Stars of the show
Mistress of the Ball
- Lyudmyla Luhanova, Director General of Dnipro Hotel, Chief Fairy and Inspirer of the performance.
Masters of the ceremony: Natalya Kondratyuk, journalist and enchantress, Illya Noyabryov, TV magician and a monument to himself.
Honourable guests: Valeriy Tsybukh, sovereign of winds and waters; in life: Head of the Derzhkomturyzm of Ukraine (State Committee of Ukraine for Tourism); Mykhaylo Holytsya, deputy mayor; Olexandr Fedrytsky, adviser to the king-on-the-mountain and President’s of Ukraine assistant; Anatoliy Bilyk, knight-errant and (oh life!) Head of Subcommittee for Tourism of Verkhovna Rada committee; Andriy Hurzhiy, knight of the Round Table and deputy head of the Department for Science and Development at the Cabinet of Ministers; Bohdan Bileychuk, doctor to His Highness and deputy head of the Department for Physical Culture and Health Protection of the Administration of President of Ukraine.
Merry guests: troubadours Olexiy Hlyzin (just from Moscow) and Roman Kopov; singing mermaids Natalya Mohylevska and Iryna Blokhina; comedians from the Gentlemen-Show; dancers from internationally famous Shans (“Chance”) dance club.Ladies and cavaliers, masters of the ceremony, door-keepers, cooks, from Kyiv and other cities.It was not a dream, all this really happened on a June night, an almost Shakespearean comedy and ball combined.
In fact, the show was stage-managed not by the old joker William, but by a fairy, also known as Director General of Dnipro Hotel, Lyudmyla Luhanova. The show was devoted to this hotel, situated on top of a green hill facing the Dnipro River, just in the centre of Kyiv. That day Dnipro was 35 years old. It was an event as though from a fairy-tale, significant in our not so fairy-tale time.
The show started outdoors, in front of the hotel. At festively decorated main entrance stood the door-keepers in smart uniforms, headed by mighty Denis, favourite of Dnipro Hotel regular customers. They met guests and showed them into the main hall. And the guests immediately found themselves in the whirl of the festival. The orchestra on a brightly lit platform played bravura marches. Wonderful young people danced. Waiters brought in champagne providing refreshment, so longed for that hot evening. Young girls gave small bunches of flowers to each lady.

Masters of the ceremony in beautiful ball dresses handed programmes with lottery numbers to the guests. These programmes were talismans which had to bring happiness to their owners that evening.
The main staircase was lined with festively dressed boys and girls. Kondratyuk and Noyabryov descended the stairs in puffs of magic smoke and bright illumination, accompanying the Mistress of the Ball. Lyudmyla announced the opening of the ball to the enthusiastic exclamations and applause.
The guests proceeded to the restaurant on the second floor, where the most important events were to take place. Enthusiastic excitement, decoration of the hall, flowers, bright hangings and the blue trade mark of Dnipro created a truly festive atmosphere.
For lack of space I will not present here the speech of the Ball’s Mistress and guests’ toasts. Sincere words heightened the friendly atmosphere of the wonderful show. It would not be fair to pass over presents and awards of the honourable guests. The Cabinet of Ministers awarded Dnipro with a diploma and honourary badge which was fastened to the hotel’s flag.
Then the representatives of the Cabinet of Ministers presented the Dnipro staff with personal diplomas and Kyiv City Administration presented them with the highest mayor’s awards - “Gratitude’s”. Many of those who worked for the hotel in the past 35 years gathered at the party.
And the tables were laden with wondrous food and drinks. Dnipro cooks did their best.
Particularly well I remembered lobster medallion, trout in champagne, zander in dough with Japanese sauce, bacon in cheese with fruits. Everyone could find something to his taste.
Banquet smoothly passed into ball. In the centre of the hall the guests danced waltz. Then there were performances, lotteries, rarities auctions (for instance, Schroder grand piano) and quizzes devoted to the Dnipro Hotel history.
Then the lights mysteriously went out and an enormous cake with 35 candles appeared in the hushed hall. A wonder of culinary art had a surprise in it - a jubilee coin of Dnipro Hotel. The guests fell to with a great enthusiasm, eating the cake fast and trying to find the happy coin.
It was the climax, but not the end of the performance. As the guests were leaving, there was another surprise in store for them. They were interviewed by Radio Europa Plus and these interviews were broadcast live to Kyiv and to many countries of the former Soviet Union.
And then fireworks lit up the night sky.
Music played, people danced. This celebration will be remembered for a long time till the next jubilee.

So, let us wish the hotel on the Dnipro River hill to have even more honourable guests from all over the world, since it is they who are the pride and glory of any hotel. May the holiday mood in Kyiv stay on.
The holiday whose name is Dnipro!

By Yevhen Bud’ko
Photos by Heorhiy & Valeriy Orlovs