Tursyn­bek Nur­galiev: The grace of bal­let lies in many

The UB Post - - Front Page - By R.UNDARIYA

One of the most sig­nif­i­cant events of clas­si­cal art that took place this sum­mer was the first Mon­go­lian In­ter­na­tional Bal­let Com­pe­ti­tion...

One of the most sig­nif­i­cant events of clas­si­cal art that took place this sum­mer was the first Mon­go­lian In­ter­na­tional Bal­let Com­pe­ti­tion. Ini­ti­ated by the Mon­go­lian Bal­let De­vel­op­ment Foun­da­tion and sup­ported by the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion and Sci­ence, the com­pe­ti­tion in­vited famed in­ter­na­tional bal­let judges, in­clud­ing one of the most pop­u­lar names in Kaza­khstan’s bal­let, Tursyn­bek Nur­galiev.

Since 2015, Nur­galiev has been work­ing as the head of Bal­let at As­tana Opera, and pre­vi­ously, he served as the gen­eral bal­let master at the same opera and has judged in­ter­na­tional bal­let com­pe­ti­tions in Kaza­khstan’s As­tana, Rus­sia’s Sochi and Moscow, Bul­garia’s Varna, Italy’s Rome and the In­ter­na­tional Shabiit Bal­let Com­pe­ti­tion.

Nur­galiev first vis­ited Mon­go­lia in 1998 to watch the Mon­go­lian ren­di­tion of “Giselle” by Adolphe Adam. Nur­galiev said this was when he be­came in­ter­ested in bal­let de­vel­op­ment in Mon­go­lia.

How would you rate the first Mon­go­lian In­ter­na­tional Bal­let Com­pe­ti­tion?

It is a good start. There were few in­ter­na­tional par­tic­i­pants in the first com­pe­ti­tion. How­ever, 80 par­tic­i­pants from six coun­tries and 11 judges is not a bad turnout. The start is the most im­por­tant part. I don’t think the day where Asia will have a great qual­ity bal­let event where dancers from dif­fer­ent coun­tries will strive to come is very far.

As an ex­pert, how skill­ful are Mon­go­lian bal­let dancers?

In your coun­try, bal­let is at the level where it should be. In 1988, I watched “Giselle” when I first came to Mon­go­lia and was sur­prised to find out that Mon­go­lia had bal­let. I got the im­pres­sion that since Mon­go­lian kids study bal­let in the Soviet Union’s Len­ingrad and Perm, Mon­go­lians do pay at­ten­tion to bal­let.

Still, I was amazed to see that “Giselle” was per­formed at the level in which it should be. To be frank, I was sur­prised be­cause I didn't think it would be at that level. Since then, I have been pay­ing close at­ten­tion to the de­vel­op­ment of bal­let in Mon­go­lia. I met bal­let dancers from your coun­try while teach­ing or putting on shows in­ter­na­tion­ally and be­came friends with them.

For that rea­son when I got in­vited to judge the first Mon­go­lian In­ter­na­tional Bal­let Com­pe­ti­tion, I ac­cepted. Mon­go­lian bal­let dancer Ts. Jar­galan was con­stantly con­tact­ing me say­ing I should def­i­nitely come for the com­pe­ti­tion. Later when my for­mer ac­quain­tance B. Sere­glen, who is the cur­rent head of Cul­tural Af­fairs, “or­dered” me to come, I de­cided to come.

I tried to get two dancers from our theater to par­tic­i­pate, but un­for­tu­nately, due to is­sues re­lat­ing to flight tick­ets, they could not make it. They were on their way, but re­turned from Moscow.

I am very glad I got to work as a judge for Mon­go­lia’s first in­ter­na­tional bal­let com­pe­ti­tion. I hope the name of this event will be car­ried out hon­or­ably. From my side, I am will­ing to help out to the full ex­tent of my abil­ity.

Cur­rently, I work in the di­rec­tor’s team of As­tana Opera and am a bal­let master there. I es­tab­lished the sec­tion 20 years ago, and now, I work on one of the most fa­mous stages in the world. We have a to­tal of 115 per­form­ers and be­came a na­tional com­pany of Kaza­khstan. With our in­vi­ta­tion, bal­let masters from France and Italy work there. When bal­let is di­rected with the in­put of many, not only does it be­come more in­ter­est­ing, the dancers are more sat­is­fied with it as well.

It means we pre­fer to work to­gether. There­fore the doors of our theater are open to Mon­go­lian bal­let dancers as well.

We heard that you worked as the cul­tural con­sul­tant of Pres­i­dent Nazarbayev. If so when did you work in this po­si­tion?

I was not a con­sul­tant. I was ap­pointed within the frame­work of cul­tural strat­egy in As­tana. In other words, I am the only per­son of clas­si­cal art roots who led the cul­tural strat­egy. Pres­i­dent Nazarbayev likes bal­let a lot. Not only does he watch bal­let, he meets artists and talks to them, dis­cussing their opin­ions.

He spends as much time as it is needed with them to mo­ti­vate them, and while in­ter­act­ing with bal­let dancers, he solves many is­sues too. For in­stance, he asks, “What are the prob­lems that you face in the world of artists?” There are more than a few times where he lis­tened to some­body’s life story and if they want an ac­com­mo­da­tion, he hands one over be­fore leav­ing.

Is this close re­la­tion­ship im­por­tant?

It is very im­por­tant. There is a cer­tain qual­i­fi­ca­tion to ev­ery­thing; the head of state giv­ing sig­nif­i­cance to new artists, re­spect­ing artists and not want­ing to leave the theater gives a good im­pres­sion to bal­let dancers, singers and even the au­di­ence.

To the gen­eral pub­lic, it gives off the im­pres­sion that you have to def­i­nitely watch this great piece of per­for­mance. In Kaza­khstan, they think that art feeds the mind, thus in ev­ery per­for­mance, the seats are al­ways full. In As­tana, ticket prices for the opera and bal­let are very high. Even so, the au­di­ence, and youth in par­tic­u­lar, have made it a habit to watch. The 1,250 seats of the theater are al­ways filled.

How much does the ticket cost?

It costs more than the Grand Theater of Moscow. Due to how the seats are al­ways filled, the per­for­mance of bal­let dancers is al­ways at 150 per­cent. At the end of the per­for­mance, the sat­is­fac­tion of the au­di­ence is at that per­cent­age too. This is our artis­tic strat­egy and the re­sult of our co­op­er­a­tion.

Not only is our very first per­for­mance of a bal­let sat­is­fac­tory, all shows are sat­is­fac­tory. It is very re­ward­ing to lead a com­mu­nity like that.

Where did you grad­u­ate?

I am one of the first grad­u­ates of the Mu­sic and Dance School of Alma-Ata, the school was built in honor of Len­ingrad Kirov. Ad­di­tion­ally, our artists have been work­ing with a school in Moscow, this bal­let in Kaza­khstan has the joint prin­ci­ples of the Uni­ver­sity of Len­ingrad and Moscow.

In 2014, we got to per­form “Sparta” at Guinea, Italy. In the press con­fer­ence be­fore the show­ings, a re­porter asked whether we were pet­ri­fied of how we were to per­form “Sparta” on the stage where dis­ci­plined and famed Rus­sian bal­let dancers have per­formed. I re­sponded say­ing, “We are not try­ing to com­pete with those peo­ple. We came to per­form the show that we pre­pared. Once you’ve seen the per­for­mance, you be the judge of the qual­ity.”

The per­for­mance was car­ried out at top qual­ity. The au­di­ence kept clap­ping and the bal­let dancers bowed many times in re­spect and re­turned to their rooms. In “Sparta”, there is the role of many slaves, thus the ac­tors re­quire a lot of makeup. Once the bal­let dancers washed their faces and changed their clothes and ex­ited the theater doors, the au­di­ence was wait­ing in the streets. They kept ap­plaud­ing and con­grat­u­lat­ing.

The Ital­ians were very sat­is­fied that the act dis­play­ing their his­tory was car­ried out at such ex­cel­lence. This is the type of dancers As­tana Opera has.

For how many years have you been con­tribut­ing to the art of bal­let?

It has been 54 years. I used to dance as a sup­port­ing role and even­tu­ally I be­came the lead. Later on, my po­si­tion be­came the bal­let master.

As a bal­let master, what is the main motto and core value that you have?

Have the sup­port­ing role dancers be great. If they are good, then that means that the bal­let is ready. Even if the main roles are ex­cep­tional, the au­di­ence will get bored if they dance for two or three hours straight. If they are all top-notch dancers, then they re­ally can at­tract the au­di­ence. This is where the grace of bal­let lies. This is the goal I set for As­tana Opera.

The fact that my goal has been ac­com­plished can be seen through the au­di­ence’s seats of As­tana Opera that are al­ways full.

What age group do most of the au­di­ence fall un­der?

We have au­di­ence of all ages. Lately, I am very happy with how the num­ber of youth in the au­di­ence is in­creas­ing. As­tana has a pop­u­la­tion one mil­lion and Alma-Ata has a pop­u­la­tion of two mil­lion. They all love bal­let.

Aside from be­ing a bal­let dancer and a bal­let master, you are an in­cred­i­ble teacher. Do you have many pupils?

Many.

Would you name some of your most famed bal­let stu­dents?

From bal­let dancers that are the pride of Kaza­khstan, there is Rustem Steit­byekov, Jan­dos Aubakirov and Tair Gatauov. There is also Soviet Union ac­tor Yu. Grig­orovich, Soviet Union State Hon­ored Ath­lete S. Vikharev, Bashko­r­tostan ac­tor Sh. Tereg­ulov, Di­rec­tor of the Ro­man Bal­let Academy M. Par­illa, Ital­ian dance chore­og­ra­pher A. Con­de­loro, and Rus­sian ac­tor B. Eif­man.

...The fact that my goal has been ac­com­plished can be seen through the au­di­ence’s seats of As­tana Opera that are al­ways full...

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Mongolia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.