Russian choreographer leads Ukraine dancers in 'Giselle'

STORY: These Ukrainian dancers are rehearsing for a new production of 'Giselle'

which is being led by Russian choreographer Alexei Ratmansky

Location: London

The performers are part of The United Ukrainian Ballet

a company of 60 refugee Ukrainian dancers who fled their home country

after Moscow launched its invasion in February

(Alexei Ratmansky, Choreographer)

“The company was formed to give these dancers who had to flee the war, to leave their homes and to leave their jobs, to give them a job, to give them something to do and to, to rehearse, to dance, to receive money and to, to tell the world that Ukraine is strong, Ukrainian culture lives on, and to promote Ukrainian ballet around the world.”

Ratmansky was born in Russia and lived in Ukraine

He was working with the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow when the conflict began

(Alexei Ratmansky, Choreographer)

“I got a call from my wife from New York saying that in Kyiv, the city where my family lives and my wife's family lives is bombed by Russia. I felt the world crushing and I had, I had no choice. I had to leave the country that commits such a crime.”

"As soon as war stops these dancers will return to their home companies and the cultural life in Ukraine will continue.”