McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — The U.S.-based Russian Ballet Theatre has officially changed its name to RBT in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and following calls to boycott Russian-made products, Border Report has learned.
The company on March 3 decided to go by the initials RBT for the remainder of the 2022 U.S. tour of “Swan Lake” “in solidarity” of those in war-torn Ukraine, Gulya Hartwick of the company said in a statement emailed to Border Report on Wednesday.
“The RBT team announces the change of company’s name for the remaining shows on tour in solidarity of our friends, family members and all those in pain and fear caused by decisions of a small group of monsters. Let’s not allow them to destroy a beautiful world and culture created by millions of brave and kind, smart and caring people of the world. We dance for peace. We stand with Ukraine,” read the statement, which also is posted on the dance company’s Facebook page.
The company will perform in the border city of McAllen, Texas, on Wednesday and also is scheduled to perform in San Antonio on Thursday, followed by Dallas on Friday. RBT performs in the border city of El Paso, Texas, on March 27 and wraps up the U.S. tour next month in San Diego.
Wednesday night’s performance at the city-owned McAllen Performing Arts Center is not sold out and it’s unclear whether those with tickets will select not to attend due to the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, a McAllen spokeswoman told Border Report.
Many Russian-made products are currently being boycotted and the United States has imposed strict sanctions against Russia since its Feb. 24 invasion into Ukraine.
But the ballet company is a U.S. company, and its previous name only implied the type of Russian ballet style they exhibit. It is not a troupe from Russia, according to media reports.
While some of the dancers are from Russia, there also are many from other countries including: Ukraine, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Japan, Poland, Armenia and Slovenia, according to its Facebook page.
On Wednesday, President Joe Biden announced $800 million in more U.S. military aid to Ukraine.