The Dance World Responds to Ukraine Crisis
Top Dance Stories
French ballet master Laurent Hilaire has resigned from his position as director of the Stanilavski Theatre company in Moscow over the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“I resigned yesterday,” he said, after the Kremlin launched an all-out assault on its pro-Western neighbour on Thursday.
“I am leaving Moscow tomorrow in view of the situation.
“I am departing with a heavy heart, but the context no longer allows me to work with peace of mind.”
Hilaire was named director of dance at the Stanilavski Academic Musical Theatre five years ago, becoming only the second Frenchman to direct a ballet company in Russia in some 150 years.
He followed in the footsteps of Marius Petipa, a legendary ballet master and choreographer who directed the Saint-Petersburg Imperial Ballet in the 19th century.
Born in 1962, Hilaire has been celebrated as one of the most brilliant dancers of his generation, and was “etoile” or principal dancer of the Paris Opera Ballet for more than two decades before heading to Moscow.
He was just 22 when, in 1985, Rudolf Nureyev, a Siberia-born ballet dancer and choreographer who had defected from the Soviet Union, gave him the highest rank possible within a professional dance company.
- Choreographer Alexei Ratmansky, who has family in Kyiv, left Moscow and the ballet he was in the process of creating for the Bolshoi Ballet, saying he doubts he will return to Russia to work “if Putin is still president.” (The New York Times)
- The Metropolitan Opera said it will cut ties with artists who have voiced support for Russian President Vladimir Putin. (The New York Times)
- Several British venues, including the Royal Opera House, have canceled performances by Russian dance companies in light of the Ukraine crisis. (The Guardian)