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Artistic Director: Chiara Ajkun
Klevis Tafaj - Principal Dancer
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Mr. Tafaj graduated top of his class from the National Ballet Conservatory of Albania with an employment offer by the National Ballet and Opera House (Tirana, Albania) where he was promoted Soloist the following year (2013).
In 2014, Klevis was awarded the Gold Medal by the European Union’s Premio Danza Europa, the highest and most prestigious prize in the field, recognizing his extraordinary talent and achievements in ballet.
The same year Klevis received the European Critic’s Award for “Outstanding Classical Ballet Dancer” presented by the University of Dance, Theater & Liberal Arts of Italy funding his first trip to the United States to partake in the Ajkun Ballet Theatre’s intensive Performing in New York.
Upon his return, Klevis was promoted Principal Dancer with the National Ballet of Kosovo, invited to perform at the Dance in Italy Festival, and, in 2016, Klevis joined the Ajkun Ballet Theatre.
Klevis originated the title role in Chiara Ajkun’s Dracula (Lincoln Center premiere 2016) and the Count Vronsky in Chiara Ajkun’s Anna Karenina (City Center premiere 2017), that earned him the promotion to Principal Dancer.
In 2016 The United States’ American Guild of Musical Artists granted Klevis the status of Artist of Extraordinary Ability.
As a Guest Artist, Klevis has Starred in Broadway at the Symphony Space for ALBTVUSA (Albanian Television in America) with a broadcast performance that reached 1.2 million of viewers, and he has performed the lead roles in The Sleeping Beauty of the Compagnia Nazionale di Raffaele Paganini (Almatanz Production, Rome, Italy), in the UNICEF’s Gala Danzar Por La Paz (Leonardo Reale’s and Carlos Guerra’s Production, Miami, FL) where he has had the honor to perform for the Maestro Edward Villella, and in the gala World Stars of Ballet, touring the United Kingdom, Brazil, Bolivia, Italy and Germany performing Chiara Ajkun’s original choreography .
Klevis also performs annually at the Dance in Italy Festival (Igea Marina, Cervia, Savona, Taormina in Italy).
During the Season 2019-2020, Klevis is excited to perform as a Guest Artist of the Ballet del Parque de Conocimiento (Argentina). Other Guest engagements include performances in main theaters of Turkey, Greece, the Praha International Festival in Czech Republic, and the Balkans Festival of Warsaw in Poland.
In 2019, AJA TV production realized a televised documentary about his life, broadcast all over the world.
Klevis is the appointed Artistic Coordinator for the New York Winter Festival and the President of the Jury Panel for the ArtsFest Talent Showcase realized by the Council on the Arts.
Klevis’ repertory encompasses the lead role in the ballets Carmen, Chopiniana, Cinderella, Coppelia, The Nutcracker, Don Quixote, La Fille Mal Gardée, Notre Dame, Othello, The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Swan Lake and in original creations by world renowned choreographers Angelin Preljocaj, Pëllumb Agalliu and Chiara Ajkun.