Katalin Novák presented naturalisation certificates to ballet dancers of foreign origin
Eight foreign-born dancers of the Hungarian National Ballet - among them several Russian-Ukrainian couples - received their naturalisation certificates from President of Hungary Katalin Novák on Saturday morning before the performance of “The Nutcracker” at the Hungarian State Opera House in Budapest.
Before receiving the documents, the dancers took the oath of citizenship on stage in the presence of their children, and then sang the Hungarian national anthem in front of an audience of a thousand people.
Szilveszter Ókovács, Director General of the Hungarian State Opera House, said at the event that he considers the citizenship ceremony for mixed-marriage couples to be symbolic. "Everybody understands what it is about, about equality of people and nations, about building peace between them," he said, pointing out that the ceremony was held before a ballet performance by a Russian composer.
The artists have been living in Budapest for years, dedicating their lives to the Hungarian ballet, the Director General underlined. The "National Ballet" means that the Hungarian state supports the ensemble; their intention is to have the world's most outstanding artists in it, he added.
At the event, the oath of citizenship was taken by Ukrainian-born honorary dance artist Julia Golovina, Belarusian dance artist Mikalai Radziush, Russian honorary dance artist Kristina Starostina, Ukrainian dance artist Yuri Kekali, Russian ballet artist Tatiana Melnik, Ukrainian chorus line dance artist Vladislav Melnik, Kazakh ballet artist Aliya Tanikpaeva and Russian ballet artist Dmitry Timofeev. Two of the artists, Julia Golovina and Mikalai Radziush, feature in the Nutcracker.