Visa system forces Welsh-based Russian ballet company to cancel shows
The Russian ballet company Ballet Russe based in Wales has been forced to cancel its 2009 programme and is facing an uncertain future, after failing to obtain visas for its dancers under a controversial new points-based system, wrote The Stage.
The Ballet Russe has operated out of Swansea’s Grand Theatre for 11 years. While it employs UK dancers, most of the principal roles are taken by Bolshoi and Kirov-trained Russian performers.
However, despite spending thousands of pounds on legal assistance, Ballet Russe officials have been unable to secure the return of six of their principal dancers, who had returned home to visit their families.
As a result, the company’s shows have been cancelled since February, causing it to lose box office income and forcing it to lay off ten British dancers.
Chika Temma, a director of Ballet Russe, told The Stage that the visa negotiations had taken so long, the Russian principals had found other work.