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Astana, Kazakhstan • 29 May, 2024 | 11:59
5 min read

Weekend Events: Charity With Ayau, DIY Claymation, Yhyaq Etno Festival

What to see in Astana and Almaty on May 24-26

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Ayau (photo by Danil Yaroshuk)

The upcoming weekend brings to Astana two things: rainy and muddy weather, and a lineup of exciting events. The capital’s residents can try to challenge the world’s animation giants with their handicrafts in a claymation workshop class or experience a modern take on traditional Chinese landscape paintings, known as shan shui.

Meanwhile, in Almaty, residents can look forward to some soothing R&B vibes, as Ayau hosts a charity concert to showcase her latest album. Additionally, the Southern Capital offers a manga exhibition for visitors to explore. Featuring Kaoru Mori's interpretation of 19th-century romance in Central Asia, the exhibition takes audiences on a slice-of-life journey along the Silk Road.

Discover these and more events in the digest by QazMonitor.



Claymation workshop with Concept Art

What starts as blobs of clay gets wired, sculpted, and stop-motioned into cozy animated tales like the Wallace & Gromit series, where characters have a tangible presence to them rarely seen in other forms of animation. Concept Art invites everyone to try their hand at this demanding yet fulfilling creative task, and by the end of the class, walk away with a cartoon of your own.

NOTE: Please sign up through Concept Art’s DMs to attend the event.

Date: May 24, 6:30 p.m.

Address: Concept Art lecture hall, Kerey and Zhanibek Khans Street 5, entrance 3, office 23, 2nd floor

Entrance: ₸7,000 (as of May 23, 2024, $15.79)


"Harmony of Art" concert by Astana Philharmonic

This Friday evening, Astana Philharmonic will put forward its talent to accentuate three 19th-century composers. Young prodigy violinist Amina Akhmetzhanova will demonstrate her mastery over sound with Niccolò Paganini’s Violin Concerto No. 1, while cellist Eldar Saparayev will put his skills to the test with Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E minor. The evening will conclude with Gabriel Fauré’s ballroom classic Pavane, Op. 50.

Date: May 24, 7:00 p.m.

Address: Astana Philharmonic, Kenesary Street 32

Entrance: ₸3,000–₸7,000 ($6.77–$15.79)


Gulder Ensemble concert

Back in the 70s, Gulder ensemble introduced many artists to Soviet audiences, such as Roza Rymbayeva, who would become synonymous with Kazakh pop music. Last year, Gulder returned to the stage with an all-new lineup and a fresh identity that bridges past hits with a new synthesis of song and dance. Coming Saturday, the band plans to present their new performance, ‘Mother Earth (Жер ана),’ for the first time.

Date: May 25, 6:00 p.m.

Address: Military Museum, Republic Avenue 2

Entrance: ₸2,000–₸3,000 ($4.51–$6.77)


Group Readings of Like Wild Beasts (Comme des bêtes) by Violaine Bérot

Take turns reading the book aloud and share your thoughts in a cozy group setting. This time, explore the hidden cruelties behind a pastoral mountain village in Violaine Bérot’s Like Wild Beasts. Follow the story of a mother and her son who have built their lives in isolation, only to have a chance encounter to turn their world upside down.

NOTE: The readings and discussion will be conducted in Russian.

Date: May 26, 12:00 a.m.

Address: Oqy bookshop, Turan Avenue 34A

Entrance: Free (16+)

by Lu Lin
by Lu Lin

"The Other Side of the Forest" exhibition by Lu Lin

Drawing from the ages-long tradition of Chinese landscape paintings, Beijing-based artist Lu Lin reimagines them as contemporary pieces. Following in the footsteps of his predecessors, he attempts to capture and communicate the ultimate, almost mystical 'truth' concealed within every object.


May 24, 7:00 p.m. – exhibition opening

July 24 – exhibition closing

Schedule: Mon–Sat, 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Address: Has Sanat gallery, Dinmukhamed Qonayev Street 14G

Entrance: Free



Ayau charity concert

After captivating audiences with her second single, 'sybyrlaiyn <3,' Ayau has become a crowd favorite for her distinct soft Almaty vibes and soulful R&B tracks. In her upcoming concert, she will present her debut album, AYAULYM, with all proceeds going to the victims of the floods in northwestern Kazakhstan.

Date: May 25, 7:00 p.m.

Address: Event Space, Forum Mall, Seifullin Avenue 617, 5th floor

Entrance: ₸9,000–₸18,000 ($20.30–$40.61)


Yhyaq Almaty 2024

The northernmost Turkic people, the Sakha celebrate the rebirth of nature, yhyaq, during the harsh North Asian summer. This Sunday, the local community invites Almaty residents to join them in the convergence of the old and new, where shamanistic rites neighbor stand-up performances, and traditional craftsmanship are seen through sustainable practices.

NOTE: The event will be conducted in Sakha and Kazakh. For the full schedule, please refer to the official program.

Date: May 26, 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Address: Pervomaisky Ponds Active Recreation Park, Pervomayskaya Industrial Zone 11B

Entrance: ₸6,000–₸7,000 ($13.54–$15.79)

A Bride’s Story by Kaoru Mori
A Bride’s Story by Kaoru Mori

A Bride’s Story (乙嫁語り) by Kaoru Mori exhibition

In the 19th century, as the Russian Empire's advance troops pushed further into Central Asia, the story of a young woman named Amir unfolds. She must journey through the mountains to reach her groom and settle with the new family. The Kasteyev Museum invites visitors to explore how mangaka Kaoru Mori places her characters in this turbulent period of the region’s history, vividly illustrating the wonders and hardships of daily life along the Silk Road.

Dates: May 24–30

Schedule: Tue–Sun, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Address: Abylkhan Kasteyev Museum of Arts, Microdistrict Koktem-3, 22/1

Entrance: ₸200–₸500 ($0.45–$1.13)

"Kazakh Ballet: 90 Years of History" exhibition

The history of the national ballet school spans decades, with local stages witnessing vivid combinations of costumes, props, and choreography that define Kazakh ballet. Presented as paintings, the exhibition guides viewers through 89 seasons across various ballet troupes, showcasing classical, avant-garde, and folklore-inspired settings.

Date: May 24–June 7

Schedule: Tue–Sun, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Address: Abylkhan Kasteyev Museum of Arts, Microdistrict Koktem-3, 22/1

Entrance: ₸200–₸500 ($0.45–$1.13)

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