kyiv circus students find a new home in Prague Performance Company | world news

PRAGUE (Reuters) – Between somersaults, Ukrainian circus students handed out borscht and showcased some of their country’s customs during a joint performance on Tuesday evening with Prague’s Cirk La Putyka, which gave two dozen performers teenage students a new home after fleeing kyiv.

Prague’s contemporary circus company responded to a call for help from the Kyiv Municipal Academy of Performing and Circus Arts after launching its Russian invasion on February 24, providing training space, a accommodation, food and organized English lessons.

The group includes a teacher and the mothers of two pupils, the school’s vice-rector, Nina Araya, told Reuters in Prague.

“Twenty-five teenagers have come out of a very stressful situation, their parents are still in a place of war,” she said.

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“They communicate every day, they are super stressed and it’s not easy, it’s not easy even for adults. What we try to do is to refocus them on their job.”

At their joint fundraising event at a former slaughterhouse in Prague on Tuesday, Czech and Ukrainian performers put on a part spoken word, part acrobatic and part pantomime performance that they had just two days to practice.

“We transform into performance what we have experienced here for the past three weeks and what we are experiencing now, using metaphors and images,” said Cirk La Putyka director Rosta Novak.

It was a one-off show, but more performances will likely be developed in the coming weeks, he said.

Cirk La Putyka supports students, as well as donations.

“People are contacting us to help, bringing furniture for their accommodation, others are bringing food. It will be difficult but I didn’t hesitate for a second, none of us did,” said Novak.

Student Oleh Vakal, 16, from the town of Krivyi Rih in central Ukraine, said it was difficult to concentrate as his family stayed at home.

“I hope the war in Ukraine will end and we will all return to Ukraine, and the next time I come to Prague, we will play here on (the) result of the war or something similar, and everything will be fine .”

Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent troops to Ukraine in what he calls a “special military operation” to demilitarize and “denazify” Ukraine. Ukraine and the West say Putin launched an unprovoked war.

(Writing by Jan Lopatka; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

Berta D. Wells