Born in Kazan, Russia and trained at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy. On graduation, Irek joined Moscow Classical Ballet. In 1981 he won the Grand Prix and Gold Medal at the International Ballet Competition in Moscow and was invited to join the Bolshoi Ballet as a principal dancer. From 1981 to 1990 Irek Mukhamedov was the company’s leading male dancer and the youngest dancer to perform the role of Spartacus. He created the role of Boris in Grigorovich’s The Golden Age.
Mukhamedov joined The Royal Ballet in 1990; Kenneth MacMillan created a gala pas de deux for him and Darcey Bussell, which later became the core of the ballet, Winter Dreams. His repertoire included Manon, Mayerling and La Fille Mal Gardée and his created roles include the Foreman in MacMillan’s The Judas Tree, the title role in Twyla Tharp’s Mr Wordly Wise and roles in ballets by Peter Wright, Ashley Page, William Tuckett, David Bintley, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and Arthur Pita. He has guested worldwide as a principal dancer and founded and led Irek Mukhamedov and Company.
Irek is an Honoured Artist of Russia and was awarded an OBE in 2000. He has directed the national companies of Greece and Slovenia and coached for companies including The Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, Scottish Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, Vienna Staatsoper and Norwegian National Ballet. He is currently maître de ballet at the Paris Opera.