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March 04, 2022


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So sad, Haglund. It seems that he’s not alone among dancers taking up arms in Ukraine:


Somewhat related is the story of Philadelphia Ballet’s Oksana Maslova and Alexei Babayev. She’s originally from Ukraine & he a Russian…dancing Odette/Odile and Von Rothbart in the same cast of Angel Corrella’s SWAN LAKE last Saturday night and next Sunday matinee.


Also somewhat related -- Denys Nedak, born in Odessa and principal dancer with National Opera House of Ukraine in Kyiv, left Kyiv and joined the Atlanta Ballet last September. Some of you may remember that he was a guest artist at ABT some years ago. AB's Artistic Director is Gennadi Nedvigan, born in Rostov, Russia and trained at Bolshoi Academy. He was a principal dancer at SF Ballet for some 20 years. I'm sure that there is quite a story behind this move, and I'm happy that Denys is safe in Atlanta. I saw him dance in Firebird a few weeks ago, and although he is near the end of his career, I think that he is perhaps the best dancer that AB has ever had. Nedvigan has greatly enhanced AB's classical repertoire and technique. There were years that I refused to attend AB performances (under past AD John McFall) and just flew to NYC, DC, and Houston to see good classical ballet. I have tickets to all performances of Giselle at the end of March, and I look forward to seeing Denys as Albrecht.

Sad indeed. There is also the news, earlier today, that non-Russian dancers like Tissi and Parish and others have left the Bolshoi and Mariinsky, perhaps permanently.

And recently, Ana Sophia Scheller, a former principal dancer at NYCB and SF Ballet, has been dancing with the National Ballet of Ukraine. Last I heard, she had left Ukraine and is now in Spain.

Here is Oleksii's Instagram page:

Here is a short film on Ukranian dancers, including Oleksii and the ballerina we had seen in the original article to which Jeannette had linked.

Yesterday’s performance of Philadelphia Ballet’s SWAN LAKE starred the company’s exquisite Ukrainian ballerina, Oksana Maslova. The orchestra conductor, Beatrice Jona Affron, began the matinee by addressing the audience - saying that the show is dedicated to Maslova, her family & the people of Ukraine - then leading the orchestra in Ukraine’s national hymn, as the audience stood. A powerful moment!

All of Maslova’s entrances and dances were loudly cheered beyond the usual. She danced like an angel; her gorgeous plastique of torso and ribbons arms were wonders to behold. US dancer Jack Thomas was a loving Siegfried and galant partner in the two pas de deux.

I took a couple of pics after dances and during bows but don’t know how to attach here.

Thank you, Jeannette. I can picture in my mind how beautiful Oksana was.

I am sooo sorry that I missed such an important performance. I sat in Moynihan Train Hall for over two hours waiting for the 195 to arrive to cart me down to Philly. By the time it got to NYC, it was too late to make it to Philadelphia in time for the performance. Thanks Amtrak. We can always count on you, can't we?

The Philadelphia Inquirer has a video of the Philadelphia Ballet Orchestra playing the Ukrainian National Anthem before the performance of Swan Lake: https://www.inquirer.com/video/video-philadelphia-ballet-orchestra-plays-ukrainian-national-anthem-last-swan-lake-performance-20220313.html

Thanks, Rosa!

Smirnova, Out!


Yep. The Western Balletworld will keep her very busy.

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