Russian ballerina leaves Bolshoi for Dutch National Ballet
Russian prima ballerina Olga Smirnova left the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow to dance with the Dutch National Ballet in Amsterdam. She spoke out against the Russian invasion of Ukraine, making it untenable for her to stay in Moscow. The 31-year-old ballerina had wanted to switch to Amsterdam for some time. Circumstances accelerated the move, she said on messaging service Telegram, NOS reports.
"I must be honest and say that I am against this war with all my heart, " Smirnova said, adding that her grandfather is Ukrainian. "In our modern and enlightened world, I would expect developed societies to solve their political problems through peaceful negotiations."
Victor Caixeta is leaving the Mariinsky Ballet in Saint Petersburg and is also coming to Amsterdam. "Due to circumstances, I made the difficult decision to leave Russia, the place I have called home for almost five years, and the theater that gave me a great start in my professional career," the 22-year-old Brazilian dancer said.
"Olga Smirnova is an exceptional dancer who I have followed and admired for years," Ted Brandsen, director of the Dutch National Ballet, said to NOS. "It is special that she comes to dance with us in the Netherlands. The background to Olga Smirnova's arrival is, of course, sad. On the other hand, we are very pleased that such an inspiring dancer is joining us."
Smirnova arrived in Amsterdam on Monday and was introduced to the ballet company on Wednesday. She will premiere with the Dutch National Ballet in some of the performances of the ballet classic Raymonda. The show will premiere on April 3.