Bringing the indomitable spirit of Ukraine to America

Kyiv City Ballet makes its US debut next month – and there’s a striking story behind the visit.

The Company, under the artistic direction of Ivan Kozlov, is to tour from 15 September to 25 October, 2022 and is not only a US premiere, but also marks the Kyiv City Ballet’s first US performances ever.

The Kyiv City Ballet (KCB) was founded in 2012 by Kozlov, who says the Company’s mission has always been “to bring joy to audiences through ballet and to bring exemplary artists to theatres around the world”. In the past decade, KCB has worked with various partners and has toured dozens of countries on four continents with productions of classics such as Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and Romeo and Juliet as well as lesser-known works such as Men of Kyiv, Thoughts and Aibolit & Barmelei.

The company’s visit to America, which has in the past welcomed refugees and the homeless to its shores, has a special resonance; KCB’s staff are currently homeless, thanks to the war in their homeland. The day before Ukraine was invaded by Russia in February, the company unknowingly but very fortuitously took one of the last flights out of Kyiv, flying to to Paris to begin a long-planned tour. KCB has not returned home since. The French initially sheltered them, and the company has since been performing across Europe.

The US tour will include a full-length Swan Lake (choreography by Marius Petipa, Lev Ivanov and Ivan Kozlov), and a second mixed repertory programme of three ballets: Thoughts (choreography by Vladyslav Dobshynskyi) a contemporary ballet; Tribute to Peace (choreography by Ekaterina and Ivan Kozlov) a neo-classical work; and Men of Kyiv (choreography by Pavlo Virsky) a Ukranian folk dance spectacular. Two of Ukraine’s prima ballerinas: Krystina Kadashevych and Oksana Bondarenko will perform with the company on the tour, alongside principal dancer is Vsevolod Maevskiy, a former soloist of the Mariinsky Ballet and Kozlov’s former student.

The tour, which is being presented and produced by Rhizome Arts and KMP Artists, kicks off in Wilmington, NC and ends up in Minneapolis, MN, taking in New York and Los Angeles along the way. A full schedule (additional dates are expected to be added in the coming weeks, so check the

“We are honored to share the beauty of ballet with US audiences, through Ukranian artists,” comments Kozlov. “Touring the States for the first time with a range of ballets makes an important global statement. It demonstrates the resilience of the Ukrainian people.”

“We are humbled that Rhizome has been asked to produce and strategically support the Kyiv City Ballet on their very first tour to the United States,” adds producer Kristopher McDowell. “That major cultural arts centres across the country are coming together to open their doors and their hearts is extraordinary. It is very clear this company and their artistry will have great appeal to non-dance and dance audiences alike.”

•As the war in Ukraine drags on, with no sign of a peaceful resolution in sight, KCB is effectively homeless. If you would like to support the company at this difficult time, donations can be made directly though this special PayPal link: