Born in Kazan in the USSR and educated in Leningrad at the famed Vaganova Choreographic Institute – sometimes referred to as the Kirov Ballet School – Ai-Gul Gaisina graduated from the class of Naima Valievna Baltacheva. Travelling throughout South America, Cuba, Europe and Australasia, she partnered the legendary Alexander Godunov, before joining the Stanislavsky Ballet Theatre in Moscow, where she created several principal roles, the most notable being in Khatchaturian’s Gaynee.
In 1973, Ms. Gaisina left Russia and, at the invitation of Sir Robert Helpmann and Dame Peggy van Praagh, joined The Australian Ballet where, amongst other roles, she danced the title role in Ronald Petit’s Carmen, Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Kitri in Nureyev’s Don Quixote, Michelle in Gillian Lynne’s Fool on the Hill and Valencianne in Helpmann’s magnificent Merry Widow.
The birth of her children also signalled the beginning of her teaching career which began at the Victorian College of the Arts where Anne Woolliams was principal.
In 1983 at the invitation of Dame Margaret Scott, Ai-Gul joined The Australian Ballet School where she taught for 10 years before joining The Australian Ballet once more – this time as guest teacher and coach, under the direction of Maina Gielguid and subsequently Ross Stretton and then David McAllister.
During The Australian Ballet's 2009 season, Ai-Gul danced the role of 'Clara - the elder' at the Sydney Opera House and at the State Theatre in Melbourne, in Graeme Murphy's highly acclaimed production of Nutcracker - The Story of Clara. She reprised the role again on those two iconic stages in 2016.
In July 2010, Ai-Gul staged her own production of Don Quixote for The Australian Ballet's Dancers Company. The production, which due to its popularity remained in the repertoire for several years, has been reviewed by Karen Van Ulzen of Dance Australia who writes "Don Quixote by Ai-Gul Gaisina is full of fun, humour and virtuoso dancing ... laugh-out-loud fun as well as fabulous dancing". Her Don Quixote toured Australia to “sold out” houses in 2010, 2011 and again in 2012.
In September 2011, Ai-Gul staged a new Giselle for Stanton Welch at the Houston Ballet. She restaged her production for Li Cunxin’s Queensland Ballet in 2013.
Ai-Gul Gaisina has, by invitation, taught at The Royal Danish Ballet, the Houston Ballet the Hong Kong Ballet company and the Philippines ballet.
Outside a busy professional dance career, Ai-Gul is an accomplished painter. She is married to entertainment producer Andrew Guild and has a son Tim.