French ballet master Laurent Hilaire has resigned as director of the Stanislavski Theater Company in Moscow following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, he told AFP on Sunday.
“I resigned yesterday,” he said, after the Kremlin launched an all-out assault on its pro-Western neighbor on Thursday.
“I am leaving Moscow tomorrow given the situation.
“I am leaving with a heavy heart, but the context no longer allows me to work calmly.
Hilaire was appointed director of dance at the Stanislavski Academic Musical Theater five years ago, becoming the second Frenchman to lead a ballet company in Russia in some 150 years.
He followed in the footsteps of Marius Petipa, the legendary ballet master and choreographer who led the St. Petersburg Imperial Ballet in the 19th century.
Born in 1962, Hilaire was celebrated as one of the most brilliant dancers of his generation and was a “star”, or principal dancer of the Paris Opera Ballet for over two decades before moving to Moscow.
He was only 22 when, in 1985, Rudolf Nureyev, a Siberian-born ballet dancer and choreographer who had defected from the Soviet Union, gave him the highest possible rank in a ballet company. professional dance.