One of the stars of the Bolshoi Theater, prima ballerina Olga Smirnova left the troupe due to the current political situation and will now perform in the Netherlands National Ballet, the company's website reports.
In early March, the ballerina, who was awarded the Russian Presidential Prize in 2020, published a post on her social networks about her attitude towards the special operation in Ukraine:
“Now the line is drawn on the before and after. Political issues in a modern civilized society should be resolved exclusively through peaceful negotiations. I never thought that I would be ashamed of Russia, I have always been proud of the talented Russian people, our cultural and sporting achievements. And it hurts that people are dying, while others are deprived of a roof over their heads or forced to leave their homes.
Smirnova's first work in the Netherlands will be the ballet "Raymonda", which will premiere on April 3. The 22-year-old ex-soloist of the Mariinsky Theater Victor Kaisheta, who was born and raised in Brazil, will also appear in it. “The current circumstances have led me to make the difficult decision to leave Russia, a place that I have called home for almost five years, as well as a theater that gave me such an amazing start in my professional career”, - the website quotes the words of the artist.
Meanwhile, according to the artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet Makhar Vaziyev, Smirnova did not officially quit. “So far, she wrote a statement asking for a vacation for a year”, - MK quoted him as saying.