Friday, September 24, 2010

Modern Cossacks

Performers at the Cossack Horse Theatre, Zaporozhye, Ukraine. This is a thrilling performance on the island of Khortitsa, traditional home of this sich of Cossacks. In the old days women and children were banned on the island, and any found were killed along with their male associates. Today everyone is welcome at this display of equestrian and mock fighting skills.
The riders do amazing stunts like riding along the side of a galloping horse, standing atop a galloping horse (I saw one guy standing on two galloping horses) and riding stretched out across the saddle of the galloping horse. In addition, the Cossack hetman chooses a strong man from the crowd who is required to stand holding branches in his hands while a Cossack snaps them with whips.
The performance is followed by a traditional meal of spicy rice with meat and fruit, and a shot or two of vodka. Well worth seeing, and according to several Websites the only theatre of its kind in the world.


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