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Asylmuratova at the Mikhailovsky, Ayupova at Vaganova

Posted on December 16, 2013

vaganova academy

vaganova-academyHaving resigned from the Vaganova Academy, Altynai Asylmuratova has taken a job at the Mikhailovsky Theatre. In an oddly symmetrical move, another former Maryinsky ballerina, Zhanna Ayupova, will move from the Mikhailovsky to the Vaganova Academy.



In her new role, Asylmuratova will be adviser to Vladimir Kekhman, the general director of the Mikhailovsky Theatre. His existing advisers include her former stage partner, Farukh Ruzimatov, while her former Vaganova colleague, Vera Dorofeeva, is now deputy general director of the Mikhailovsky. Kekhman has said that the Mikhailovsky will have a new ballet management in the spring. The current artistic director, Nacho Duato, will leave in February to direct the Staatsballett Berlin.


Ayupova, who had been coach and répétiteur at the Mikhailovsky since 2008, will become artistic manager of the Vaganova Academy, replacing Asylmuratova. Her appointment has been welcomed by the Vaganova staff: like Asylmuratova, Ayupova trained at the celebrated St Petersburg ballet school. Ayupova has expected to start at the Vaganova on January 1. At the Mikhailovsky, she had been working on a number of Duato ballets, and Kekhman and Nikolai Tsiskaridze, recently and controversially appointed rector of the Vaganova, have agreed that she should continue to support the Duato ballets until a replacement can be found.


With thanks to Tony Devereux for translations.


Picture: Vaganova Academy


Zoë was born in Edinburgh, and saw her first dance performances at the Festival there. She is the dance critic of The Independent, and has also written for The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman and Dancing Times. In 2002, she received her doctorate from the University of York for a thesis on “Nationhood and epic romance: Ariosto, Sidney, Spenser”. She is the author of The Royal Ballet: 75 Years and The Ballet Lover’s Companion.

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