All over the world, the Russian invasion of Ukraine is evoking feelings of horror and resistance. The widespread destruction and human suffering are intolerable. The fact that Russia is deliberately destroying art and culture in Ukraine is utterly deplorable. Culture should never be a pawn in war, and cultural heritage should never be used as a weapon on the battlefield.
In response to the war, we have ended our relationship with organizations and individual artists that have expressed, in word or deed, their support of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. We are also doing what we can to accommodate a number of Ukrainian dancers and singers fleeing the destruction and violence and to give them prospects for their further careers.
Although some voices are calling for a boycott of all Russian culture and all Russian artists and makers, it is our belief that removing Russian cultural expressions from our stages and museums is not the right way forward. The power of art and culture lies precisely in the unifying role it can play and has played across the boundaries of time and culture. It is not the expression of any particular political regime.
Moreover, to boycott would be to neglect the important role that cultural personalities from Russia can play in raising awareness and resistance in Russia and beyond.
As a member of the global community of music, opera and dance, Dutch National Opera & Ballet will continue to work with artists from all over the world who share our values and who endorse the connecting role of art.