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King Harald attends solidarity concert for Ukraine

Sven Gj. Gjeruldsen, The Royal Court

King Harald of Norway has attended a solidarity and support concert for Ukraine at the Oslo Concert Hall. The ballet “Giselle” was performed by dancers from the Kyiv Grand Ballet from Ukraine.

A packed concert hall, on April 22nd 2022, showed solidarity with the Ukrainian people during the ballet performance. The dancers from the National Ballet in Kyiv were on a European tour when the war broke out in Ukraine. Several of the male dancers had to return to their home country to fight, while the rest of the ballet chose to stay in Norway to complete a solidarity tour.

A press release from Alexander Stoyanov, leader of the Kyiv Grand Ballet, stated: “Like the entire civilized world, including all creative ensembles and cultural figures, members of The Kyiv Grand Ballet are stunned by the crimes against humanity and the war crimes of the aggressor state, which were revealed in the liberated areas around Kyiv”.

Originally, Swan Lake was on the program, but as a result of the war, the Kyiv Grand Ballet has chosen to replace that with the ballet “Giselle” with music by the French composer Adolphe Adam. The Ukrainian Embassy in Oslo and the Oslo Concert Hall hosted the performance. The Kyiv Ballet has decided to temporarily stop the performance of the “Swan Lake” ballet and other works by Russian composers until the war is over.

Before the ballet performance started, there were speeches by concert hall director Jørgen Roll, President of the Norwegian Parliament Masud Gharahkhani, Oslo mayor Marianne Borgen and Member of the parliament Guri Melbye. Ukrainian Ambassador Viacheslav Yatsiuk read out a greeting from Ukraine’s First Lady, Olena Zelenska.

King Harald greeted and sat next to the Ukrainian Ambassador, Viacheslav Yatsiuk, during the concert. After the performance, the entire hall rose during the performance of the Ukrainian national anthem. King Harald stopped at the edge of the stage and greeted the dancers at the end of the performance before leaving the hall.

About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written six books on historical subjects and more than 1.500 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.