Suffolk Cultural Arts Center hosts ‘world-class’ Kyiv City Ballet

SUFFOLK, Va. — The Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts is gearing up to host the biggest act ever on its historic stage.

The Kyiv City Ballet is coming to town September 19-22 as part of the organization’s first ever US tour.

“We are delighted to have these dancers here as they are a world-class group,” said Lorelei Costa Morrow, director of the Suffolk Center.

Sabella, Antoine

The entrance to the Birdsong Theater at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts.

The ballet is to perform “Tribute to Peace: Ukrainian Repertoire” on Wednesday, September 21 at 7 p.m. “Swan Lake” will follow Thursday evening at 7 p.m.

But dancers will have the opportunity to get to know Suffolk from Monday, with a welcome reception closed to the public. It’s part of the city’s plan to try to make the band feel at home at a time when their home country of Ukraine is being turned upside down by the Russian invasion.

Costa Morrow tells News 3 that the ballet left Kyiv on one of the last flights in February…and hasn’t been able to return home since. The US tour was added to keep the dancers working and earning income.

When the opportunity arose to bring them to Suffolk, the Suffolk Center jumped at the chance.

“It pushes us to the limit in terms of dressing rooms, in terms of volunteers, but our community has been incredible in terms of the sponsorship of the performance, in terms of a lot of people in the community who have volunteered to help,” said Costa Morrow. .

With just over 500 seats, the Suffolk Center is a smaller venue than those that would normally host the Kyiv City Ballet. Costa Morrow tells News 3 it’s a unique opportunity for audiences to see world-class performers up close.

Prior to the performance, the Suffolk Center replaced hundreds of old seats with new, larger seats. The new seats also offer more legroom. The century-old venue – the former Suffolk High School – says it will also use the performance to launch a fundraising campaign to renovate the historic structure.

Ivan Kozlov and the artists of the Kyiv City Ballet

Kyiv City Ballet

Ivan Kozlov (executive) and the artists of the Kyiv City Ballet.

While in Suffolk, the Kyiv City Ballet is expected to offer educational programs and master classes at the Suffolk Center.

At four days, the ballet is staying in Suffolk longer than it would in most other towns.

“That’s why I got into the arts. For me, art is about sharing your experiences with your neighbours, in this case global neighbours. Learning from each other, developing empathy for each other, understanding the world better through someone else’s eyes, through art,” Costa Morrow said.

Click HERE for ticket information and more details on the Kyiv City Ballet tour.

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