Natalia Ashikhmina

Born in Bratsk, Russia, Natalia graduated from the world-renowned Novosibirsk Ballet Academy, studying under Tatiana Sulimova and Tatiana Kapustina. Upon graduation, she accepted Vyacheslav Gordeyev’s invitation and became the youngest prima ballerina of the Russian National Ballet in Moscow, where she worked extensively with Andrey Kudeline and performed the entire principal repertoire of the company at home and abroad. Five years later, Eldar Aliev offered Natalia a principal position with Ballet Internationale in Indianapolis, where she worked with legends Irina Kolpakova and Vladilen Semenov and performed throughout the United States and Canada. Natalia joined the Louisville Ballet as a principal dancer in 2006. Under the adept guidance of Former Artistic Directors Bruce Simpson and Robert Curran, she has had the privilege of working with Helen Starr, Alun Jones, Harald Uwe Kern, and many remarkable choreographers and stagers. Her repertoire includes a vast array of principal roles in the classical, neoclassical, and contemporary repertoire such as Aurora (The Sleeping Beauty), Giselle (Giselle), Nikiya (La Bayadere), Belle (Beauty and the Beast), Zabeida (Scheherazade), Juliet (Romeo and Juliet), The Sylph (La Sylphide), Kitri (Don Quixote), Swanhilde (Coppélia), Balanchine’s Theme and Variations, Kammermusik No.2, Concerto Barocco, Western Symphony, Serenade and Rubies, Daisy (Andre Prokovsky’s The Great Gatsby), The Dying Swan, The Lark (Bruce Marks’ The Lark Ascending), Helen Picket’s Etesian, Val Caniparoli’s Vivacé, The Seasons, Spaghetti Western, Cinderella (A Cinderella Story), Marguerite (Lady of the Camellias), Stanton Welch’s Velicity, Andrea Schermoly’s Appalachian Spring, Hanna (Ronald Hynd’s The Merry Widow), and 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, and performed at the 2004 Gala des Etoiles in Montreal. She holds a Master of Fine Arts Degree from the Novosibirsk Choreographic College. This is Natalia’s 18th season with the company, and she now calls Louisville home with her husband and colleague Phillip and their two children.


November 11-14 2021
The Brown Theatre
Choreography by Robert Curran
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchakiovsky

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The Brown-Forman Nutcracker

December 11-23, 2021
Whitney Hall, Kentucky Center
Choreography by Val Caniparoli
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

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January 12-22, 2022
Louisville Ballet Studios

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Spotlight Series: Impressionism to Jazz

March 3-5, 2022
The Brown Theatre
A mixed repertory evening featuring:


Choreography by George Balanchine

Music: "Pelléas et Mélisande" + "Shylock" by Gabriel Fauré

In G Major

Choreography by Jerome Robbins
Music: "Piano Concerto in G Major" by Maurice Ravel

World Premiere Work

Music by Louisville-based Jazz Composer and Musician, Dick Sisto

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Sleeping Beauty

March 31 - April 2, 2022
The Brown Theatre
Choreography by Adam Hougland
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchakiovsky

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