||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2012)
Natalia Romanovna Makarova (Russian: Наталья Романовна Макарова, born 21 November 1940) is a Soviet-Russian-born prima ballerina and choreographer. The History of Dance, published in 1981, notes that “her performances set standards of artistry and aristocracy of dance which mark her as the finest ballerina of her generation in the West.”
Makarova was born in Leningrad in the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic of the USSR. At the age of 12, she auditioned for the Leningrad Choreographic School (formerly the Imperial Ballet School), and was accepted although most students join the school at the age of 9.
Makarova was a permanent member of the Kirov Ballet in Leningrad from 1956 to 1970, achieving prima ballerina status during the 1960s. She defected to the West while on tour with the Kirov in London. Soon after defecting, Makarova began performing with the American Ballet Theatre in New York and the Royal Ballet in London.
When she first arrived in the West, Makarova was eager to expand her choreography by dancing ballets by modern choreographers. At the same time, she remained most identified with classical roles such as Odette/Odile in Swan Lake and Giselle. In December 1975, she and her dance partner Mikhail Baryshnikov featured prominently in an episode of the BBC television series Arena. She was featured in the 1976 live American Ballet Theatre production of Swan Lake, simulcast from Lincoln Center on both PBS and NPR. When ABT artistic director Luica Chase stepped down, both Makarova and Baryshnikov applied. After the company went with Baryshnikov, she left for the Royal Ballet of London.
Makarova continued to excel in many different roles, most notably, her title role in Giselle. In 1989, she returned to her home theater of the Kirov Ballet and was reunited with her family and with former colleagues and teachers. Her emotional homecoming was documented in the film Makarova Returns. After her performance at the Kirov, she retired from dancing, donating her shoes and costumes to the Kirov Museum. Today Makarova stages ballets such as Swan Lake, La Bayadère, and Sleeping Beauty for companies across the world. She retired from dancing due to accumulating injuries, especially to her knees. Makarova won a Tony Award, as well as numerous other stage awards for her performances in Broadway revival of On Your Toes. She played "Lydia Lopokova (Lady Keynes)" in Wooing in Absence, compiled by Patrick Garland. It was first performed at Charleston Farmhouse and then at the Tate Britain.
In 1976, Makarova married industrialist Edward Karkar; the couple has a son, Andrei. Karkar died December 22, 2013 at the age of 81. Janet Sassoon said the following about Makarova, "When I began teaching in San Francisco, through Madam Bali, I got to work with all these great Russian first dancers when they were there. So I got Natalia (Natasha) Makarova, a prima ballerina assoluta. There was only one prima ballerina assoluta up until the time she danced. And here I had her in my hands for five months after the birth of her child!"
- 1960’s – Russian Soviet Federation Socialist Republic Merited Artist
- 1965 – Varna International Ballet Competition – Gold Medal
- 1970 – Anna Pavlova Prize & Critic’s Award, Paris
- 1977 – Dance Magazine Award
- 1979 – Mother of the Year Award
- 1980 – A Dance Autobiography, Knopf Publishers, 1979. – Certificate of Excellence – American Institute of Graphic Arts – Selected for Exhibition
- 1983 – Tony Award Best Actress in a Musical – On Your Toes (Broadway)
- 1983 – Drama Desk Award – On Your Toes (Broadway)
- 1983 – Theatre World Award – On Your Toes (Broadway)
- 1983 – Astaire Award – On Your Toes (Broadway)
- 1983 – Outer Critics Circle Award – On Your Toes (Broadway)
- 1983 – Stanislavsky Award – On Your Toes (Broadway)
- 1984 – Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical – On Your Toes, London
- 1985 – London Evening Standard Award – for the Best Performance of 1985 in the ballet Onegin. Presented on stage by Princess Diana after Makarova’s performance of Onegin in 1986, London
- 1986 – Emmy Award Nomination for Ballerina a 4 Part Documentary TV series, which was conceived, written & narrated by Makarova, BBC London/WNET
- 1991/92 – American Library Association Award – for Makarova’s recordings of the stories Snow Maiden, The Frog Princess & Firebird – Delos Records
- 1993 – Distinguished Artist Award – Los Angeles
- 2000 – Artistic Achievement Award – Mexico
- 2004 – Artistic Achievement Award from the School of American Ballet
- 2012 - Kennedy Center Honor
As Permanent Guest Artist with American Ballet Theatre & the Royal Ballet her repertoire included:
- Royal Ballet: - Manon; Song of the Earth; A Month in the Country; Concerto; Cinderella; Voluntaries; Dances at a Gathering; Serenade; Elite Syncopations; Concerto; Checkmate; Les Biches; Kenneth MacMillan's Romeo and Juliet; Swan Lake, Giselle, The Sleeping Beauty, Les Sylphides, Van Manen’s Adagio Hammerklavier; MacMillan's Pas de Deux and Ashton's Dream Pas de Deux.
- As Guest Artist with ballet companies throughout the world her repertoire included: the classical repertoire (Giselle, Swan Lake, Les Sylphides, La Sylphide) as well as Onegin (Cranko); Notre Dame de Paris, Carmen, Proust, Le Jeune Homme et la Mort (Petit); Romeo and Juliet (Cranko), Swan Lake (Cranko), Neumeier's Illusions - Like Swan Lake 2nd Act, Bach Sonata (Bejart); Nutcracker (Neumeier); Romeo & Juliet (full-length version Tchernishov); Le Rossignol (Ashton); Rosalinda (Hynd); Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux (Balanchine); Apparitions (Ashton); Afternoon of a Faun (Robbins); Meditation (Haigen) The Real McCoy (Feld) The Lesson (Flindt), The Toreador (Bourneville); Dying Swan; Corsaire Pas de Deux & Don Quixote Pas de Deux.
Original productions staged and directed by Makarova
- 1974 – Kingdom of the Shades – American Ballet Theatre
- 1980 – La Bayadère – American Ballet Theatre
- 1983 – Paquita – American Ballet Theatre
- 1984 – Kingdom of the Shades – National Ballet of Canada
- 1985 – Kingdom of the Shades – London Festival Ballet
- 1986 – Kingdom of the Shades – Teatro Municipal – Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
- 1988 – Swan Lake – London Festival Ballet
- 1989 – La Bayadère – Royal Swedish Ballet
- 1989 – La Bayadère – Royal Ballet – Covent Garden – London
- 1991 – Paquita – National Ballet of Canada
- 1991 – Paquita - Universal Ballet Company of Seoul, Korea
- 1992 – La Bayadère – La Scala Ballet
- 1992 – La Bayadère – Teatro Colón, Argentina
- 1997 – La Bayadère – Finnish National Ballet
- 1997 – La Bayadère – Ballet de Santiago, Chile
- 1998 – La Bayadère – Australian Ballet
- 2000 – Kingdom of the Shades – San Francisco Ballet
- 2000 – Giselle – Royal Swedish Ballet
- 2000 – La Bayadère – Teatro Municipal, Rio de Janeiro
- 2001 – Swan Lake – Teatro Municipal, Rio de Janeiro
- 2002 – La Bayadère – Hamburg Ballet
- 2003 – Sleeping Beauty – Royal Ballet – Covent Garden – London
- 2002 – Paquita – San Francisco Ballet
- 2004 – La Bayadère – Theatr Wieki Opera Narodowa, Warsaw, Poland
- 2005 – Swan Lake – Perm Ballet Russia
- 2007 – La Bayadère – Dutch National Ballet
- 2007 – Swan Lake – National Ballet of China
- 2008 – La Bayadère – Corella Ballet, Teatro Real, Madrid
- 2009 – La Bayadère – Tokyo Ballet
- 2013 – La Bayadère – National Ballet of Ukraine, Kiev
- 1970 – BBC-TV – Black Swan Pas de Deux with Rudolf Nureyev & Dying Swan
- 1976 – Swan Lake with Ivan Nagy at the Metropolitan Opera House – Live from Lincoln Center – American Ballet Theatre.
- 1976 – Don Quixote Pas de deux & Giselle Act 2 (Partner Baryshnikov) BBC TV London.
- 1977 – Giselle with Mikhail Baryshnikov at the Metropolitan Opera House – Live From Lincoln Center - American Ballet Theatre
- 1978 – Don Quixote Pas de Deux with Fernando Bujones at the Metropolitan Opera House – Live From Lincoln Center – American Ballet Theatre.
- 1978 – Jerome Robbin’s Other Dances with Mikhail Baryshnikov - WNET
- 1979 – Assoluta – Natalia Makarova – BBC TV, London
- 1979 – The Magic of Dance
- 1980 – Makarova’s production of La Bayadère with Anthony Dowell at the Metropolitan Opera House - Live from Lincoln Center – American Ballet Theatre
- 1980 – Swan Lake with Anthony Dowell – Royal Ballet, Thames TV, London
- 1981 – The President's Command Performance– The Inaugural Gala Performance for President Elect Ronald Reagan, Kennedy Center, Washington, DC
- 1983 – Stars Salute the President – Ford Theatre, Washington, DC (For President Reagan)
- 1984 – Gala of the Stars– Proust (Petit) with Richard Cragun & Begin the Beguine (Gennaro) with Cryst, WNET, Radio City, New York
- 1985 – Natasha - Natalia Makarova – National Video Corporation/Kultur USA
- 1985 – American Ballet Theater in San Francisco– National Video Corp.
- 1985 – In a Class of Her Own– Natalia Makarova – THAMES TV – London
- 1985 – American Ballet Theatre at the Met– Makarova’s PAQUITA filmed at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York
- 1986 – Ballerina– 4 Part series for BBC TV
- 1988 – The First International Erik Bruhn Competition – Guest Appearance by Natalia Makarova
- 1988 – Reunion With the Kirov Ballet - White Swan with Zaklinsky – BBC London live Broadcast
- 1988 – Romeo & Juliet (MacMillan) with Kevin Mckenzie at the Metropolitan Opera House – Live from Lincoln Center – American Ballet Theatre.
- 1989 – Makarova Returns – BBC-TV, London/Kultur, USA
- 1989 – Leningrad Legend – BBC-TV Omnibus,London/ Kultur USA
- 1989 – Swan Lake – Natalia Makarova’s Production for London Festival Ballet
- 1991 – La Bayadère – Natalia Makarova’s Production for the Royal Ballet – From Covent Garden – Cameras Continentales, Amaya & Thames
- 1991 – A Portrait of Giselle
- 1994 – BBC Great Railway Journeys– St. Petersburg to Tashkent - Written & Presented by Natalia Makarova
- 2007 – La Bayadère – Natalia Makarova’s production for La Scala Ballet, Milan.
- 2009 – La Bayadère – Natalia Makarova’s production for the Royal Ballet, Covent Garden, London.
- 2011 – Natalia Makarova Two Lives - Russian Documentary
- List of Russian ballet dancers
- List of Eastern Bloc defectors
- Makarova, Natalia (1979). A Dance Autobiography. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 0-394-50141-1.
- Austin, Richard (1974). The Ballerina. London: Vision Press Limited.
- Zozulina, Natalia (1990). Natalia Makarova - 18 Years Later. Leningrad.
- Makarova, Natalia (1994). Great Railway Journeys: St Petersburg to Tashkent. London: BBC Books.
- Natalia Makarova at the Internet Broadway Database
- Performances listed in Theatre Archive University of Bristol
- Natalia Makarova at the Internet Movie Database
- The Ballerina Gallery - Natalia Makarova
- Columbia Encyclopedia entry
- Concise Encyclopædia Britannica entry
- VIAF: 42641402
- LCCN: n79078164
- ISNI: 0000 0001 1059 4517
- GND: 119134756
- SUDOC: 156929090
- BNF: cb148495474 (data)
- NDL: 00470933