Makarova, Natalia (1940–)

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Makarova, Natalia (1940–)

Russian ballerina. Born in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), Russia, Nov 21, 1940; studied ballet at Vaganova School, 1953–59; trained with Natalia Dudinskaya at Leningrad Choreographic School; m. Edward Karkar (businessman), 1976; children: son Andre Michael (b. 1978).

At 13, entered famed Vaganova School of Ballet; joined Kirov Ballet (1959) and rose quickly to rank of ballerina; created sensation when she danced in Giselle in Kirov's 1st appearance at London's Covent Garden (1961); toured US with Kirov, dancing in such classic Russian ballets as Aurora and as Odette/Odile in Swan Lake; awarded Gold Medal at 2nd International Ballet Competition at Varna, Bulgaria (1965); while performing with Kirov in London, requested political asylum (Sept 4, 1970); signed with NY's American Ballet Theater (ABT), making debut in Giselle (1970); danced a number of roles during years at ABT; began lengthy relationship with Royal Ballet of London, appearing in Swan Lake, Giselle, The Sleeping Beauty, Les Sylphides, Manon, Song of the Earth, Concerto, Cinderella, A Month in the Country, Voluntaries, Dances at a Gathering, Serenade, Elite Syncopations, Rituals, Checkmate and Les Biches; gave last performance with Royal Ballet (1989) in Kenneth MacMillan's modern version of Romeo and Juliet; appeared as guest dancer with leading ballet companies of the world, including Roland Petit's Ballets de Marseille, Paris Opera Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, Stuttgart Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, London Festival Ballet, and Bejart's Ballet of the 20th Century; staged full-length production of La Bayadere, making the ABT the 1st company in the West to present this work (1980). Received Tony Award and Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical for On Your Toes.

See also A Dance Autobiography (1979); and Women in World History.