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Ukrainian Dancers Find Shelter Abroad as War Rages at Home

Posted on March 9, 2022 at 11:40 AM Comments comments (1068)

Opera houses and theaters in European cities are offering to help fleeing or stranded ballet dancers, even as many are still stuck in Ukraine.

PARIS — When Ivan Kozlov landed in France with the Kyiv City Ballet on Feb. 23, the drumbeat of a possible Russian attack on Ukraine was growing louder. But he still didn’t think that President Vladimir V. Putin’s forces would invade.


“Honestly, I couldn’t believe it would happen,” said Mr. Kozlov, 39, who has directed the company since its creation in 2012. “I thought he was trying to scare us by putting soldiers at the border, that’s it.”


But the day after the company’s arrival in Paris, hours before its first performance, the troupe’s 30 or so dancers woke in the pre-dawn hours to news of airstrikes and troop movements flashing across their phones. War had broken out.


That made it nearly impossible for the company to return to Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, after the end of its French tour, in mid-March.


“Every one of us was in shock,” Daniil Podhrushko, 21, one of the dancers, said through a translator. “We were in disbelief.”


Two million people have fled Ukraine since the start of the war, according to the United Nations. Like their compatriots, Ukrainian ballet dancers have found themselves caught in the middle of the conflict — trying to flee or stuck abroad on tour or forced to remain in Ukraine. Now, theaters and opera houses around Europe are scrambling to offer help, shelter or work.

more here:

Alexei Ratmansky, with family in Kyiv, leaves his ballet in Moscow.

Posted on February 28, 2022 at 8:00 AM Comments comments (1793)

The choreographer Alexei Ratmansky, the former artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet who is now artist in residence at American Ballet Theater, was preparing a new ballet at the Bolshoi in Moscow when President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia made his announcement, early Thursday morning, that he had launched an invasion of neighboring Ukraine.

The ballet, set to Bach’s “Art of the Fugue,” was to have its premiere on March 30 but has been postponed indefinitely. The head of the Bolshoi’s press office, Katerina Novikova, when asked for a comment, pointed to a statement on the theater’s website, which says that it was postponed after “negotiations with the staging team.”


Mr. Ratmansky, who grew up in Kyiv and danced there early in his career, immediately decided to leave Moscow, and with the help of the Bolshoi, made arrangements to travel home to New York via Warsaw, along with the rest of his international creative team.

Mr. Ratmansky is Ukrainian and Russian. His parents, sister, nieces and nephews live in Kyiv, as does the family of Ms. Ratmansky, who is Ukrainian.


Mr. Ratmansky remains in frequent phone contact with his family. His parents, in their 80s, at first took shelter in the basement of their building in the downtown area, before driving to a small country house about an hour from the city. Other family members were taking shelter in underground garages and basements.


They are all safe for now, and, Mr. Ratmansky said, “trying to keep good spirits.”

Dance Class Is in Session: Flail, Get Weird, Unlock Yourself

Posted on February 18, 2022 at 8:20 AM Comments comments (2151)

See it in the New York Times 

With collaborators like Miranda July and Evan Rachel Wood, Angela Trimbur stands out among social-media-savvy choreographers whose accessible movement found audiences during the pandemic.

Calling All Tap Dance Kids

Posted on February 2, 2022 at 8:15 AM Comments comments (1379)


 (It’s Not the Acting Kid or the Singing Kid)

The challenge of casting the Encores! revival of “The Tap Dance Kid” exposes some of the complications of tap, show business and Black history.§ion=Dance

What Do Dancers Bring to a Halftime Show? They Complete the Picture.

Posted on January 29, 2022 at 9:20 AM Comments comments (749)


What Do Dancers Bring to a Halftime Show? They Complete the Picture.

Some dancers recoiled at the prospect of volunteering their services at this year’s Super Bowl halftime show: “You can’t make a living off of exposure.”§ion=Dance

Britney Spears Has Always Fought Back. By Dancing.

Posted on January 7, 2022 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (3348)

Before, during and now after the conservatorship that oversaw her life for 13 years, the pop star has used dance to assert her power and connect with her audience.

With her expansive arm gestures, rapid-fire turns and abdominal dexterity, Spears has always used dance to communicate her strength. Brian Friedman, the choreographer responsible for some of Spears’s most famous routines, noted that there was a visible change in her approach to dancing after the conservatorship was put in place in 2008.


“I feel like that was her way of being able to be in control of something, because she didn’t have control over so much,” Friedman said in a phone interview. “So by being able to step into the studio and say ‘I don’t want to do this, I want to do this, I’m going to make up my own thing,’ it gave her some kind of power.”

-from the NY Times, by Madison Mainwaring