Astana Opera team performs at festival in Slovenia

ASTANA. KAZINFORM The famous Astana Opera Ballet Company performed on tour in Slovenia on July 25-26 as part of the 71st summer Ljubljana Festival. The tour program created by the world ballet star Altynai Asylmuratova, artistic director of the Astana Opera Ballet Company, gathered about 10,000 viewers at the Križanke Open Air Theatre for two days, Kazinform learned from the press office of Astana Opera.

The evening was opened with classical repertoire. The famous principal dancers Anel Rustemova (recently returned after a long series of performances in Paris), Olzhas Tarlanov and the company’s soloist Dias Kurmangazy performed an excerpt from Adolphe Adam’s Le Corsaire. The pas de deux from Riccardo Drigo’s ballet Le Talisman in the interpretation of the principal dancer Yerkin Rakhmatullayev and soloist Shugyla Adepkhan delighted the audience.

When Kazakh prima Aigerim Beketayeva took the stage of the open-air theatre together with her partner Olzhas Tarlanov, the applause was so loud that it seemed that the whole of Ljubljana applauded. The performers presented a duet from Raimondo Rebeck’s ballet How Long Is Now? to Max Richter’s music.

Soloist Anastasia Zaklinskaya and Zhanibek Akhmediyev also amazed everyone by performing Roland Petit’s Leda and the Swan. This exclusive number is rarely seen in Europe, so the audience followed the dancers’ performance with particular pleasure. Soloists Shugyla Adepkhan, Arman Urazov, Serik Nakyspekov, ballet dancer Sofia Adilkhanova also demonstrated high professionalism, undoubtedly finding their fans in Ljubljana.

The main event of the evening was the performance of the national dances in Patrick de Bana’s choreography: The Call of the Steppe to Renat Gaissin’s music and Qily Zaman to the music of the ethno-folklore ensemble Turan. Anastasia Zaklinskaya, Galymzhan Nurmukhamet, Bekzat Orynbayev and Sultanbek Gumar conveyed the national zest, the spirit of the Kazakh people, which were appreciated by the Slovenes, giving the soloists a storm of applause and shouts of «Bravo!»

«I was born in Ljubljana and I can call myself a true aficionado of high art, so the annual Ljubljana Festival is well preserved in my memory. The performance of the Astana Opera Ballet Company was one of the best and most skilled I have ever seen. Bringing together the classics, national numbers and modern ballet so harmoniously into one tour program is a great skill. In this regard, I would like to thank the artistic director of the ballet company Altynai Asylmuratova and pay attention to the rise of the Kazakh ballet. The company has its own original style, with both female and male dancers demonstrating a high professional level. I would be very happy to have an opportunity in the future to watch their performances again in Slovenia or in Kazakhstan,» the viewer Agata Rečnik shared her emotions.

Another Slovenian fan of high art, Leo Lebar, noted that he really liked the ballet Sechs Tänze, which was featured in the second part of the tour program. This ballet, staged by the Czech choreographer Jiří Kylián to Mozart’s music, was added to the company’s repertoire last year. It should be noted that Adelina Tulepova performed Karine, Olzhas Tarlanov presented Paul, Bakhytgul Ispanova portrayed Carolina, Daniyar Zhumatayev took the stage as Johan, Lisa – Moldir Shakimova, Patrick – Sultanbek Gumar, Nancy – Madina Kuzhamzharova, Urtzi – Aibar Toktar.

«I enjoyed the performance from start to finish. Although it is short in terms of its running time, it contains in itself a beautiful and interesting world, which has taken the viewers away from everyday concerns. The choreography is not only complex, but it also required virtuoso acting skills, which each of the 8 dancers fully mastered. They made me laugh where I was supposed to, and also made me think about the larger issues of the universe. For which I am very grateful to the dancers of the Astana Opera Ballet Company, they gave us a lot of emotions. I am sure, wherever in the world these dancers perform, they will always be loved by the audience.»

Professionals did not remain indifferent either. Foreign colleagues, ballet experts and critics also came to watch the performance of the Kazakh dancers. Thus, Anastasia Matvienko, a former soloist of the Mariinsky Theatre, shared her impressions on her social media page:

«An incredibly strong company. The fact that only ballet dancers from Kazakhstan work in the company is very admirable! There are no invited or foreign artists! Such a difficult path was chosen by the artistic director of the ballet company Altynai Asylmuratova. Bravo!»

The performance in Slovenia was the ballet company’s final tour in the tenth anniversary season. In the upcoming eleventh season, the performers will have tours to other foreign countries, repertoire productions and premieres at their native opera house.

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