As a nation of ancient cultures, many visitors to Kazakhstan focus on seeing historic, artistic or cultural objects. And those certainly exist, from the 4th or 5th century BC Golden Warrior to the intricate ornamentation of centuries old mausoleums in Turkestan and Taraz. But Kazakhstan is a dynamic place and its arts are evolving. So while you may want to visit the lovely State Museum of National Musical Instruments or similar historic sites, there are also plenty of live, cutting-edge venues to enjoy.
Music, dance, drama, and film are the threads uniting the many cultures of this country. In Astana, traditional Kazakh musical performances and visiting dance companies take turns on the stage of the Kazakhstan Central Concert Hall, a big, blue blossoming flower of a building that is a work of art in itself. The Kulyash Baiseitova National Theater of Opera and Ballet also produces its own traditional performances while hosting international opera and dance companies.
Almaty may be the old capital, but it sits on the leading edge of performance arts in the country. The Deutsches Theater Almaty is a great place to see new, innovative drama in German and Russian. The award-winning Art & Shock Theatre isn't subtle about its aims, staging challenging performances from improvisation to pantomime, as well as traditional plays.
Most performances in Kazakhstan will, of course, be in Kazakh or Russian. So call ahead to find out about other language options. Or just enjoy the universally understood language of the art of music and movement.