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Altynai Asylmuratova is 60 today (1 January)

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The great Kirov/Mariinsky ballerina, Altynai Asylmuratova, is 60 today.  She is originally from Kazakhstan.


After retiring from performing, she became the director of the Vaganova Academy in St. Petersburg.  She is now director of the Astana Opera Ballet and of the Kazakh National Academy of Choreography (KNAC).


The students of KNAC have filmed a birthday tribute to her.



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She's as beautiful as ever!


I remember when she danced in La Bayadere with the Royal Ballet there was a quote from a major ballet star, I am sorry but I do not remember whom.  'God gave her to us to dance Nikiya'.


I was so lucky to see her dance with Ruzimatov and Sylvie Guillem as Gamzatti.  Trust me, that was ballet!

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Did she get replaced in one show by Susan Jaffe?  My memory is failing me.  Back then, I was a member of a young people's discount scheme (it was a very long time ago :) ), and I couldn't believe that we'd been given tickets for that show - I'd expected to have them for one of the lesser casts.

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I think Susan Jaffe was in a later run (1997?) when Yoshida had to drop out at very short notice - Asylmuratova substituted for her at  the dress rehearsal* and the next night with Mukhamedov, and Jaffe did some performances later on.


* and gave the greatest performance of a Petipa ballerina role I've ever seen, as I may have mentioned quite often before...

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  • alison changed the title to Altynai Asylmuratova is 60 today (1 January)

Great interview with her:


It's in Kazakh but google translate will make it English.


Vaganovka, then an invitation to the Mariinsky Theater, where solo roles quickly appeared. When you became confident that everything is working out, everything will be fine?

- I have never had such a feeling and still do not. I was brought up that "I" is the last letter in the alphabet. You need less “I” ... I always wanted to be better than I am. I looked at others, studied. In our profession, it is disastrous to say, "I'm doing everything well." This is the end of development. A person must all the time comprehend something, to strive for something. As in sports - made a double jump, then someone tripled - and you want to learn too. You constantly need to move somewhere. If you stop, you will stop in development, and they will immediately overtake you, but the movement does not stop. I've never had it like that. On the contrary, she was very critical of herself.


Tell me, being an artist and a teacher, how to correlate the principle of “I” - the last letter in the alphabet ”and the formation of personality, so as not to disappoint, not to break very young girls and boys?

- I love our profession, because it is one of the most honest. You can sing to the soundtrack, in the cinema you can find a winning angle for the artist. We went on stage - and everyone can see what you can or cannot. And no fathers and mothers, uncles and aunts will help. Therefore, I always repeat: prove everything with deeds, speak less and do more.

The student must trust his teacher, go through all the steps. You cannot “learn to be a famous ballerina,” you cannot become great at once. You must first learn, deeply understand the profession. And if you are a good ballerina, and if you have personality, and if you are noticed, then you can become famous.

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