THE prestigious Kyiv City Ballet - stranded in Paris since Ukraine was invaded by Russia - will travel to York next month to give a special gala performance at the Theatre Royal.

All ticket proceeds from the performance on Tuesday, June 14, the company’s first in the UK since their country came under attack, will go to UNICEF’s Ukraine Appeal.

Theatre chief executive Tom Bird personally invited the company over after learning of its plight and city partners Make It York, City of York Council and York BID have come together with organisation and logistics to make it a reality.

Eurostar and LNER have stepped in to arrange return travel from France to York, First Bus will support visa costs and Visit York members Elmbank Hotel, Malmaison, Middletons, Sandburn Hall, The Grand, The Principal and York Marriott have all offered to accommodate the company and crew, with additional hospitality offered from City Cruises and Bettys.

York Press: Ukraine’s Kyiv City Ballet will give a special gala performance at York Theatre Royal next month to raise funds for UNICEF's Ukraine appeal

The company will also receive a Civic welcome at the Mansion House.

Mr Bird said it was a ‘huge honour’ to be hosting Kyiv City Ballet at York Theatre Royal. “This is the company’s first UK appearance since their city came under attack, and we are proud that York is able to stand in solidarity with Kyiv by supporting these extraordinary dancers for this one-off visit,” he said, adding that if a sell-out, the performance will raise £25,000 in ticket sales, all of it going to the UNICEF charity.

Kyiv City Ballet general director Ivan Kozlov said it was ‘honoured to be performing in York and sharing our art with a British audience’.

He added: “We are hugely grateful to everyone who has collaborated to bring our company to the United Kingdom for the first time.”

Sarah Loftus, managing director at Make It York, said: “We are so proud of our city pulling together to bring the Kyiv City Ballet to York. This is a special opportunity to celebrate world-class performers, while raising vital funds for the people of Ukraine.”

Andrew Lowson, executive director at York BID, said: “Many of us feel helpless on how we can support Ukraine, but I know residents and businesses will want to show support and solidarity, as well as celebrate the visit of a world-renowned group of performers.”

York Press: Ukraine’s Kyiv City Ballet will give a special gala performance at York Theatre Royal next month to raise funds for UNICEF's Ukraine appeal

Cllr Darryl Smalley, executive member for culture at the council, said: “In what are incredibly dark times, it has been heartening to see York’s response as the city has come together to show our support and solidarity with our Ukrainian friends here in York and in Ukraine.’

The performance will include excerpts from ballets such as Swan Lake and The Nutcracker.

Tickets costing £13-£41 are available in person, online at or by phoning 01904 623568.

Adam Wardale, Chair of Hospitality Association York (HAY) and general manager at Middletons Hotel, said: “The members of HAY are incredibly proud to be able to offer Ukraine’s Kyiv City Ballet performers accommodation throughout their stay in York. This is a fantastic opportunity to support Ukraine, whilst also celebrating the arts, and I would encourage people to attend the show and show their solidarity.”