Ukrainian Ballerina Holds Auditions For ‘The Nutcracker’ In Concord

Bogdana Kopiy is bringing light and positivity in the form of dance to kids in our area.


It was another hot and humid August day in Concord, but Christmas spirit is beginning to ramp up.

Local kids flocked to Legacy Dance Company on Union Street to audition for a role in the Nutcracker. But this is no amateur street play — this is the real deal.

Owner Jenny Grice is excited to have the ballet back after a two-year COVID hiatus.

“It’s a really exciting opportunity for these dancers because not many dancers can be the age 9-16 and say they’ve been part of a professional production.”

Today’s auditions are only for bit parts and ancillary roles, but these girls will get a masterclass from the world’s finest dancers.

“It’s very exciting. I’m super excited for this,” says McCants Grice, Jenny’s daughter who will also be involved in the production.

“This is definitely an amazing opportunity.”

The NUTCRACKER: Magic of Christmas Ballet features dancers from all over the world: Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan — and Ukraine.

“I am so excited to be here and dance with the little dancers,” says Ukrainian ballerina Bogdana Kopiy, who’s leading the auditions.

She’s been performing since she could tie her ballet shoes, but this year feels different — and for good reason.

“Now we have Russian aggression on our land.”

Today makes six months since Russia launched a full-scale ground invasion in Ukraine. But it’s also a day of celebration for Bogdana’s home country.

“Today my country celebrates 31 years of independence. I am also a baby of independent Ukraine.”

She says dance is a way to share light in times of darkness.

“I think it’s so important because we have to share peace also, because it’s important to have positive emotion, positive thinking. This is happiness and I think it’s amazing.”

Many of the Ukrainian men who would otherwise be involved in the play this year have been stuck in their homeland due to mandatory conscription for Ukrainian-born males aged 18-60. While men from other countries have stepped up in their absence, the load of representing Ukraine in this year’s Nutcracker is falling squarely on the women — and they’re ready for the spotlight.