The move comes after the St. Petersburg-born ballerina denounced the conflict, saying that “a line has been drawn.”
In a statement published Wednesday, the Dutch National Ballet said Smirnova had been “welcomed with open arms.” She is expected to make her debut there with its staging of “Raymonda,” which premieres in early April.
Smirnova joined the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet in 2011, before taking lead roles in performances of “Swan Lake” and “Giselle,” among others. She has since toured internationally with the troupe and has appeared as a guest performer for the American Ballet Theatre and the Vienna State Ballet.
Smirnova, whose grandfather is Ukrainian, wrote on Telegram that she is “against war with all the fibers of my soul.”
“I never thought I would be ashamed of Russia,” she wrote in the statement, which was later republished by the Dutch National Ballet. “I have always been proud of talented Russian people, of our cultural and athletic achievements. But now I feel that a line has been drawn that separates the before and the after.
“It hurts that people are dying, that people are losing the roofs over their heads or are forced to abandon their homes. And who would have thought a few weeks ago that all of this would happen? We may not be at the epicenter of the military conflict, but we cannot remain indifferent to this global catastrophe.”
Olga Smirnova performing in the “Casse-Noisette et Compagnie” (Nutcracker and Company), a creation by French dancer and choreographer, Jean-Christophe Maillot, in Monaco in 2015. Credit: Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images
In a statement, the Dutch National Ballet’s artistic director, Ted Brandsen, described Smirnova as an “exceptional dancer who I admire very much.”
“It is a privilege to have her dance with our company in the Netherlands — even if the circumstances that drove this move are incredibly sad,” he added.
Top image caption: Dancer Olga Smirnova during a gala concert of the Svetlanov State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia and the Sveshnikov State Academic Russian Choir at the historical stage of the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.
‘We cannot remain indifferent’: Russian star ballerina Olga Smirnova quits Bolshoi Ballet