Top ballet performers ‘Dance for Ukraine’ in charity event

By Reuters

Ukrainian ballet dancer Katja Khaniukova and Aitor Arrieta of Spain perform "No Man's Land" during 'Dance for Ukraine', a charity gala to raise funds for people in need in Ukraine, at The London Coliseum, in London, Britain, March 19, 2022. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
Ukrainian ballet dancer Katja Khaniukova and Aitor Arrieta of Spain perform "No Man's Land" during 'Dance for Ukraine', a charity gala to raise funds for people in need in Ukraine, at The London Coliseum, in London, Britain, March 19, 2022. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

Away from the fighting in Ukraine, Russian and Ukrainian ballet dancers rubbed shoulders in London on Saturday in a charity event that united some of the world’s leading dance performers for humanitarian relief in the war-torn eastern European nation.

About 20 dancers, with glistening bodies and graceful moves, received a thunderous applause from the packed auditorium at the London Coliseum theatre for the ‘Dance for Ukraine’ gala.

Australian ballet dancer Alison McWhinney and Fernando Gabriele Frola of Italy perform ‘La Sylphide’ during ‘Dance for Ukraine’, a charity gala to raise funds for people in need in Ukraine, at The London Coliseum, in London, Britain, March 19, 2022. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

“We have so many loved ones back home. We couldn’t just sit idly at home and just watch news, we wanted to do something,” Ivan Putrov, who is from Ukraine and organised the event with Romanian Alina Cojocaru, told Reuters.

Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, an attack Moscow calls a “special operation” to demilitarise its neighbour.

Ukrainian Ivan Petrov, principal ballet dancer and producer, poses for a portrait before ‘Dance for Ukraine’ a charity gala to raise funds for people in need in Ukraine, at The London Coliseum, in London, Britain, March 19, 2022. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

The U.N. human rights office has said at least 847 civilians had been killed and 1,399 wounded in Ukraine as of Friday. More than 3.3 million refugees have fled Ukraine through its western border, with around 2 million more displaced inside the country.

Some audience members were draped in the Ukrainian flag for the event, with dancers from many countries including Brazil, Italy and Britain providing glamour to the stage that was lit in shades of yellow and blue.

Ukrainian Ivan Petrov, principal ballet dancer and producer, and Alina Cojocaru of Romania acknowledge the applause after ‘Dance for Ukraine’, a charity gala to raise funds for people in need in Ukraine, at The London Coliseum, in London, Britain, March 19, 2022. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

Katja Khaniukova from Ukraine and Natalia Osipova from Russia were among those who took part. There were also dancers from the United States, France, Japan and Argentina at the event, which the organisers said raised at least 140,000 pounds for the Disasters Emergency Committee’s Ukraine appeal.

“So many of the artists contacted us wanting to join so it is inspiring how overwhelming the support is from the people, but we need more support in Ukraine, more support from different governments around the world,” said Putrov.

Ballet dancers acknowledge a standing ovation during ‘Dance for Ukraine’, a charity gala to raise funds for people in need in Ukraine, at The London Coliseum, in London, Britain, March 19, 2022. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

SHARE THIS ARTICLE

BECOME A MiNDFOOD SUBSCRIBER TODAY

Let us keep you up to date with our weekly MiNDFOOD e-newsletters which include the weekly menu plan, health and news updates or tempt your taste buds with the MiNDFOOD Daily Recipe.