P1100304 Cossack dance
performed at WestFest by Ukrainian dance troup Zorya from Dallas. Along with the bread and salt dance (see the previous image), cossack dances are also firmly tied to Soviet propaganda in my mind. I saw them many times on Russian television programs, especially on official holidays. So imagine seeing it in the little town called West, in a hugely conservative part of Texas, where the billboards along the highway denounce president Obama as socialist!
To be fair, I like cossack dances. They are athletic, energetic and beautiful.
Zorya dancers performed at WestFest, a festival celebrating Czech culture (West and many other little towns along the stretch of I-35 between Austin and Dallas were settled by Czech immigrants). While Ukraine is quite far from Czech republic (at least by European standards, but perhaps not so much on Texas scale :-)) the troupes performing at West Fest represented several Eastern European countries, including Czech, Hungary, and Ukraine.