemporary dance. Also, special is given to discussing how contemporary dance methodologies—such as those based on Laban system and Bartenieff Fundamentals, BMC and ideokinesis—help the military exercise self-control and protect their bodies in combat conditions.

Keywords: art therapy,contemporary dance, body, war

There is a growing interest in today’s society in the therapeutic potential of creative arts, in general, and of dance movement, in particular. By unconsciously transforming the problems of the inner world into movement, a person gets the opportunity to awaken his or her own creative potential. More specifically, dance practices and the use of creativity have the potential to restore the psycho-emotional state of people and thereby ensure their stress resistance, especially in a war zone (Osborne 69–70).

This unique function of dance has been in demand by Ukrainians since the Russian full-scale invasion of late February 2022 and the ensuing all-out war. In such extreme circumstances, a good many dance practitioners in the country, mostly choreographers and dancers of contemporary dance and contact improvisation, found an area of applying their knowledge and these practices are the focus of the article.

It would be impossible to analyze all programs and projects in which Ukrainian artists have participated or continue to participate, so we are focusing on some of the most typical and popular techniques and approaches as presented in this case study. It is our belief that they can be further used for the development of dance, dance-movement therapy and creative arts therapy.

Viktor Ruban, providing embodiment class for supervisors of Art-therapy force retreat camp for kids. Skole, Lviv Region, Ukraine, March 2023. Photo: Gala Kozyutynska

Practitioners of contemporary dance in Ukraine have contributed to a wide range of independent programs and initiatives designed for soldiers of the Ukrainian army, internally displaced persons, children and adults, volunteers, social workers and so on. Perhaps most glaringly, they have been directly involved in developing and conducting a course for instructors on First Aid and Recovery for the Territorial Defense of Ukraines Armed Forces Ukraine and its leadership.[1]

Lyudmila Mova and Viktor Ruban leading kick-off meeting of the first group of Creativity Therapy, Multimodal Approach certification program. Kyiv, Ukraine, July 2023. Photo: Aleksandra Paskhal/LMaluma center

Besides, choreographers and dancers have actively been participating in a special education program for recovery and stress resilience developed by Lyudmila Mova and Viktor Ruban within a multimodal approach called Creativity Therapy.[2] The same would be true for integrative classes that are held for internally displaced persons on the practice of static movement, all developed and held by Mykyta and Alla Kravchenko. Also, of interest in this context is the project Tactical Choreography for the Military (Totem Dance Company), along with a project called Kids Art-retreat, located at the Art Therapy Camp in the Carpathians and designed by Viktor Ruban, Veronika Skliarova and Svitlana Bazenova (Public organization Art-Dot) for children and adolescents who have experienced traumatic experiences.[3]

Khrystyna Shyskriova introducing elements of Tactical Choreography for the Military for How Do You Dance in the War Zone? art project. Totem dance theatre, Kyiv, Ukraine, April 2023. Photo: Maria Falconer and Paul Hill
A Case Study: “Tactical Choreography” Project

Remarkably, within the very first few months of the full-scale war, there was already an independent project Tactical Choreography for the Military, created and run by Khrystyna Shyshkariova, choreographer, founder and director of the Totem Dance Theatre and the Totem Dance School.[4] In the beginning, like many other Ukrainian artists, Shyshkariova and her team were quick to transform their art space and dance studios into a volunteer and logistics hub for military, rescue and medical purposes. They also organized a warehouse there, which had become quite useful for the military and evacuation teams.

But later on, Shyshkariova restarted dance classes at her school on the premise that it should help, as she would claim, to maintain mental health and discipline, as well as to stay fit and respond more adequately to all sorts of risks arising from the raging war. This resulted in developing a practice known asTactical Choreography, in which Shyshkariova used her knowledge of body movements to aid the military, volunteers and civilians. Today, these classes work as a preliminary part of training and are mostly designed for civilians and future military personnel who have yet to undergo training in combat-simulation conditions.

Participants of Creativity Therapy, Multimodal Approach certification program, practicing basic shapes from LMA system. Kyiv, Ukraine, September 2023. Photo: Viktor Ruban/LMaluma cente

Importantly, the primary motivation for Shyshkariova’s initiative appears to have stretched beyond the desire to help the military strengthen the capacity of their bodies to perform combat missions. The idea was also to form a stable contact with their physicality and, thus, be able to trust the body more and rely on its resources in critical situations. Therefore, her classes are mainly aimed at developing physical strength, endurance and concentration, based on Joan Skinner’s release-based techniques, elements of partnering and contact improvisation mixed with basic combat training of fight, defense and rescue (usually given in Bootcamp). In addition to partnering and contact improvisation techniques, the training included many techniques from martial arts. The use of these techniques allows one to master the basics of combat in contact with one’s own body better and faster. Professional military trainers who are on active duty are among those who participate in these classes.  Usually, they also teach civilians the basics of combat training, implementing their new dance knowledge.

In addition to conducting individual dance classes, choreographers also help their students learn how to perform and practice the sequence of basic combat training movements, as well as breathing, centering and grounding, taking into account the human anatomy. As a result, the same students are often surprised to find out that seemingly simple but incomprehensible “parterre training” movements—which include those of joints, centering and folding-unfolding of a body on the floor—work to significantly ease the burden of wearing heavy military equipment (such as body armor vests).

Also, active military personnel who join the classes point out that the partnering elements prove especially meaningful in the situations of combat coordination and evacuation of the wounded in real combat on the front line.  Speaking from their own experience, they report on how dance practices help the military improve their capacity to concentrate and self-regulate, as well as find more comfortable positions in life-threatening situations than before.

Training Military Instructors in First Psychological Aid

Researchers and practitioners working in Ukraine with veterans and military, namely Lyudmyla Tsarenko, Maria Voitovych, Lyudmyla Hrytsenok, Victoria Kochubey and Lyudmyla Hrydkovets among them, confirm the long-discovered fact that non-combat casualties represent a firm majority of war losses caused by person’s unbalanced psycho-emotional state..The psyche reacts with unusual effects (stupor, panic or excitement) to combat actions as a person ceases to understand what is happening and then behaves in his or her unique way. In a state of confusion, fright or panic, they may start shooting uncontrollably or run in the direction of danger (Levine 7, 13–19, 27–32). It is, therefore, important at such moments to have someone nearby who can help, guide or reassure. A properly provided first aid can save a person and quickly bring him or her back to fulfill one’s duties—such as to fight, defend or perform whatever other assigned tasks and missions. But most importantly, this kind of aid does reduce the risk of PTSD development (Tsarenko, Weber, Voitovych, Hrytsenok, Kochubey and Hrydkovets 54).

In most cases, maintaining internal mental balance does not require long psychotherapy sessions and simple tools prove sufficient to help one exercise and keep self-control. This is confirmed by many practicing choreographers and dance-movement therapists, including the authors of this article, who have had the opportunity to participate in the development and implementation of the course Training of Military Instructors in First Psychological Aid and Recovery initiated by Ukrainian military psychologist Rodion Hryhoryan.[5]

Khrystyna Shyskriova introducing elements of Tactical Choreography for the Military for How Do You Dance in the War-zone? art project. Photo: Maria Falconer and Paul Hill

The first psychological aid course is very similar to the standardized M.A.R.C.H. algorithm of first pre-medical aid in combat casualty care for dealing with injuries and traumas in combat conditions.[6] This course focuses on the most critical situations and is designed to allow for easy memorization and immediate implementation, whereas the M.A.R.C.H algorithm is equally important in disseminating information on how to treat war-caused physical injuries. The first psychological aid course seeks to create a network of instructors of first psychological aid and recovery in each company, each brigade and each military unit of Ukraine’s Armed Forces.  Importantly, the course trainings aim to develop skills required by the military both at the preparatory pre-battle stage, before any actual combat and during that battle, that is in real combat. Experience shows that such training also proves most helpful to the military when they undergo rotation and are recuperating or on vacation.

Khrystyna Shyskriova introducing elements of Tactical Choreography for the Military for How Do You Dance in the War-zone? art project. Military training area, Kyiv, Ukraine, April 2023. Photo: Maria Falconer and Paul Hill

Throughout the course, most of the training time is devoted to physical work, elements of embodiment, dance, dance-movement therapy and somatic approach. This includes breathing exercises, grounding, centering, containment and asking oneself the same question: “Where I am now and what is happening to me?” Such a big emphasis on the work with a body is caused by the fact that in situations of critical conditions and increased risk, it is usually only our body that happens to be “nearby,” with little chance to receive any psychological support or even use whatever other recommended measures and means.  

Military instructor introducing elements of Tactical Choreography for the Military for How Do You Dance in the War-zone? art project. Totem dance theatre, Kyiv, Ukraine, April 2023. Photo: Maria Falconer and Paul Hill

This Ukrainian approach is radically different from the one adopted back in the days of the Soviet Army. Whereas the latter was based on body exploitation and execution of order, the former gives each military man or woman the basic mindfulness, embodiment and somatic awareness tools to foster their psycho-emotional resilience and maintain more integrative state.

Viktor Ruban’s psycho-educational lecture practicum Body Awareness and Embodiment—Practices of Helping Yourself and Others offered to students and teachers of Pavlo Tychyna Uman State Pedagogical University’s dance department. Uman, Ukraine, September 2023. Photo: Anastasia Podgorinova

Thanks to the psychological aid course, participants learn techniques aimed to stabilize a person’s emotional state in extreme conditions, control his or her psycho-physiological state (“optimal combat state”), including through the methods and techniques of self-regulation (in particular, mastering aggression, anger, rage, quick methods of overcoming panic attacks, and so on). Special attention is paid to the methods of prevention, and prevention of suicidal behavior, as well as to familiarization with the mechanisms of PTSD prevention and the steps necessary for post-traumatic growth and resilience. Finally, the relevant methods also feature here the need to master a multidimensional model of stress and crisis management known as the BASIC PH. The model in question creates an individual combination of the six following elements—belief and values, affect, socialization, imagination, cognition, and physicality (Lahad 32), which is unique to each person who develops a resilience strategy to overcome crisis situations.

Viktor Ruban’s psycho-educational lecture practicum Body Awareness and Embodiment—Practices of Helping Yourself and Others offered to students and teachers of Pavlo Tychyna Uman State Pedagogical University’s dance department. Uman, Ukraine, September 2023. Photo: Anastasia Podgorinova

In the psychological aid classes, tutors utilize dance practices to achieve the desired stabilization effect and, thus, help students learn how to regulate their psycho-emotional states. Working with breathing and grounding, as well as directing attention are the first steps to take someone out of a state of panic, numbness or loss of contact with reality as his or her response to a life-threatening situation. Centering and grounding represent the simplest and most accessible ways to activate the core muscles, maintain active tone and neurotransmitter production, stimulate deeper diaphragmatic breathing and peristalsis, which is crucial for speeding up the elimination of toxins and stress hormones.

Viktor Ruban introducing grounding exercises within psycho-educational lecture practicum Body Awareness and Embodiment—Practices of Helping Yourself and Others offered to students and teachers of Pavlo Tychyna Uman State Pedagogical University’s dance department. Uman, Ukraine, September 2023. Photo: Anastasia Podgorinova

This training course ran from June 2022 till January 2024 and gave altogether 80 lessons, each lasting 3 or 5 days and normally involving from 25 to 45 participants, with the ultimate number of trained military instructors reaching as a result 2,480 people. Supported financially by the NATO Representation to Ukraine, the course was implemented irregularly by the Center for Strategic Development “Impulse,” together with the Military Psychology Division of the National Psychological Association, and under the patronage of the Commandment of Territorial Defense forces of the Armed forces of Ukraine. Despite being recommended for renewal, the program is currently not functioning as it has yet to acquire further financing in order to restart.

Also proving helpful to the military, in terms of integrating this somatic dance experience into their own bodies, are teachings in the psychophysiology of stress, trauma and self-regulation methods, as well as practical training on attention and physical state regulation. The list would be incomplete without mentioning specific dance routines based on Joan Skinner’s release-based techniques (Mova 15–63), Thomas Hanna’s method (Hanna 93–153), ideokinesis (Bernard, Steinmuller and Stricker 3, 5–7, 23–26, 70–75, 89–96, 107–44, 157–59, 167–70, 188–90), and elements of the Laban movement analysis system (Maletic 95-97, 99-104, 123–28, 145–46, 171–75).

Sometimes, when working with the military, dance practitioners seem to encounter initial skepticism from potential students. But often, even hesitant participants would later be able to recall frontline situations in which a proper understanding of their bodies must have played a role in their eventual survival. This tendency is most visible among participants with extensive combat experience, especially those who had been at the war front ever since 2014 (the year the war in Donbas broke out to serve as the prologue to the Russian invasion eight years on). In almost every lesson of the program, and again speaking from experience, veterans would state that the knowledge acquired through the above teachings could have saved many lives back then and should do so now.

Viktor Ruban introducing basic centering exercises within the psycho-educational lecture practicum Body Awareness and Embodiment—Practices of Helping Yourself and Others to students and teachers of Pavlo Tychyna Uman State Pedagogical University’s dance department. Uman, Ukraine, September 2023. Photo: Anastasia Podgorinova
Another Case Study: Larysa Babiy’s Classes

An interesting and noteworthy teaching case presents itself in group classes on contemporary dance somatic practices based on the Feldenkrais method Awareness Through Movement. These classes were conducted by Larysa Babiy, a performer, curator, art critic and member of the Tanzlaboratorium Art Group, at the Lisova Polyana Rehabilitation Centerin Kyiv, from November 2022 to June 2023. Babiy worked with a mixed group of soldiers who were undergoing psychological and physical rehabilitation after suffering amputations, concussions and all sorts of bodily deformities. The only requirement she put forward for admission to the classes was the ability to self-regulate and self-control. This meant that participants were supposed to decide for themselves at what pace to move, if at all, whether and when to stop and, overall, to follow or not a particular suggestion for movement. Naturally, they were also free to decide, at any point, whether to stay in the class or to stop participating and leave.

Viktor Ruban introducing basic group-work centering exercises within the psycho-educational lecture practicum Body Awareness and Embodiment—Practices of Helping Yourself and Others to students and teachers of Pavlo Tychyna Uman State Pedagogical University’s dance department. Uman, Ukraine, September 2023. Photo: Anastasia Podgorinova

The classes or, to be more precise, the initial meetings with potential participants were held as introductory and prioritized the ease of understanding, since the same participants were not expected to be familiar with the Feldenkrais method and had various, sometimes very serious, injuries. It was also important to ensure that even those participants with double amputations were able to work on body movements without inflicting harm or pain on themselves.

The way Babiy constructed her classes also merits attention. Before demonstrating how any exercise could look, Babiy would verbally offer to the audience certain guidelines on how to focus and move so that participants could follow them as they deemed fit and appropriate. Evidently, the class needed to be organized in such a way that nobody would feel uncomfortable with the fact that they could not do what was suggested when others nearby were clearly able to do so. It was, therefore, essential that, despite their emotions and feelings, despite their bodily deformities, all participants could know that they still had the ability to regulate their actions, movements included. At the end of the day, it was all about enabling them to feel adequate after going through so much trauma and pain in their wartime experience. 

In her comments, Babiy makes a point to note that the military people she has dealt with are, in her words, “as concrete, direct, and intelligent about their own bodies as it turns out possible.” And this is what her interaction with them was based on, since the Feldenkrais method is applied in the work with the nervous system, meaning the learning process on the level of the nervous system and, ultimately, the creation of new neural connections. The same method is simultaneously directed to revitalize what can be referred to as the body’s “intelligence”; that is, the capacity to calm it down and find its inner balance. According to Feldenkrais himself and his followers, a person in the process of movement is constantly learning, trying out different ways of acting and moving (Feldenkrais 34).

A profound utilization of the Feldenkrais method would take time to integrate the bodily experience into various spheres of life. But even though sporadic sessions cannot be and have not been as immediately efficient as regular classes should, this kind of training has definitely been productive. For example, one of the participants, a young man with double leg amputations who used a wheelchair, was initially very critical of the invitation to join the classes. A seemingly firm skeptic from the start, he did not move for the first 30–40 minutes of the class before beginning to gradually move along with the others; by the end of the session, he was impressed with the result. After these meetings, both the attendants and the center’s specialists used to note small but significant improvements in the participants’ physical and psycho-emotional state—such as better coordination between the trunk and pelvic muscles, and a more stable emotional state overall.

Viktor Ruban introducing basic centering exercises within the psycho-educational lecture practicum Body Awareness and Embodiment—Practices of Helping Yourself and Others to students and teachers of Pavlo Tychyna Uman State Pedagogical University’s dance department. Uman, Ukraine, September 2023. Photo: Anastasia Podgorinova
Creative Retreat Camps

The other noteworthy teaching case concerns the project on psycho-emotional recovery of children and adolescents from the affected regions, as run by the Art Therapy Retreat Camp in the Carpathians. This is where creative and physical activities have also become a key element of training. The dance-movement part of the program is based on the elements of breathing and grounding, as well as on movement awareness techniques and those of movement improvisation. In the improvisation classes, the emphasis has been made on applying elements of the Laban Movement Analysis system and the Bartenieff Fundamentals that would allow for a structuring of movement and for establishing contact with the somatic reality.

For example, in such improvisation classes as the “dance of centers without music” and “dance of peripheries without music,” participants are encouraged to find their own comfortable pace and rhythm for movement, effect of centering and activating their breathing. Also, this method serves to stimulate them to connect to the impulses of their bodies, and thus achieve comfort in movement and be able to synchronize it with other participants. In addition to self-regulation and self-help skills, children and adolescents, as well as adult participants who were assisting them in camp have had the opportunity to express their inner state through movement. This practice helps them feel better about themselves, as they release emotions and experiences, reduce tension and harmonize their inner state.

The choreographers providing the above classes have formulated their tasks based on certain provisions of Rudolf Laban’s system, someone who believed that movement was change and that space should be seen as a place where change occurs (Maletic 123–28). In line with these thoughts, participants are invited to work with modes of shape change and search for their own shape flow, directional or carving movement, the types of movement that activate the variety of their movement in space. Such sessions are conducted with real-time musical accompaniment (guitar, drums and electronic music), which allegedly support—but not direct—the participants’ movement. Invariably shy and unsure in the beginning, many participants would later admit that they “didn’t know they could dance” or that “they can be so fluid in movement” and express the desire “to try dancing more” after the retreat.

In formulating various initiatives and dance therapy programs that envisage psycho-educational, recovery-type and therapeutical activities, Ukrainian choreographers apply a remarkably wide range of methods and techniques.  These include basic principles of contemporary dance, somatic work and movement organization, such as the connection between breathing and movement (that is, how breathing supports movement). There is also consistent work with gravity (centering), the body weight (whose energy capacity varies according to whether the body is active or passive) the time and space (the usage of different levels), the focus of attention, as well as with the issues of grounding, resourcefulness, dynamic balance and counter-balance.

Conclusion

The common thing for all those methods and techniques is that program developers rely on the practice of contemporary dance, something that today serves one of the most important means to broadcast and, simultaneously, generate cultural values and meanings. As a social phenomenon, contemporary dance becomes for many people their best way to culturally comprehend the body, allowing them to find in body movements a harmonious combination of corporeality and awareness.

Understanding the body not only as a special instrument of expression but as a way to perceive reality has proved an extremely important task to Ukrainians in terms of fostering their resistance to the Russian invasion. With thousands of people in Ukraine having directly experienced the threat of death and extinction, destruction of homes and livelihoods, their bodies are essentially transitioning into a new and unknown quality. The need to overcome the feeling of horror from losing one’s own body has thereby prompted choreographers and dancers to develop and popularize practices that would protect the body, and preserve its functionality, mental strength and psycho-emotional resilience. In their training, they have begun to apply what they learned in dance in order to demonstrate and share how people can liberate themselves from the excessive emotional burden of the war, revitalize their inner space and fill it with new meanings—in a word, find integrity. The self-regulation mechanisms that are so relevant in contemporary dance ensure a transformation of all the body systems, as a result of which a human being is able to restore his or her life balance: physical, psycho-emotional and social one.

Based on the material above, we can conclude that contemporary dance has adequately responded to Ukraine’s war-inflicted challenges and has become a significant platform for choreographers and dancers to develop special creative arts therapy programs for civilians and the military. In so doing, they also continue to popularize and disseminate the already-developed methodologies of self-recovery.

Judging by the experiences of many local dancers and choreographers, being aware of the peculiarities of their own physicality means that people have more opportunities to express themselves freely, at their own pace and with a varying intensity, all according to their own feelings and wishes, to stop or start moving and thus activate their resource states.

All these efforts have a profound and lasting significance to the Ukrainian society at large, given its wartime sufferings and subjection to previously unseen problems and feelings of cold, numbness and general discomfort. At the same time, the techniques and elements of contemporary dance can remind people that, besides traumatic sensations, their body contains sensations of resourceful nature—such as expansion, warmth, lightness, bodily comfort and freedom. Therefore, the targeted stimulation of such resourceful sensations in the human body, based on contemporary dance practices, is a special and perhaps even pressing cultural policy task of today’s Ukraine.

Local dancers and choreographers are now working ever more actively to address society’s war-caused traumas; so much so that they currently tend to postpone creating products that used to dominate the pre-war art scene for later—until after the war.[7] While no one knows when this could happen, there is a clear drive-in dance practices to promote embodiment, mindfulness and movement awareness and thus create conditions for a smoother and easier afterwar recovery.


Endnotes

[1] Link 1

[2] Link 2

[3] Link 3

[4] Khrystyna Shyshkariova is a choreographer, stage director, modern dance educator, curator, founder of the Totem Dance Theatre and artistic director of the Totem Dance School (both founded in 2008), vice president of the association Contemporary Dance Platform of Ukraine. She is the author of seven dance pieces and over a hundred miniatures, a jury member of numerous international and national dance competitions, and a choreographer of So You Think You Can Dance, a reality TV project in Ukraine (seasons 1 and 2). Tutor of the modern jazz dance at the Kyiv Modern Ballet (2008–13) and the modern dance course at the Kyiv National University of Culture and Arts (2012–15), choreographer at the Kyiv Academic Opera and Ballet Theater for Children and Youth (2010–14).

[5] Rodion Hryhoryan is a Ukrainian military psychologist, instructor, officer-psychologist at the Territorial Defense Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, psychologist at Kyiv Military Hub, moderator of the Military Psychology Division of the National Psychological Association, member of the Association of Dance and Movement Therapists of Ukraine, co-founder of the Center for Strategic Development “Impulse.” Postgraduate student at the Institute of Social and Political Psychology of the National Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of Ukraine. Before the full-scale invasion, he worked as a psychologist at the International Interagency Multidisciplinary Training Center for the National Guard of Ukraine (2019–22). At the beginning of the full-scale invasion, he voluntarily joined the Territorial Defense Forces, first as a soldier, then as a sergeant, and later as an officer. In 2022, upon joining the force, he launched the training course for military instructors and squad-platoon-company commanders on first psychological aid in extreme situations.

[6] Link 6

[7] Link 7  

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*Lyudmila Mova, doctor of pedagogical sciences, ph.d. of psychological sciences. She is a professor of the Psychology and Choreography Departments at the Kyiv National University of Culture and Arts, Kyiv, Ukraine.  She is also a practicing psychologist, performer, cofounder and mentor of the state-standard certified program in art therapy (2005–21) and the international program in dance-movement therapy.  Head of the DMT and somatic approach at the “Art Therapy Association” (2005–21), founder and head of the Center for the Psychology of Movement and Creative Expression «LMaluma,» head of the Association of Dance and Movement Therapists of Ukraine. maluma@ua.fm 

**Viktor Ruban, choreographer, researcher, performer, educator, producer. Director general of the Ruban Production ITP Ltd., program director and co-founder of the international dance platform “Impulse of Transformation,” program director of the #KyivDanceResidency, a platform for international movement-based art and research, as well as studies in somatic, dance and performative practices. Research interests include exploration of the correlations between methods of choreography, poetry and cinematography, as well as interdisciplinary projects on developing choreographic tools that could be applied in any kind of art. viktor.ruban@rpitp.com 

***Hanna Veselovska is a professor, theatre critic, and scholar. Her research and publication interests include modern theatre theory. Among her recent books are The Twelve Productions by Les’ Kurbas (2005), The Theatrical Intersections in Kyiv: 1900-1910s. Theatrical Kyiv’s Modernism (2006), Ukrainian Theatrical Avant-garde (2010), History of the Ukrainian Theatre: From Genesis to the Early 20th Century (in co-authorship, 2011), Modern Theatrical Arts (2014), Maria Zankovetska National Academy Ukrainian Drama Theatre. Time and Fates (1917–1944). Part 1 (2016), Theatre of Mykola Sadovskyj (1907–1920) (2018) and More Than a Theatre: Ivan Franko National Theatre (2001–2012) (2019). aveselovska@gmail.com

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