Fun Weekend in Astana and Almaty 

ASTANA — Astana and Almaty,  the vibrant cultural hubs of Kazakhstan, are brimming with an eclectic mix of events tailored to diverse tastes. From captivating art exhibitions to thought-provoking lectures and captivating musical premieres, there’s an abundance of experiences awaiting discovery. Looking for some enriching experiences to brighten up your weekend? Let’s delve into the highlights of what’s happening in these dynamic cities this weekend.

Photo credit: pixabay

Astana Events

Whisper of Reeds exhibition on Feb. 17-18

The Sal Seri Gallery unveiled an exhibition titled Whisper of Reeds by artist Daria Shvaleva. The artist draws inspiration from her travels across the Kazakh steppe, the literary works of Chingiz Aitmatov and Talasbek Asemkulov, Kazakh music, the scent of blooming grass, and her deep love for the Kazakh land and its people.

Photo credit: Sal Seri Gallery’s press service.

This exhibition serves as a poignant reflection of history. It focuses on the tragedy of the steppe during the harrowing period of Soviet times. It delves into the sad tale of sorrow, where wounded women molded clay with reeds not for peaceful dwellings but for prison barracks, where trains carried the unfortunate and hungry away from their homeland, tearing apart families. 

Address: Sal Seri Art Gallery; 10/1, Heydar Aliyev Street. Entry is free.  

Lecture: The Amazing World of Hayao Miyazaki 

Photo credit: Official poster.

Discover the enchanting universe of renowned Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki. This captivating lecture is curated by cultural specialist and Japanologist Medina Kumisbek. Throughout his illustrious 40-year career, Miyazaki has crafted impressive animated films. 

During the lecture, you will explore Miyazaki’s key works and the underlying themes that lie beneath the surface of his beautiful fantasy worlds, captivating landscapes, and seamless animation. Join us for an enlightening journey into the enchanting realm of Hayao Miyazaki’s imagination.

Address: Concept_art; 5, Kerey Zhanibek and Zhanibek Khans Street. Tickets are available here

Roza Baglanova musical on Feb. 18

Astana Musical Theater clinched top honors with Roza Baglanova musical at the Degu International Musical Festival (DIMF) in South Korea, bagging the Grand Prize for Best International Musical and Outstanding Female Performance.

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The musical pays homage to Roza Baglanova, hailed as the People’s Artist of the Kazakh SSR and a true icon of Kazakhstan. The production sheds light on her formative years, her resilience amidst the tumultuous wartime era and the pivotal moments that shaped her artistic journey. Harnessing cutting-edge theatrical techniques, innovative direction and choreography, the performance captivates audiences with timeless melodies from the 20th century, transporting them to bygone eras and leaving a lasting impression.

Venue: Qazaqstan Central Concert Hall; 10/1 Mangilik El Avenue. Tickets are available here. 

Chef Days Show 2024 on Feb. 17-18 

Photo credit: Ticketon,

Prepare to embark on a culinary journey like no other as the Chef Days Show 2024 takes center stage in Astana. This prestigious event, set to be the largest in the world of restaurant business in the country, promises an unforgettable experience for all attendees. Spanning four dynamic platforms such as an Exhibition, Star Chef Masterclass Arena, Educational Platform, Networking and Roundtable Discussion, the Chef Days Show 2024 offers something for everyone. 

Expect an immersive experience over two days filled with learning, inspiration and networking opportunities. Savor the aroma of freshly brewed coffee during energizing breaks, and be captivated by a special concert featuring a guest artist. 

Venue: Congress Center; 12, Heydar Aliyev Street. Tickets are available here.

Almaty Events

World of Bollywood: Music from the Best Indian Cinema on Feb. 17 

India has gifted the world with Bollywood, which annually produces grand films along with famous soundtracks that have captured millions of viewers worldwide. Bollywood music possesses an incredible therapeutic effect: it makes you experience a full spectrum of emotions and forget all your troubles.

On this evening, you will hear the best soundtracks from films such as “Kal Ho Naa Ho,” “Veer-Zaara,” “My Name is Khan,” and many others. The program will be performed in the unique style of the BN Team Orchestra, which has conducted over 170 concerts in 20 cities of Kazakhstan over the past year, as well as in such world capitals as Tbilisi, Baku, Bishkek and Tashkent.

Address: Republic Palace; 56, Dostyk Ave. Tickets are available here. 

Photo credit: Official poster.

Documentary film screening: “Balkhash: Darkness Over the Graves” on Feb. 17

A screening and discussion of the documentary film “Balkhash: Darkness Over the Graves” will take place in Almaty. In the film, writer and journalist Zhanbolat Bashar informs about the famine and the locations of mass graves of famine victims in the Karamuryn area on Lake Balkhash in the 1930s. Zhanbolat Bashar is the author of the novel “Darkness Over the Graves,” based on interviews with participants and witnesses of the artificial famine. The public program received support from the U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Kazakhstan.

Address: Bult; 83, Gagarin Street. Entry is free. 

Me and Almaty – The City That Stole My Heart Forever exhibition on Feb. 17-18

Experience the enchanting world of Almaty through the eyes of artist Alexey Utkin at his jubilee exhibition, Me and Almaty – the City that Stole My Heart Forever. Delve into over a thousand captivating paintings and graphic works, where urban landscapes come alive with a blend of nature’s essence and masterful craftsmanship. Utkin’s art, fueled by love for life, family and community, promises a heartfelt journey through the soul of Almaty. Don’t miss this chance to immerse yourself in the beauty of his works. The exhibition runs until March 10. 

Venue: Abilkhan Kasteyev State Museum of Arts; 22/1, Koktem-3 microdistrict. Tickets are available here

Modernism: From Antonio Gaudí to Gustav Klimt and Alphonse Mucha lecture on Feb. 17

Photo credit: Official poster.

Embark on a captivating journey through the world of modernism with Art Society’s lecture, Modernism: Antonio Gaudí, Gustav Klimt, Alphonse Mucha. Discover the last great European art movement, characterized by its enigmatic aesthetics and decadent beauty. From Antonio Gaudí’s iconic architecture in Barcelona to Gustav Klimt’s mesmerizing paintings like “The Kiss,” delve into the vibrant creativity and experimentation of this period. 

Join us as we explore the synthesis of art forms and unravel the mysteries behind the works of these extraordinary artists. Don’t miss this opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of modernist art and its profound impact on cultural history.

Address: SmArt Point; 280, Baizakov Street. Tickets are available here. 

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