Kyiv City Ballet brings Ukrainian culture to Detroit, supports humanitarian relief

It was approaching the end of February. The Kyiv City Ballet was off to Paris to embark on their European tour, a long-planned trip that should have had them safely back in Ukraine by mid-March. They didn’t know that Russia would invade their country the very next day, and their few-week tour would last into more than half a year as the displaced company sheltered and performed for months in France and Great Britain.

Since then, dance presenters throughout the world have banded together to support the company to extend the tour, which is now coming to the United States for the first time, including Tuesday at Detroit’s Music Hall. Presented in partnership with Detroit Opera, the performance doubles as a fundraiser, supporting humanitarian relief for displaced Ukrainians.

“(With the performance), we are able to acknowledge the struggles that exist within the artistic community when artists are affected by these global issues and to also see how we can be helpful,” said Detroit Opera President and CEO Wayne Brown. “It’s also providing a nod to those who have ties to Ukraine throughout our own community.”

The repertory program is called “Tribute to Peace” and features a mix of classical Ukrainian ballet and folk dance, which showcases the Ukrainian school and style of ballet, said dancer Oksana Bondarenko.

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