top of page

Ballet Dancers Fleeing Ukraine Rubble Find Bucharest Stage

BUCHAREST - Six ballet dancer who have fled Ukraine since Russia's invasion were warming up on Friday on the stage of the National Opera House in Romanian capital Bucharest.

In the days after they left badly hit cities of Dnipro and Odessa, the Ukrainian, Kyrgyz and Canadian dancers had reached out to the institution for help. It gave them a safe place to train and potentially perform under pending collaboration contract.

The United Nations estimated on Thursday 1 million people have fled Ukraine to neighboring countries over the last week, in what it warned could become Europe's largest refugee crisis this century.

Lara Paraschiv, 23, a Canadian - born ballerina with Romanian parents who has trained at the Balshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow, fled on Feb.24 with several collogues. She has danced Dnipro State Opera and Ballet Theatre for the last two years.

'Dnipro is actually right close to Donetsk and that's where the Russian took over. They're very close and quite dangerous at this moment', Paraschiv said in an interview.

'I would like to (work here), of course, because I do not see any time soon that things will go back to normal. Even if the war ends, Ukraine rebuild everything'.

Cultural institutions across Romania have joined the fray of volunteers thronging the borders with offers of food, transport and lodging.

Several museums have organised donation collection points while the national theatre is using its tour bus to help transport refugees, Culture Minister Lucian Romașcanu said.

Bucharest National Opera manager Daniel Jinga said the dancers have begun working with the ballet corps and some of them could be performing in a month.

'We will have the legal and technical capacity to give them collaboration contracts fairly quickly and we seek to do that because we want to help them all the way', Jinga said.

Among the dancers was Bogdana Alexeeva, 21, who fled Odessa on Feb.25 and reached Bucharest on Friday.

'I haven't family (left) and it's why I just (got the) bus and arrived, because I have nothing to lose', she said. 'I can't just lay in bed and say, oh, I want to fight for my future'.



bottom of page