Saving the Arts in Ukraine


Image courtesy of The Independent.

Ellie Curtis, Staff Writer

Since the end of February, Ukraine has been facing serious threats from Russia. Cities like Kiev have fallen under Russian jurisdiction as they bomb and destroy cities. Meanwhile, Ukrainian dancers suffer and leave dance behind to join the armed forces. Besides other fundraising for Ukraine, the world of ballet has started to donate their own proceeds to Ukraine in hopes to save the arts. 

Recently, principal dancer Artyom Datsishin suffered severe injuries from a Russian artillery fire, and died March 17th. Datsishin is not the only dancer with Kyiv’s National Opera to succumb to the war. Two other principal dancers have stopped their training and decided to join the military after another fatal attack. However, not all Ukrainian dancers are able to join the military yet and some have been forced to stop their dance training because they could no longer afford it. 

The Youth America Grand Prix (Y.A.G.P), a classical ballet and contemporary dance international competition, has started to donate funds to Ukraine. A statement from Y.A.G.P states that they have always believed that the arts can save lives, and have been trying to look for places Ukrainian dancers can thrive outside of their home country. 

Their connections with other schools around the world has given Y.A.G.P the opportunity to help Ukrainian dancers leave Ukraine and attend schools all around Europe. Currently, they have transferred 60 dancers to other companies. Y.A.G.P is collecting donations to cover room and board expenses, travel cost, academic costs, and dance related expenses such as shoes and clothes. In one of their most recent competitions in Indianapolis, Indiana, Y.A.G.P. heavily encouraged those in attendance to donate through their GoFundMe or website.

Seventeen year old Martin Korol is one of the dancers who escaped Ukraine and was aided by Y.A.G.P. When the war began, the competition in Kiev was canceled. However, Korol’s ballet teacher called Y.A.G.P and was able to organize safe travel to another country for Korol, and secure a spot for him at the Princess Grace Academy in Monaco. Since then, Korol has been welcomed by his peers at the Academy and has been able to continue his training.

It is truly amazing what people can do for others when there is conflict. Y.A.G.P and other dance related organizations to Ukraine are not only saving the arts, but helping people escape attacks in Ukraine