IRMOS – from Greek, means: “link, tie, connection”. It is a prayer that sits at the heart of ancient Ukrainian spiritual singing. IRMOS is a connection between heaven and earth. The connection that holds the world together.
IRMOS FOR UKRAINE is a concert of ancient spiritual songs and traditional songs. A concert with a message of peace with the aim of collecting funds for the continued work of Word and Voice Theatre Centre which includes humanitarian support for peace in Ukraine, and the future preservation and enrichment of the country’s rich cultural heritage through education and performances.
This fundraiser is to bring Nataliia and two other actresses of Word and Voice – Mariia Kmits and Solomiya Kyrylova (who recently received stellar reviews for her leading performance in "Pamfir" at Cannes) – to the UK to present Irmos for Ukraine, song masterclasses, and a variation on their theatre’s performance of Zemlia Pisnia (Earth-Song).
Your donations will help us cover travel and accommodation expenses and any further donations will support the continued activity of Word and Voice. Thank you for your generosity!
The further invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022 and the Russia’s continued aggression has made it painfully apparent that the aim of this war is nothing short of the complete erasure of Ukraine’s cultural heritage. In its 23 June 2022 report, UNESCO assessed the damage caused so far to cultural sites in Ukraine: 152 cultural sites have been partially or totally destroyed as a result of the fighting, including 70 religious buildings, 30 historical buildings, 18 cultural centres, 15 monuments, 12 museums and seven libraries. A month on and this number is surely higher.
The Donetsk Regional Drama Theater in Mariupol March 16, 2022
Our colleague, teacher and international star of stage and screen, Nataliia Polovynka has been preserving Ukraine’s cultural heritage in the form of songs, rituals, and other performative material for decades. In 2010 she founded the theatre centre Word and Voice in order to place these traditional songs and cultural material in conversation with contemporary aesthetics and devise new theatrical forms. In such a way, this work not only preserves the culture heritage but ensures it continues to live.
Since the end of February, Word and Voice has also been operating as a shelter for displaced Ukrainians and victims of war, collecting funds to support reporters and hospitals with the necessary equipment, devising new performances, and organizing regular cultural and relief events for the many new residents of Lviv. As the war continues to drain the country’s resources, the work of Word and Voice becomes increasingly harder and the theatre’s future is precarious.
That work has always been rooted in the traditional techniques held within the ancient spiritual songs of Ukraine. In March, Polovynka travelled to Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and other countries to sing Irmos and pray for the people of Ukraine in their fight for independence. Out of these events, Irmos for Ukraine was created.
The UK Tour
17 August - Irmos for Ukraine, St Giles Cripplegate, London
19 August - Song Demonstration, Maketank, Exeter
20 August - Song Workshop, Maketank, Exeter
20 August - Irmos for Ukraine, St Michael the Archangel, Chagford
23 August - Irmos for Ukraine, Exeter Cathedral, Exeter
24 August - Songs and Community Activities for 31st anniversary of Ukraine Independence Day, Poltimore House, Exeter
25 August - Lunchtime Concert, St Stephen's, Exeter
26 August - Summer Kitchen, Exeter Phoenix, Exeter
27 August - Lord Mayor's Coffee, Guildhall, Exeter
27 August - Mother of Apostles film screening, Studio 74, Exeter as part of the World Charity Tour of the film
29 August - Earth-Song, Dartington Hall, Dartington