Russia’s Bolshoi theatre hosts concert in aid of Ukraine


World’s most famous ballet theatre stages politically sensitive gala in support of young dancers in Kiev


Russian and Ukrainian ballet dancers will seek to set aside the conflict embroiling their respective governments at a much anticipated but politically sensitive charity concert on Sunday night.


The Bolshoi Theatre, Russia’s most famous cultural institution, hosted the gala performance dubbed “Ballet Without Borders” in Moscow on Sunday evening.


Proceeds from the show, which has been organised by the Bolshoi Theatre’s Ukrainian-born prima ballerina Svetlana Zakharova, will go towards the Kiev State Ballet School in Kiev, where organisers say young dancers train in poor conditions.


The concert, which sold out, is politically sensitive because Kiev and Moscow are locked in an on-going confrontation that has brought the two countries to the brink of all-out war.


“It was a full house, it was a huge success,” the producer of the concert, Yuri Baranov, told AFP, referring to rapturous applause and stamping of feet.


More than 4000 people have died in a conflict between Ukrainian government forces and Kremlin backed separatists in eastern Ukraine since April.


But organisers of the concert say the move has nothing to do with politics.


“It’s necessary to help children, no matter what country they live in,” said Ms Zakharova, who said she had the idea after visiting her alma mater in Kiev last year “before the [political] situation became complicated.”


“There was no way back – these are kids.”


The Kiev State Ballet School is one of the most prestigious in the former Soviet Union, but Ms Zakharova said she was dismayed to see the building in dire need of renovation and repair, including a new roof.


It is a topic that has brought together the cream of the ballet world.


“I came to support the guys,” sad Natalia Osipova, a former Bolshoi star who joined the Royal Ballet last year, who will be performing. ”How can one refuse? I recall how terrible it was to enter a dance hall in winter and shiver.”


The effort underscores the close relationship that long existed between Russia and Ukraine before the crisis sparked by February’s revolution in Kiev.


In a sign of the sensitivity of the subject, the organisers have been unable to find a sponsor. And Yuri Baranov, a fellow graduate of the school who is producing the concert, has been careful to distance the event from politics of any sort.


“This is an initiative of the artists and not the government or the management,” he said.


The crisis has also affected the effort in other ways.


Organisers hope to raise $300,000, but may take only half that because of the sharp collapse of the ruble, which has lost almost half its value since the annexation of Crimea in March.


Leonid Sarafanov, a principal dancer with the Mikhailovsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg, and Alina Cojocaru, the Romanian-born star of the English National Ballet – who both trained in Kiev – took part in the gala.



ウクライナのニュース=>UKRAINE TODAY


Best students of Kiev state ballet school

Published on 28 May 2014 by ukrainian ballet


Students of Kiev State Ballet School

Published on 29 May 2015 by ukrainian ballet