The British ballet star described his twelve years in Russia as adventurous.
Ballet in Russia is something very special. It is world class.
But the adventure changed overnight When Russia invaded Ukraine.
And Xander Parish had to choose to stay and carry on as before, or walk away from life as he knew it.
– I had to make a quick decision, because it was surprising No more flights from Russia to the rest of the world. I was afraid I was stuck.
Parrish was supposed to be on stage on a Monday in February, to play the male role in the ballet Giselle.
But now he has made the decision.
He quickly packed two bags. One in clothes and the other in ballet costumes. He thought that if he was going to make it outside of Russia, he would need his costumes.
The way out of the country was via bus to Estonia. When he crossed the limit, he posted this message to his Instagram followers.
Russia is a wonderful country, but it felt completely wrong to stay there as it was and still is. My heart speaks to the Ukrainian people, he told NRK.
For the dancer, it was the loss of leaving the stage that made him a star.
The Mariinsky Theater is one of the most famous theater in the world when it comes to dance. Many well-known plays were performed there such as The Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty.
But for Parrish, it was crucial to show which side he was on.
The right choice was to leave Russia and show support for democracy. Not staying in a country You fight it now.
Although he is clear about his choice, it is clear that he is missing parts of his old life.
– Of course it can’t be compared to what refugees live in, but it was a big change for me. I had a lifetime, so many memories and camaraderie that I had to leave in a few days.
For the twelve years he spent in the theater, Barysh was a kind of ambassador for modern Russia. Ballet dancers were often sent around the world to promote Russian ballet and art to the rest of the world.
Ballet is easily used for political reasons. We were all over the world. It was great to see the West and Russia learn things from each other.
– Are you likely to return to Russia?
– yI want to come back in the future sometime, I love Russia. But I am disappointed that the momentum they had in the past 20 years has worn off. Now iron curtain again.
The ballet director at Den Norske Opera og Ballett is pleased that Xander Parish chose Norway in particular.
– It’s great to see artists gather here. We have artists from all over the world here now, says Ingrid Lorentzen, and continues:
– I heard that he left and I was one of the ballet directors with whom they communicated. Then he chose us, and we are very grateful for that.
On September 3, Xander Parish will again be allowed to stand on stage, as the main man of Giselle. A romantic ballet piece about love, betrayal and forgiveness.
– The story is very simple and can be linked together. Everyone can relate to it. Parrish says it was written many years ago but is still relevant today.
– Love, betrayal and tolerance Do you see similarities between the play and your situation?
– Who am I in that story, Parrish asks with a laugh. We’ll have to wait and see what happens in the second act, I think. Then we can hope that the second chapter will be about reconciliation and peace.
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