Dancers with the National Ballet of Ukraine are coming to B.C. to entertain and also raise funds for people who live in the war-torn country.
A cross-Canada tour will include three performances of “Nadyia Ukraine” at Vancouver’s The Centre theatre (777 Homer St.) from Feb. 5 to 7, 2024.
The tour title means “hope for Ukraine” in that country’s language.
Sponsorships and donations will fund The Olena Zelenska Foundation and HUMANITE, which work with Ukrainian families “to provide crisis relief, refugee aid and seed long-term projects to rebuild the country once peace prevails,” according to a news release.
The Paul Dupont-Hébert-produced dance show will feature excerpts from some of the world’s most popular ballets, including “Le Corsaire” and “Don Quixote,” along with traditional Ukrainian dance.
Just announced: The National Ballet of Ukraine will tour Canada, Feb. 5-7 dates at Vancouver's Centre for Performing Arts. Tour is "a major fundraising campaign for the war effort" in #Ukraine for Olena Zelenska Foundation (First Lady's charity).— Tom Zillich (@TomZillich) September 26, 2023
Details: https://t.co/BINhamNIlV pic.twitter.com/0pr6Icc44V
The acclaimed ballet company features 150 dancers who now perform when they can at the Taras Shevchenko National Opera House in Kyiv, depending on the circumstances of war with Russia.
“This Canadian tour means so much as we represent our country to show the spirit of Ukraine through the power of art and beauty over tyranny and destruction,” prima ballerina Olga Golytsia told reporters.
The winter tour starts in Quebec City on Jan. 15 and ends in Calgary nearly a month later.
Premier soloist Mykyta Sukhorukov said the ballet company is grateful to Canadians who support Ukraine “as we fight for the free world and our own sovereignty,” he stated in a news release.
“Many of us have lost friends and loved ones because of this unprovoked and unjustified invasion,” Sukhorukov said. “The struggle of this war is hard…but we are resilient, and we will win. Thank you for standing with us.”
The Olena Zelenska Foundation is named for Ukraine’s First Lady.
“In this hour of need, we turn to you, our friends in North America, for love and support,” Zelenska is quoted in a news release. “We wish you enjoy amazing performances, feel inspired with Ukrainian culture, and be sure that only life can triumph over death, only light can overcome darkness, and only beauty can defeat destruction. Only together we will win.”