Swan Lake in Almaty, Kazakhstan

Speech given by Dr Carolyn Browne, British Ambassador to Kazakhstan, on 12 October. This is an English transcript of the speech, delivered in two languages: Kazakh and Russian.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Swan Lake

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Classical ballet began in France in the 17th century. But it was in Russia that classical ballet came of age. From Russia, ballet then returned to France in 1909. And the world of dance was never the same again.

One of those dancers in the Ballets Russes was a young Irish woman. Twenty years later, she founded the Royal Ballet. Today, classical ballet is universal. For example, this evening’s performance. We will have the great pleasure of watching two wonderful dancers - Vadim Muntagirov from the Royal Ballet, and Iana Salenko of the StaatsOper, Berlin. Vadim was born in Perm, in Russia. And Iana comes from Donetsk in Ukraine. You see how universal ballet really is these days! It is the heritage of the past which enriches the artists of today, and inspires the artists of tomorrow.

What a great way to celebrate 20 years of work by the British Council in Kazakhstan. What a great way to celebrate the role of private sector funding, and private sponsors, in helping make cultural exchange happen. And what a great way to celebrate growing relations between UK and Kazakhstan.

I would like to thank the Director of the Abai State Opera and Ballet Theatre, the sponsors of this evening’s performance, and everyone who has made tonight possible. I would particularly like to thank the wonderful ballet company at this theatre. It is always a pleasure to watch you dance!

Ladies and Gentlemen, Please enjoy tonight’s performance of Swan Lake. Thank you.

Published 13 October 2014