Makarova reunited with the Kirov in August 1988 in London, dancing opposite Konstantin Zaklinsky.

Nina Alovert, Courtesy DM Archives

Celebrate Natalia Makarova's 80th Birthday With These Rarely Seen Archival Photos

November 21 marks Natalia Makarova's 80th birthday.

The ballerina made international headlines in September 1970 when she defected from the Soviet Union while on tour with the Kirov Ballet in London. That December, she made her American Ballet Theatre debut, an association that altered the company's trajectory.

"In ballet, stardom doesn't come overnight as it does in Hollywood," she told Dance Magazine in the August 1985 issue, "...because we work every single day of our lives to improve ourselves...So if a dancer becomes a star, that stardom has been won through the sweat of our brows."

Makarova found success outside of ballet as well, winning Tony and Olivier awards for her performances in the musical On Your Toes. She continues to coach at ABT.

Wayne J. Shilkret, Courtesy DM Archives

Makarova in the Kirov's Swan Lake, September 1964

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Courtesy Hong Kong Dance Company

Here’s What Happened When Hong Kong Dance Company Trained Its Dancers in Martial Arts

When dancers here in the U.S. think about martial arts, what might come to mind is super-slow and controlled tai chi, or Hollywood's explosive kung fu fight scenes featuring the likes of Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan. Martial arts in real life can be anywhere and anything in between, as the Hong Kong Dance Company recently learned. A few months ago, the company wrapped up its ambitious three-year embodied research study into the convergences between martial arts and classical Chinese dance. Far from a niche case-study, HKDC's qualitative findings could have implications for dancers from around the world who are practicing in all styles of dance.

Hong Kong Researcher/dancer Huang Lei performing in "Convergence"Courtesy Hong Kong Dance Company

February 2021