Join the celebration of Ukrainian culture at the KOLO Dance Show
Ukraine’s cultural heritage has been under siege since Russia launched its unprovoked war on February 24, 2022. At Spotlight Ukraine, we aim to play a part in helping to safeguard Ukraine’s distinct and beautiful culture by sharing stories on culture and information on how our readers can experience Ukrainian culture first hand. We’re excited to share information on KOLO, an extraordinary show that will take you deep into the heart of Ukrainian culture and its’ indomitable spirit.
The first of its kind, “KOLO” is a new theatrical dance show and immersive visual experience celebrating the dance, visual and musical heritage of Ukrainian culture. The Ukrainian term “kolo” translates to “circle” and also means a circle of friends, family and people close to each other, who share friendship and values. KOLO Dance Show incorporates many significant cultural circle-like elements to show circularity of life and the cycle of times that we are all going through. Watch this video short for a preview of KOLO.
The show opens on December 26 at the Van Wezel Performance Arts Hall in Sarasota, Florida, and then stops at Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, Florida, on December 29, before continuing on a U.S. tour with performances in major cities such as Los Angeles, New York, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, and more. Dates and venues for these shows will be announced soon.
Click here to buy tickets for the performance at the Van Wezel Performance Arts Hall in Sarasota.
Click here to buy tickets for the performance at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg.
KOLO is the brainchild of award-winning, competitive ballroom dancers and partners, Iaroslav and Liliia Bieliei, both natives of Kyiv, Ukraine, who now call Los Angeles home. Many of the day-to-day KOLO staff are based in Ukraine.
We are deeply honored to present the ‘KOLO’ dance show to the world. The upcoming North American tour has been our dream ever since we began to dance in our home country of Ukraine. Ballroom dancing is such a beautiful form of art and we have produced this performance to showcase the artform, the music and the extraordinary visuals that truly have never been presented. This groundbreaking show will allow audiences not only to be immersed in a once in a lifetime experience into our rich and diverse culture, but also witness the Ukrainian pursuit of freedom in the cycle of modern history.
KOLO is a collaboration celebrating the arts and culture of Ukraine during one of the most crucial and determining moments in history. Over the last eight months, the American people have watched destruction spread throughout Ukraine, yet at the same time they have witnessed the unwavering strength and courage of a country that refuses to surrender. The American people have empathized with the Ukrainian people and from that, a bond between the countries has formed. Bringing KOLO to the United States will undoubtedly help to deepen that connection, allowing the Ukrainian story to be told through music and dance. Audiences will experience a visual component that is expected to be nothing short of electrifying.
Meet the Executive Producers and Directors of KOLO: Iaroslav and Liliia Bieliei
Iaroslav and Liliia Bieliei are professional ballroom dancers and dance teachers with more than 25 years of experience.
Iaroslav was born in Kyiv, Ukraine. He started dancing at the age of six. At an early age, he was introduced to the best teachers in the world, started to compete nationally and internationally, and before long became Ukrainian National Champion in the Juniors and Youth categories. Iaroslav earned a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and Dancesport at National University of Physical Education and Sport of Ukraine before moving to Canada at the age of twenty where he became Canadian National Champion in Amateurs. Iaroslav relocated to the U.S. in 2014 to pursue his Professional career. That same year he became U.S. National Professional Rising Stars Champion and winner of the prestigious UK Open Championship.
Liliia was also born in Kyiv, Ukraine. She started her ballroom dance career at 4 years of age and turned pro when she was just seventeen. She achieved remarkable results immediately from Ukrainian National Champion to European Championship finalist, Blackpool Dance Festival finalist, as well as the winner of the famous International Championship in London, UK. Liliia earned a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and Dancesport at National University of Physical Education and Sport of Ukraine before moving to the U.S. at the age of twenty where she continued her dance career with her future husband Iaroslav.
In their first year together Iaroslav and Liliia became Blackpool Dance Festival Professional Rising Stars Vice-Champions. They have been winners and finalists of many distinguished events in the USA and worldwide. In 2021 Iaroslav and Liliia achieved the most prestigious U.S. title as United States National Professional Standard Champions. That same year they became U.S. Open Champions and World Standard Show Dance Vice-Champions. They are currently based in Los Angeles, California, where they actively teach, train and work on multiple dance projects.
Iaroslav and Liliia are the Directors and Producers of KOLO and officially retired from competition in September 2022 to dedicate their time to producing the show.