AMSTERDAM (CelebrityAccess) — Olga Smirnova, a leading Russian ballet dancer announced that she has left the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet company over the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine.
In a statement published on the social media platform Telegram, and later republished by the Dutch National Ballet, Smirnova said:
“I never thought I would be ashamed of Russia. I have always been proud of talented Russian people, of our cultural and athletic achievements. But now I feel that a line has been drawn that separates the before and the after.
“It hurts that people are dying, that people are losing the roofs over their heads or are forced to abandon their homes. And who would have thought a few weeks ago that all of this would happen? We may not be at the epicenter of the military conflict, but we cannot remain indifferent to this global catastrophe.”
Smirnova studied dance at both the Vaganova Academy in St. Petersburg and the Royal Ballet School in London and was immediately recruited into the Bolshoi as a soloist upon graduation in 2011. Two years later, she was named leading soloist after her second season and prima ballerina in 2016.
After announcing her departure from the Bolshoi, she was immediately accepted by hired by the Dutch National Ballet.