City Comes Together to Bring Ukraine’s Kyiv City Ballet to York Theatre Royal

Tickets on-sale now, 100% of ticket sales to be donated to UNICEF’s Ukraine Appeal

On Tuesday 14th June, York Theatre Royal will be hosting a very special gala performance from Ukraine’s Kyiv City Ballet. In the company’s first UK performance since their country came under attack, all ticket proceeds will be donated to UNICEF’s Ukraine Appeal.

Tickets are now on-sale for the special performance which will be split into two parts, under the direction of Ivan Kozlov and Ekaterina Kozlova. Firstly, a class from the company of the Kyiv City Ballet followed by excerpts from ballets such as Swan Lake and The Nutcracker.

Tom Bird, Chief Executive of York Theatre Royal, personally invited the prestigious Kyiv City Ballet to perform at the theatre after learning that the company were stranded in France. The Kyiv City Ballet had been on tour in France as the war broke out in Ukraine and have resided there ever since, with it being too unsafe for them to return home to Ukraine.

City partners in York have come together to make this fundraising performance a reality, with Make It York, City of York Council and York BID supporting York Theatre Royal with organisation and logistics to bring the Kyiv City Ballet to York.

Eurostar and LNER have stepped in to arrange the company’s return travel from France to York for the fundraising performance. While Visit York members Elmbank Hotel, Malmaison, Middletons, Sandburn Hall, The Grand, The Principal and York Marriott have all offered to accommodate the Kyiv City Ballet company and crew while they’re in the city, with additional hospitality offered from City Cruises and Bettys. The company will also receive a civic welcome at Mansion House.

First Bus will support on the visa costs to bring the company to York, with remaining costs and company fees for the performance to be covered through corporate sponsorship.

An evening with the Kyiv City Ballet will be a special opportunity for York to publicly show its support for the citizens of Ukraine, while celebrating an incredible evening of dance. 100% of the ticket sales from the performance will go to UNICEF to support people in Ukraine, as nominated by the ballet company.

Tom Bird, Chief Executive of York Theatre Royal, said: “It is a huge honour to be hosting Kyiv City Ballet at York Theatre Royal. This is the company’s first UK appearance since their city came under attack, and we are proud that York is able to stand in solidarity with Kyiv by supporting these extraordinary dancers for this one-off visit.”

Sarah Loftus, Managing Director at Make It York, said: “We are so proud of our city pulling together to bring the Kyiv City Ballet to York. This is a special opportunity to celebrate world-class performers, while raising vital funds for the people of Ukraine. The generosity of businesses and residents in York has made this possible.”

Councillor Darryl Smalley, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Communities, said: “In what are incredibly dark times, it has been heartening to see York’s response as the city has come together to show our support and solidarity with our Ukrainian friends here in York and in Ukraine. From donations and heart-warming signs of solidarity to housing refugees, it’s clear that we as a city are united and ready to do all we can to stand with Ukraine and its people.”

“Art has a unique way of uniting people and that’s certainly what we need more now than ever. I’m grateful to all those involved for their support in setting up this amazing event. It will certainly be an emotional and wonderful evening for a crucial cause – please do consider supporting the event and charities involved in helping Ukrainians at this difficult time.”

Andrew Lowson, Executive Director at York BID, said: “It is always good to hear of high quality cultural offerings coming to York, but for our City to attract the Kyiv City Ballet will feel really special. Many of us feel helpless on how we can support Ukraine, but I know residents and businesses will want to show support and solidarity, as well as celebrate the visit of a world-renowned group of performers.”

Adam Wardale, Chair of Hospitality Association York (HAY) and General Manager at Middletons Hotel, said: “The members of HAY are incredibly proud to be able to offer Ukraine’s Kyiv City Ballet performers accommodation throughout their stay in York. This is a fantastic opportunity to support Ukraine, whilst also celebrating the arts, and I would encourage people to attend the show and show their solidarity.”