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Nataliya Makarova
Born October 21, 1940 (1940-10-21) (age 69)
Leningrad, Russia, USSR
Other name(s) Natasha Makarova
Occupation Ballet dancer, choreographer
Years active 1950s-present
Spouse(s) Edward Karkar

Nataliya Romanovna Makarova (Russian: Наталья Романовна Макарова, born October 21, 1940) is a Soviet-Russian-born American actress and former prima ballerina.



Makarova was born in Leningrad in former Soviet Russia. At the age of 12, she auditioned for the Leningrad Choreographic School (formerly the Imperial Ballet School), and was accepted although most students join the school at the age of 10. She was a permanent member of the Kirov Ballet in Leningrad from 1956 to 1970, achieving prima ballerina status during the 1960s. Soon after Makarova defected to the West in 1970, she began performing with the American Ballet Theatre in New York and the Royal Ballet in London. At first she was eager to expand her choreography by dancing ballets by modern choreographers. She remained most identified with classical roles such as Odette/Odile in Swan Lake and Giselle; she was featured in the 1976 live American Ballet Theatre production of Swan Lake, simulcast from Lincoln Center on both PBS and NPR. Makarova continued to excel in many different roles.[1] most notably, her title role in Giselle. She was slim and slight, and combined a delicacy and lyricism with impeccable classical training.

Makarova: "Her performances set standards of artistry and aristocracy of dance which mark her as the finest ballerina of her generation in the West".[2]

In 1976 Makarova married Edward Karkar, a businessman. Together they had a son, Andre Michael, in February 1978.[3]

In 1989, Natalia Makarova returned to her home theater of the Kirov Ballet and was reunited with her family and with former colleagues and teachers, and family. Her emotional homecoming was documented in the film Makarova Returns. After her performance at the Kirov, she retired from dancing, donating her shoes and costumes to the Kirov Museum. Today Makarova stages ballets such as Swan Lake, La Bayadère, and Sleeping Beauty for companies across the world.

In addition to being an internationally renowned ballerina, Makarova won a Tony Award for her performance in the show On Your Toes. She appeared as Lydia Lopokova (Lady Keynes) in Wooing in Absence, compiled by Patrick Garland. It was first performed at Charleston Farmhouse and then at the Tate Britain.


  • Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic Merited Artist [4]
  • 1965 Second International Ballet Competition Gold Medal, Varna, Bulgaria [3]
  • 1970 Anna Pavlova Prize, Paris
  • 1983 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical - On Your Toes
  • 1983 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actress in a Musical - On Your Toes
  • 1983 Theatre World Special Award - On Your Toes
  • 1985 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress - On Your Toes




Makarova danced with the Royal Ballet in Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Les Sylphides, Manon, Cinderella, Serenade, Les Biches, Romeo and Juliet, Song of the Earth, Concerto, A Month in the Country, Voluntaries, Dances at a Gathering, Elite Syncopations, Rituals, and Checkmate.

Makarova has performed as a guest artist with the Paris Opera Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, Stuttgart Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, London Festival Ballet, Béjart's Ballet of the 20th Century and Roland Petit's Ballets de Marseille.[3]


See also


  1. ^ "Natalia Makarova". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-03.  
  2. ^ Clarke, Mary and Crisp, Clement 1981. The history of dance. Orbit, London. p210
  3. ^ a b c "Biography: Natalia Makarova". American Ballet Theatre. 2007. Retrieved 2008-07-03.  
  4. ^ "Natalia Makarova". The Oxford Dictionary of Dance.. Oxford University Press. 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-03.  

Further reading

  • Makarova, Natalia (1979). A Dance Autobiography. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 0394501411.  

External links


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