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Dancing for Peace: How one ballet company is uniting Russians and Ukrainians one performance at a time

“We are living proof of how different nations gather on one stage and create something beautiful instead of destroying it.”
Published: Mar. 10, 2022 at 8:01 PM CST
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - The Russian Ballet Theatre (RBT) performed at the Monroe Civic Center on March 9.

RBT is an independently owned, American-operated company with dancers from ten countries, including Russia and Ukraine.

With the war in Ukraine raging on, RBT says they’re dancing for peace.

“No one is supporting war, no one wants that war,” Ukrainian dancer Tsembenhoi Arno-Stin told KNOE.

“We are living proof of how different nations gather on one stage and create something beautiful instead of destroying it,” explained the show’s producer, Gulya Hartwick.

In this army, they choose solidarity over combat.

“We would scream against the war if we could, but we are dancers,” explained Hartwick. “So we dance for peace.”

Arno-Stin grew up in Kyiv. He says most of his family has fled to Poland, but his grandparents remain. He thinks about them with every pirouette.

“Cause I want to see my family,” he told KNOE. “I want to see the streets where I grew up, my friends. This is my hometown. How a man can feel when I can’t get home.”

Arno-Stin is confident one day, he’ll return home to Kyiv in a time of peace.

“We are so proud about our homeland, about our nation, about our humanity,” Arno-Stin explained. “Our country is proud about us, and we are proud about the country.”

A lesson to the world that unity prevails one performance at a time.

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