Ivan Putrov's second Dance for Ukraine gala in support of his home country, ahead of the anniversary of the war, will be held on Sunday 18 February 2024.
Olga Smirnova will be making her first UK performances since leaving Russia in protest at the onset of the war. Royal Ballet dancers Marianela Nuñez, Matthew Ball and William Bracewell, English National Ballet Principals Emma Hawes and Sangeun Lee, will also perform alongside soloists from Ukrainian National Ballet.
Putrov's 2022 gala raised over £160,000 net for the Disaster Emergency Committee's Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal. Funds raised this year will support the arts in Ukraine, with a new production for Ukrainian National Ballet of Frederick Ashton's La Fille mal gardée, the first British ballet to enter its repertoire.
After the 2022 gala, The Daily Telegraph wrote;
…the most passionate display of dance that I have witnessed and the most meaningful.
Former Principal of Bolshoi Ballet and current Principal of Dutch National Ballet, Olga Smirnova, left Russia in protest of the invasion at the onset of the war and has made appearances in support of Ukraine in galas in Hamburg and Copenhagen.
Ivan Putrov said:
It is a privilege for us in the UK to bring a little light, hopefully, to the people of Ukraine. I am thankful to all the artists, creatives and organisations that have donated their services to this cause, and I am proud Olga has chosen to come to our gala in support of Ukraine and make her first appearance in London since leaving Russia. It has always been a dream of mine to bring La Fille mal gardée to Ukraine and I am thrilled it will become the first British ballet to enter the repertoire of Ukrainian National Ballet for audiences to enjoy for years to come.
Dance for Ukraine is produced by the charity Inspiration in Motion (Charity number 1167669), that promotes dance and the performing arts, with a particular focus on commissioning and supporting new dance works, as well as looking for opportunities to broaden audiences for dance and support education and training.
Sunday 18 February 2024 at 6.30pm
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.