The move comes after the Saint Petersburg-born ballerina decried the conflict, saying “a line has been drawn”.
The Dutch National Ballet, in a statement published Wednesday, said Smirnova “was welcomed with open arms.” She is expected to make her debut there with the play “Raymonda”, which will premiere in early April.
Smirnova joined the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet in 2011, before taking leading roles in the shows “Swan Lake” and “Giselle” among others. She has since toured internationally with the troupe and made guest appearances at the American Ballet Theater and the Vienna State Ballet.
Smirnova, whose grandfather was Ukrainian, wrote on Telegram that she “opposed war with every fiber of my soul.”
“I never imagined I would be ashamed of Russia,” she wrote in the statement, which was later republished by the Dutch National Ballet. “I have always been proud of the talented Russian people, of our cultural and sporting achievements. But now I feel that a line has been drawn between before and after.
“It hurts that people are dying, that people are losing roofs over their heads or having to leave their homes. And who would have thought a few weeks ago that all this would happen? We may not be at the epicenter of a military conflict, but we cannot remain indifferent to this global catastrophe” .
Olga Smirnova performing in “Casse-Noisette et Compagnie” (The Nutcracker & Co), a creation of French dancer and choreographer, Jean-Christophe Mayo, in Monaco in 2015. credit: Valerie Hach/AFP/Getty Images
In a statement, the artistic director of the Dutch National Ballet, Ted Brandsen, described Smirnova as “an exceptional dancer and I admire her greatly.”
“It is such an honor to be dancing with our company in the Netherlands – even if the circumstances that prompted this move are very sad,” he added.
Top photo caption: Dancer Olga Smirnova during a concert by the State Academic Svetlanov Symphony Orchestra of Russia and the Sveshnikov Russian Academic Choir at the Historical Theater of the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow.
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