Natalia Romanovna Makarova (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...
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