Kazakh National Academy of Choreography Opens in Astana

ASTANA – The back-to-school season in the capital was marked with a major event Aug. 31 – the opening of the new multi-level academy of choreography. It is the first institution of its kind in the Central Asian region designed to prepare students for building careers in ballet. The academy was fully constructed with extra-budgetary funds.

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“Today, we officially open a new temple of art in Astana. A whole galaxy of masters of national ballet and dancing will study and grow up professionally. The Kazakh traditions will be developed, as well as new approaches in performance. Kazakh and young talented students from other countries will have an opportunity to study here. I am convinced that the academy will be one of the leading centres for ballet and dance masters in the whole region of Eurasia in the future,” said President Nursultan Nazarbayev during the official ceremony.

The Academy of Choreography is designated with the special status of a national institution of higher education. All levels of the educational process, from the basics of dance and ballet training to master’s and doctoral programmes, are included in the curricula.

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“It is necessary to create a unique domestic education standard that meets the international standards. I am confident that you will build a new national brand of Kazakhstan in the dance and ballet art,” said Nazarbayev.

The President wished the teachers and students further success in their work, training and finding creative new solutions.

The head of state also presented a statuette of a ballerina to Rector Altynai Assylmuratova. He said the figurine will be transferred to the first graduating class symbolising the professional growth and continuity of traditions.

“It is important for us to raise not only highly professional artists, educators and art historians, but true patriots of the country and people who understand the value of art and culture. We hope that the academy will take its place among the already-established schools in the country. We will do everything in our power to ensure this,” said Assylmuratova.

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The impressive architectural complex has four buildings including ballet, educational and residential and a ballet theatre. The educational building has classrooms, a teachers’ room, indoor garden, canteen, library, sports hall and other rooms. There are also 21 rehearsal rooms. The residential building consists of dorm rooms and rent-free apartments for staff.

The specialised academy aims to resolve the professional staff shortage problem in the area, as there is no uniform system in the country to teach choreography covering all stages of education.

“The national school of classical dance is becoming one of the most effective factors in the formation of a harmoniously developed personality in modern conditions. And the goal of the academy is to increase choreographic art development in Kazakhstan and contribute to the spiritual and aesthetic education of the younger generation of our country,” said National Academy of Choreography First Vice Chancellor Gaukhar Aldambergenova.

Teachers in the highest qualification category, professors and the best experts in their field have been teaching at the academy using unique methods to find an individual approach to every student. The programme meets all standards of general education that allows free conversion or transfer to other schools. Students will have the opportunity to acquire practical skills and gain experience by performing in small and big venues.

The academy has already signed agreements on collaboration and scientific exchange with Shota Rustaveli Theatre and Film Georgian State University, Belarusian State University of Culture and Arts, Moscow State Academy of Choreography, Astana Opera House, Astana Ballet, Kazakh National Museum and others institutions. Master classes are expected to be conducted with recognised masters of their craft and preliminary agreements have already been signed.