Saturday, September 30

Kyiv City Ballet – Assembly Hall

Hopeful, playful and bright. Those are the adjectives I’d use to describe the show performed by the homeless Kyiv City Ballet this evening.

The company was on tour in France when hostilities broke out in Ukraine. There was no going home. The company has been living by touring ever since: recycling costumes and shows, inventing new shows and making beautiful art as a means of making a living and a way of distracting themselves from their terrible exiled predicament.

Creative dance is a wonderful means of expression and this company has kept itself afloat through its own endeavors. Their new piece is an expression of love, humanity, sharing and caring. It is utterly charming. There is no wiff of bitterness nor an aside to the black nature of mankind. It is simply a celebration of human connections and love in its many forms.

The impressionistic backdrops are colourful and joyous and the characterisation of the love interests are beautifully rendered. The team are strong. Of course, there is a pecking order of dancers, but I have to say, I thought they were all wonderful.

I particularly liked the folk dance demonstrated by the men. It was vibrant, athletic, competitive and very impressive. The photographs of Kyiv showed a beautiful city which they dearly miss. And yet, this troupe are making their exile work for them. I have nothing but admiration.

They work out (do class) every day – this was explained by General Director, Ivan Kozlov and Associate Director, Ekaterina Kozlova and demonstrated by the principal dancers.  The team has developed classes for keen amateurs in whichever city they are touring. Simply look up and find their masterclasses.

The company is at the Assembly Hall on The Mound until 28th August. Give them your support.

Reviewer: Kathleen Mansfield

Reviewed: 22nd August 2023

North West End UK Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.