Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Sasha Mukhamedov's Elevation to Principal

Sasha Mukhamedov in La Bayadere
Photo Altin Kaftira
(c) 2016 Dutch National Ballet
Reproduced with kind permission of the company

At the end of last year the Dutch National Ballet announced three important promotions. Sasha Mukhamedov and Qian Liu became principals and Michaela DePrince a soloist. I have already mentioned DePrince's elevation in Not just Christopher Hampson who makes onstage promotions: Michaela DePrince's Promotion to Soloist 28 Dec 2016. I am delighted by the news and congratulate all three dancers.

I am particularly pleased by Mukhamedov's promotion for two reasons.  The first is that she was born in the United Kingdom and trained at Tring, the Royal Ballet School and Elmhurst. The second is that I saw her dance an extract from La Bayadere at the opening night gala in September (see Dutch National Ballet's Opening Night Gala - Improving on Excellence 9 Sept 2016 and Dutch National Ballet's La Bayadere - the Highlight of my World Ballet Day 5 Oct 2016) and then the whole ballet on 13 Nov 2016 (see Dutch National Ballet's La Bayadere 14 Nov 2016).  She danced beautifully in that ballet and just as Fonteyn is my Marguerite and Sibley my Titania she will always be my Nikiya.

Mukhamedov's progress has been meteoric. She first came to public attention as a medallist in the Youth America Grand Prix in 2007 when she was only 17. She joined the company the following year rising to coryphée in 2010, soloist in 2012 and now principal ballerina.

I watched her greet her fans, pose for photos and sign their merchandise after her performance in La Bayadere with considerable grace and good humour.  Some ballerinas are admired but not always loved.   She is loved as well as admired.

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