December 10, 2022

These dancers escaped the war. The beginning of their journeys.

Much of the work of finding new homes for Ukrainian students is based in New York Youth American Grand Prix, An organization that runs competitions to help dancers receive scholarships. It was scheduled to hold its first event in Ukraine in March. Larissa Saveliev, the organization’s co-founder and former Bolshoi dancer, emailed 50 or more dancers who signed up when the Russian war broke out, saying, “Let me know if you need help.”

Soon, his cell phone number was sent among dancers in Ukraine, and he was invited day and night, mostly by students who came to the Polish border, alone, some without passports. “Where should I go?” Savelev said they would simply ask. He tapped his contacts and then sent them to schools across Europe, including La Scala in Milan and the John Cranco School in Stuttgart.

It has been two months since the war and calls have not stopped, Saveliev said. “Initially, it was a humanitarian effort,” Saveliev said. “All we thought was, ‘We’ll find a bed for these kids.’ Now we need to think about their education.

Saveliev said it was difficult to bring students to the United States because of the lengthy visa process, although it was possible to enroll two students who already had visas in US schools. “We have at least 50 schools ready to host Ukrainian dancers; we can not bring them here,” she said. “We’re trying.”

Despite the visa situation, at least one American ballet company is trying to help. On May 4, attorneys working at the Miami City Ballet submitted a visa application Yulia Moskalenko28, the premier in the National Ballet of Ukraine, to join the company.