Natalia Ashikhmina

Born in Bratsk, Russia, Natalia graduated from the world-renowned Novosibirsk Ballet Academy studying under Tatiana Sulimova and Tatiana Kapustina. She accepted Vyacheslav Gordeyev’s invitation and became the youngest prima ballerina of the Russian National Ballet in Moscow where she worked with Andrey Kudeline and partnered with Yuri Burlaka. Five years later, Eldar Aliev offered Natalia a principal position with Ballet Internationale in Indianapolis where she worked with legends Irina Kolpakova and Vladilen Simeonov. Natalia joined the Louisville Ballet as a principal dancer in 2006. Here, she had the privilege of working with Bruce Simpson, Helen Starr, Alun Jones, Harald Uwe Kern and a multitude of wonderful choreographers and stagers. Her repertoire includes Princess Aurora in (The Sleeping Beauty), Giselle (Giselle), Nikiya (La Bayadere), Belle (Beauty and the Beast), Zabeida (Scheherazade), The Sylph (La Sylphide), Kitri (Don Quixote), Daisy (Andre Prokovsky’s The Great Gatsby), The Dying Swan, Helen Picket’s Etisian, Val Caniparoli’s Vivacé and over 100 performances as Odette/Odile (Swan Lake). Natalia won the Audience Award at the 1998 International Ballet Competition Arabesque, a gold medal at the 1999 Competition of Professional Ballet Academies in Russia, performed at the 2004 Gala des Etoiles in Montreal and holds a Master of Fine Arts Degree from the Novosibirsk Choreographic College. She and her family now call Louisville home.