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Russian Ballet Theatre, dance company with multi-national cast, changes name to RBT before Corpus Christi show

"We are on a mission now. We would scream against the war if we could, but we are dancers. So we dance for peace."

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A dance company formerly known as the Russian Ballet Theatre will be in Corpus Christi on March 15. With companies boycotting everything Russia during the Ukraine invasion, some residents have had questions about who they are supporting by attending the performance.

On March 3, the Russian Ballet Theatre decided to change its name to RBT for the remainder of their tour as a sign of solidarity due to the invasion of Ukraine.

“We are a U.S. entity,” Guyla Hartwick, RBT producer, told our sister station KBMT in Beaumont before a performance there. “We’re named after a ballet style. The style of dance, Russian ballet, is the Vaganova technique. That is the foundation of the world ballet as we know it today."

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The RBT has been on tour in the U.S. since February. Company dancers come from nine different countries including Ukraine, Poland, Belarus, Slovenia, Italy, Japan, Armenia and Russia.

"You can see different nations performing this beautiful art form, on the stage together,” Hartwick said.  

The ongoing crisis in the Ukraine has brought on a new set of challenges and questions for the company and its dancers. Some RBT members have family members who have had to evacuate Ukraine for safety. 

With the war being so close to home, members said performing has become an outlet for the dancers.

"It's a way of escaping their reality and also making the world a little better," Hartwick said. "When they're on stage. They're Rothbart. They're Odile. They're Odette. They're jester. They're there to bring you happiness, and peace, and hope."

Since the attacks started, RBT has started every performance with a, “We dance for peace,” banner. Now, their ballet has much more at stake and a deeper meaning.

"It's much more than just a tour of a beautiful production of a classical ballet," Hartwick said. "We are on a mission now. We would scream against the war if we could, but we are dancers. So we dance for peace."

If you have questions or concerns about the performance, customers can contact the American Bank Center Box Office at 361-826-4813.

For more information about RBT visit https://www.russianballettheatre.com/

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