An Ad Hoc Ukrainian Ballet Troupe Settles Into Life in The Hague
The dancers in the United Ukrainian Ballet have found a home in the Netherlands. This week the company makes its U.S. debut in Alexei Ratmanskys Giselle.
My soul is really bleeding, because of home, because of everything, Ksenia Novikova, a dancer from Kyiv, now living and working in The Hague, said in a recent phone interview. But now we are kind of established here we have some work, some tours, and our kids have a more or less normal life.
It was almost a year ago that Russia invaded Ukraine; since then, more than 7,000 civilians have been killed, and millions displaced or, like Novikova and her family, forced into exile. On the first morning of the invasion, Novikova was shaken out of bed by a deafening sound: A military plane had crashed near her home, on the outskirts of Kyiv.
My previous life ended at that moment, she told me last summer in The Hague, a tidily beautiful city near the coast where I had gone to report on the lives of dancers in the United Ukrainian Ballet, an ad hoc assemblage of refugee dancers from all over that country.
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