Altynai Asylmuratova is the director of Astana Opera and the Kazakh National Academy of Choreography. She was the prima ballerina of the Kirov Ballet (now Mariinsky Ballet) and a guest artist with many companies worldwide, including The Royal Ballet. Altynai was the artistic director of the Vaganova Ballet Academy, her alma mater, before she was appointed as the adviser of the general director of the Mikhailovsky Theater in 2013. In 2015 she became artistic director of Astana Opera Ballet, and one year later she accepted the position of director of Kazakh National Academy of Choreography. Altynai received many awards, including Honored Artist of the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic in 1983.