At Bolshoi, world ballet stars dance for Ukraine’s young dancers

Source:AFP Published: 2014-12-8 18:38:02

A dozen top ballet stars including Svetlana Zakharova and Natalia Osipova put up a dazzling performance on Sunday at a keenly awaited but politically sensitive gala at Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre in support of young dancers in the war-torn country of Ukraine.

During the benefit organized by The Bolshoi's Ukrainian-born prima ballerina Zakharova, dancers from top international companies performed highlights from a range of ballets.

All proceeds from the sold-out concert will go towards the Kiev State Ballet School in Ukraine where organizers say young dancers are trained in poor conditions.

The gala at the iconic theatre located a stone's throw from the Kremlin took place against the backdrop of raging tensions between Russia and Ukraine, where pro-Moscow separatists have battled government forces since April.

"It was a full house, it was a huge success," the producer of the concert, Yuri Baranov, told AFP, referring to the rapturous applause and stamping of feet from the audience.

Among those who travelled to Moscow to support the cause was Osipova, one of the world's most sought-after ballerinas.

"How can one refuse? I recall how terrible it was to enter a dance hall in winter and shiver," Osipova, the former Bolshoi star who joined Britain's Royal Ballet in 2013, said ahead of the event.

Baranov said the organizers had hoped to raise some $300,000.


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