top of page

Kyiv City Ballet

Assembly Hall - Main Hall


This company has been in exile since leaving Ukraine for a French tour just a day before their country was invaded. They clearly love and miss their home and want to express this through an uplifting programme concentrating on love, humour and romance.

Unfortunately, A Tribute to Peace feels very dated – a kind of Quality Street of sweet little vignettes, pretty costumes and uninspiring choreography. There was very little to truly engage the emotions in these tales of couples meeting, loving, teasing and ultimately being happy. Although the director and choreographer, Ivan Kozlov, in his introduction, told the audience that they wanted to celebrate the joy of their city and country, one feels that a little darkness is necessary, in order to appreciate the light. The company are clearly talented and skilled, as exhibited in a graceful pas de deux by moonlight to Elgar’s Nimrod, and more challenging choreography like this would have better showcased their abilities. Musically, Ukraine can lay claim to Prokofiev and Mykola Lysenko amongst other composers whose works could provide exciting accompaniments to new choreography and introduce foreign audiences to the riches of this nation’s culture.

After an interlude of pictures of the beauties of Kyiv - particularly poignant and heart-breaking when compared to the destruction seen since February 2022 – their final piece was outstanding. Men of Kyiv, based on tradition folk dance, was a sparkling showcase for the male dancers, truly breath-taking in their energy and sheer physicality. There was a genuine sense of exuberance and love of life in their leaps and bobs. An accompanying traditional piece for the female members of the company, ending with all dancers joining together in a joyful folk dance, would make a deeply satisfying ending to the show.

This is a fine company of dancers at the peak of their powers, but the programme left one feeling a sense of opportunities lost. It would be good to see more exciting and meaningful choreography, hear some of the wonderful music of your great composers and do not be afraid to move your audience with tears as well as joy. That will truly sum up what a great nation Ukraine is.

Kyiv City Ballet are performing at Assembly Hall until August 28th

Tickets avilable here

Kyiv City Ballet
bottom of page