A ballet company, incorporating different nationalities and styles, has to rise above xenophobia. Lviv gathers its dancers from all over Ukraine and Russia. It has its own school—“our kitchen, so to speak,” says Najenko—but not the resources of the famous vocational academies in Kiev or St Petersburg.
Despite the expectation for Lviv to stage traditional fare, the dancers are hungry for more challenging choreography.
Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana” was recently mounted by Sergei Najenko. But he says Lviv can’t afford to import modern classics by, say, Balanchine or MacMillan: “We can only watch them in the performances of other companies."