United Ukrainian Ballet – Giselle: review
“Giselle” was the first ballet I ever watched, and though I never got to dance in it when I was still dancing, it was always my favorite ballet, and reading about this particular production just moved me to tears. I hope I get to see it in person at some point. I had the pleasure of watching Ratmansky’s “Sleeping Beauty” restoration a few years ago and it was stunning. I am a firm believer that ballets should remain as they were choreographed. They are a link to a lineage, a tradition, a past, a story, and the genius of every dancer to ever step into these roles. Also, and to my great delight, in this case of “Giselle,” the award for best middle finger given to Russia also goes to Ratmansky and this valiant group of dancers. Slava Ukraini! Slava Geroim.
On the night of Tuesday 13th September 2022, a newly formed company, the United Ukrainian Ballet made its London début at the Coliseum. This company is formed of seventy Ukrainian dancers from various Ukrainian ballet companies, who fled their country following the Russian invasion on the 24th February 2022. It was put together by its artistic leader Igone de Jonagh, a former principal ballerina with the Dutch National Ballet, and is based at the old conservatory in The Hague, which has been converted into a refugee centre for Ukrainian dancers and others. The United Ukrainian Ballet made its world début last month in The Netherlands in Alexei Ratmansky’s historical production of Giselle, which he previously staged for the Bolshoi Ballet in 2019 and this week, the company presented the production for their London début.
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