The National Opera of Ukraine announces the death in combat fighting at age 48, of Oleksandr Shapoval, a longtime principal dancer for the company and an Honored Artist of Ukraine, an official title awarded for high achievement in the performing arts, who went on to teach dance at the Kyiv State Choreographic College.
Christ danced in the morning when the world was begun,
danced in the moon, stars. sun. (allusion to “Lord of the Dance” Ronan Hardiman)
Most often, when Christ dances on earth
and it isn’t a parable,
it is in human dancers who move
to the music in all of us
so we feel our own sorrow
and our own joy,
and we remember and celebrate
this dancer, Oleksandr Shapoval,
who danced on this earth,
thirty roles in twenty-eight seasons
and went on to teach others.
We remember and grieve
that the sky turned dark and this man,
father of two, teller of tales,
who volunteered immediately
after the invasion,
died under mortar fire,
and now is part of the choreography
of the resurrection
in the dance that will never die.