Avramenko, Vasyl [Авраменко, Василь], b 22 March 1895 in the village of Stebliv, Kyiv gubernia, d 6 May 1981 in New York. Choreographer, popularizer of Ukrainian folk dance, actor in Sadovsky's Theater. Avramenko organized many folk dance schools and ensembles, beginning at the internment camp for the UNR Army soldiers in Kalisz, Poland, in 1921 and subsequently in Western Ukraine, Czechoslovakia, and Germany. In 1926 he emigrated to Canada and later to the United States, where he founded numerous folk dance ensembles and a school of folk dance in New York. Avramenko published the manual Ukraïns'ki natsional'ni tantsi, muzyka i strii (Ukrainian National Dances, Music, and Costumes, 1946). He made many successful appearances with the Ukrainian dance ensemble and Oleksander Koshyts’ chorus at the Metropolitan Opera in New York (1931), the Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago (1933), and the White House in Washington, DC (1935). In 1936–7 he established a sound-film studio, producing with the Koshyts chorus the operas Natalka Poltavka, Zaporozhets' za Dunaiem (Zaporozhian Cossack beyond the Danube), and Marusia. Avramenko trained many teachers of folk dance in Western Ukraine and abroad. The Avramenko Fund has been established in New York to preserve his heritage.
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 1 (1984).]
Encyclopedia of Ukraine