Asylmuratova, Altynai

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Altynai Asylmuratova Photos

Altynai Asylmuratova Biography


Merrill Ashley was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1950. She studied at the School of American Ballet and joined the New York City Ballet in 1967. She was appointed soloist in 1974 and principal in 1977. One of the last ballerinas to be trained by Balanchine. Known for her brilliant, dynamic allegro, precision, and musicality.

Balanchine created two showcase roles for her in Ballo della Regina (1977) and Ballade (1980). He also revived Four Temperaments and Square Dance especially for her in 1976.

Between 1969 and 1973 she toured the US with a small company headed by d’Amboise and between 1980 and 1981 she was director and dancer with her own group, Merrill Ashely and Dancers. She retired from the stage in 1997, setting a record as the dancer with longest career at NYCB.
Altynai Asylmuratova was born in Alma-Ata (Kazakhstan) in 1961. She graduated from Vaganova Ballet Academy (class of Prof. Inna Zubkovskaya). Joined Mariinsky Theatre in 1978. Became a principal in 1982. In 2000 she was appointed Artistic Director of the Vaganova Academy.

Repertoire includes:

  • La Sylphide (Sylphide)
  • Giselle (Giselle)
  • The Sleeping Beauty (Aurora, La Fee de Lilac)
  • The Nutcracker (Masha)
  • Swan Lake (Odette-Odile)
  • Raymonda (Raymonda)
  • Don Quixote (Kitri, Street dancer)
  • Le Corsaire (Medora)
  • “Dying Swan”
  • “Paquita” Grand Pas (variation, Principal)
  • The Fountain of Bakhchisarai (Zarema)
  • La Bayadere (Nikia)
  • “Esmeralda” Pas de Six
  • Pas de Quatre (Fanny Cerrito)
  • Sheherazade (Zobeide)
  • Firebird (Firebird)
  • Romeo and Juliet (Juliet)
  • Chopiniana (Valse in C Sharp minor, Mazurka)
  • The Legend of Love (Shyrin, Mekhmeneh Bahnu)
  • Apollo (Terpsichore)
  • Theme and Variations, In the Night (Ist movement)
  • Roland Petit`s Carmen (Carmen)
  • Manon (Manon)

She has toured with the Kirov Ballet and has danced as Principal guest artist with most of the world’s leading ballet companies. Including the Royal Ballet, American Ballet Theater and Ballet National de Marseille de Roland Petit.


  • Honored Artist of Russia (1983).
  • Prizewinner of BALTIKA prize (St Petersburg, 1998)
  • St Petersburg theatrical prize “Golden sophit” (1999)