Russian prima ballerina swaps Bolshoi for Amsterdam due to Ukraine

Olga Smirnova performing at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow. Photo: EPA/Ekaterina Schtukina

Russian prima ballerina Olga Smirnova has left the Bolshoi Ballet for the Dutch National Ballet in Amsterdam following her recent denouncement of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Smirnova, who is quarter Ukrainian, says she is against the war ‘with all the fibres of my soul’.

‘We may not be at the epicentre of the military conflict, but we cannot remain indifferent to this global catastrophe,’ Smirnova said in a National Ballet press release.

Olga Smirnova will dance her first role in Amsterdam in the ballet classic Raymonda, which will premiere on April 3 at the Dutch National Opera & Ballet theatre.

Victor Caixeta, a 22-year-old rising star and soloist with the Mariinsky Ballet in St Petersburg, who was born and raised in Brazil, is also leaving Russia to join the Dutch national ballet.

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