Ballet company the National Opera van Ukraine in 5 Tango's
Photo: Oleksandra Zlunitsyna

Hans van Manen's 5 Tango's in Kyiv

2 June 2023

On Friday, 26 May, 5 Tango’s by Hans van Manen premiered in the Ukrainian National Theatre for Opera and Ballet in Kyiv. Upon a request by Alexander Zhembrovskyy, a Ukrainian ballet dancer and former soloist of Dutch National Ballet, Hans van Manen granted the ballet company of the National Opera of Ukraine the rights to stage his piece.

When Zhembrovskyy approached Hans van Manen with his request, Van Manen agreed straight away. Zhembrovsky then took on the staging of the ballet. The costumes were provided by the costume department of Dutch National Ballet.

Hans van Manen: “I did not just do this because everyone is helping Ukraine as much as they can. I am amazed at how the Ukrainians continue to live as if nothing is happening. It’s fantastic.” Zhembrovskyy adds: “We want to lift the spirits of the Ukrainians so that the audience will forget for at least half an hour that there is a war going on. And we want the dancers to feel that they are not alone, and what they are doing is important.”


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Kate Myklukha, former dancer of the Junior Company of Dutch National Ballet, has recently moved back to Kyiv, where she has taken her place in the ballet company and will be performing 5 Tango’s, among others. Myklukha joined the Junior Company in 2022, after the Russian invasion forced her to leave her home in Kyiv.

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