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New York ballet bala drops Russian Mariinsky theater artists after “bloody tutu” protest

The organizers of the Youth America Grand Prix ballet competition have removed Russian Mariinsky Theater dancers from their 25th anniversary gala in New York, following a poignant protest by the Ukrainian community.
Protest against participation of Russian Mariinsky Theater artists in New York. 19 April 2024. Credit: Alex Buzunov
New York ballet bala drops Russian Mariinsky theater artists after “bloody tutu” protest

The participation of ballet artists from the Russian Mariinsky Theater in a gala concert dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the prestigious Youth America Grand Prix ballet competition, scheduled for April 18 and 19 in New York, has been cancelled, according to Ukraine’s Ambassador to the United States Oksana Markarova.

Amid Russia’s war, calls to cancel Russian artists have intensified. However, most Russian performers still tour freely, despite many of them being vocal supporters of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.

Markarova emphasized that this decision was made thanks to a protest action by Ukrainians near the David H. Koch Theater in New York. The protest by the Ukrainian diaspora took place on April 19 in the form of a performance, with Ukrainian women wearing bloodstained ballet tutus.

Other protesters carried placards displaying photos of Ukrainian artists killed by Russia, as well as images of Russian ballerinas who had posed in a photoshoot with Russian military personnel.

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