The Kyiv City Ballet charity gala performance at York Theatre Royal on Tuesday (June 14) raised over £26,500 for the UNICEF Ukrainian appeal and has attracted international recognition.
York Theatre Royal Chief Executive Tom Bird said: “We were so honoured to welcome Kyiv City Ballet to York and were absolutely blown away by the support from across the city and beyond.”
“It was a memorable, moving and inspiring evening and the company received a hugely well-deserved standing ovation from the entire audience.”
“Everyone was so generous and we were delighted to have raised over £26,750 for UNICEF which will support the charity’s work helping children in Ukraine. A huge, huge thank you to everyone involved in making this event happen.”
The performance was the first in the UK by Kyiv City Ballet since their homeland was invaded. They were stranded in France, where they were on tour, when the hostilities began.
They have been given a theatre residency in Paris and are continuing to perform around the world to raise funds and raise awareness of the situation in the Ukraine. They were invited to perform in York by Tom Bird after learning that they were stranded in Paris.
City partners in York came together to make the fundraising performance a reality. Make It York, City of York Council and York Bid supported York Theatre Royal with organisation and logistics to bring Kyiv Ballet Theatre to this country.
All proceeds from ticket sales are being donated to UNICEF.
The Lord Mayor hosted a civic reception at the Mansion House when the company, led general manager Ivan Kozlov and associate director Ekaterina Kozlova, arrived in York with the company of 21 dancers.
Messages were read out at the reception from the Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell; York MP Rachael Maskell; and HRH Princess Beatrice, Patron of the Theatre Royal.
In a statement UNICEF said: “The war in Ukraine has left millions of children and their families in danger. Children have lost family and friends, as well as homes, schools, hospitals and food and water supplies. Around 4 million children have been displaced in the conflict.”
“UNICEF is on the ground in Ukraine and in neighbouring countries, providing children and families with clean water, health care and other critical support. UNICEF has set up Blue Dot Centres that are providing tens of thousands of displaced children with daily access to medical care, education and child protection services.”
“All this work is only possible thanks to UNICEF supporters like the York Theatre Royal. Thank you so much for your support for Ukraine’s children.”
Partners across the city and beyond have come together to support the event including ASK Italian, Bettys, City Cruises, Sir Christian Sweeting, City of York Council, Elmbank Hotel, Eurostar, First Bus, The Grand, York, Hospitality Association York, Julian Sturdy MP, Little Arras, LNER, The Lord Mayor of York, Make It York, Malmaison, Middletons Hotel, The Murmuration, Northern Ballet, Oliver Hylton, Orchid Vegan Restaurant, Platinum Print, The Principal, York, Rachael Maskell MP, Sandburn Hall, THOR’S Tipi Bar, Visit York, York BID, York Dance Space, York Gin, York Mansion House and York Marriott.