Irek Mukhamedov OBE is a Soviet-born ballet dancer of Tatar origin who has danced with the Bolshoi Ballet & the Royal Ballet He trained at the Moscow Choreographic Institute under the guidance of Alexander Prokofiev between 1970 and 1978. Upon graduation he joined the Classical Ballet Company, where he spent three years touring around the world. It was with this company that he first danced Romeo, a role that was to become one of his most acclaimed. In 1981 he won the Grand Prix and Gold Medal at the International Ballet Competition in Moscow and was immediately invited to join the Bolshoi Ballet as a principal dancer, where he not only became Grigorovich's favourite danseur but went to became the youngest man ever to dance the leading role in Spartacus. After leaving the Soviet Union, he became a Senior Principal Dancer with the Royal Ballet in London, remaining with the company for many years and dancing lead roles in the classic ballets as well as the English repertoire.