Born Apr. 30 (May 13), 1913, in Fergana; died Nov. 25, 1978, in Tashkent. Soviet ballerina, choreographer, and teacher. People’s Artist of the USSR (1959). Member of the CPSU since 1953.
From 1929 to 1933, Turgunbaeva studied at the dance studio of the Uzbek Musical Theater. She studied classical dance with K. Bek, U. A. Kamilov, V. I. Vil’tzak, and others. In 1929 she began performing with the Theater of Musical Drama in Samarkand (later reorganized into the A. Navoi Uzbek Theater of Opera and Ballet). In 1931 she became a soloist and in 1937 choreographer at the A. Navoi Uzbek Theater of Opera and Ballet. She helped stage the first Uzbek ballets— Shakhida (music by Tal’, 1939) and Ak-Biliak (music by Vasilenko, 1946). Her roles included the title roles in Shakhida and Ak-Biliak, the title role in Brusilovskii’s Guliandom, and Zarema in Asaf ev’s The Fountain of Bakhchisarai. An authority on and collector of Uzbek folk dance material, Turgunbaeva in 1957 organized and became artistic director of Bakhor, the folk dance ensemble of the Uzbek SSR. Her best choreographic works are Waiting, The Bold Girl, and Apples of Namangan. From 1945 to 1957 she taught at the Uzbek Choreographic School.
Turgunbaeva served as a deputy to the third through fifth convocations of the Supreme Soviet of the Uzbek SSR. She was awarded the State Prize of the USSR in 1946,1951, and 1973 and the Khamza State Prize of the Uzbek SSR in 1967. She was also awarded the Order of Lenin, two other orders, and various medals.
REFERENCE[Avdeeva, L.] Mukarram Turgunbaeva. Tashkent, 1960.
V. I. ZARUBIN