Momoko Burbine / Japan
Momoko's dream to join Ajkun Ballet Theatre became reality in 2012. Her repertory includes leading roles in the ballets Nutcracker, Don Quixote, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, Paquita, La Bayadere, and Le Corsaire. Chiara Ajkun created for Momoko the featured roles of Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Mina in Dracula (Lincoln Center premiere 2016), and Kitty in Anna Karenina (City Center premiere 2017) earning Momoko the promotion to Principal Dancer. Dracula represented the United States for Unicef "Danzar Por La Paz" as a guest in National Theaters of Brazil and Bolivia. Read Full Biography
Klevis Tafaj / Albania
Klevis joined the Ajkun Ballet Theatre in 2015 and performed the lead role in the ballets The Nutcracker, Don Quixote, The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Carmen, Swan Lake, and in original creations by world-renowned choreographers Angelin Preljocaj, Pëllumb Agalliu, and Chiara Ajkun. Klevis has performed as Guest Star with Ajkun Ballet Theatre for the Compagnia Nazionale di Raffaele Paganini e Luigi Martelletta, the Dance in Italy Festival (Italy), the Ballet del Parque de Conocimiento (Argentina), the Stars of Ballet (United Kingdom) and represents the United States in the Unicef project "Danzar Por La Paz" (Teatro Colon, Argentina). Klevis originated the role of Chiara Ajkun's Dracula and Count Vronsky in Chiara Ajkun's Anna Karenina earning the rank of Principal Dancer. Read Full Biography
Kylie Brown / Michigan, USA
Ms. Brown began training in her hometown Commerce Township, at Suzanne’s Main Street Dance Centre. Kylie spent her senior year of high school at North Carolina School of the Arts and earned a BFA from University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. Kylie joined the Ajkun Ballet Theatre as a Junior Artist in 2016 and was promoted to Senior Artist the following season. Under the direction of Chiara Ajkun, she has performed lead roles in The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Don Quixote, Coppelia and in the original cast of Chiara Ajkun’s Dracula (Lincoln Center premiere 2016). For Ajkun Ballet Theatre, Kylie has coordinated the New York Winter Festival from 2018 to 2023, an international platform for all talents held each January in the heart of New York City.
Welton Lucena Costa / Brazil
Mr. Costa trained at the Vortice School of Ballet. Three-time Gold Medalist for best technique and best dancer merits, Welton competed in Brazil, Russia and Portugal and has performed lead roles in a vast repertory to include Flames of Paris, Don Quixote, La Bayadere, Spartacus, and Walpurgis Nights. Welton is a First Soloist at the Ballet del Parque del Conocimiento in Argentina where Chiara Ajkun first cast him to perform in her choreography. Welton currently performs at the Ballet in Argentina and joins the Ajkun Ballet Theatre to perform in Chiara Ajkun’s choreography with the company.
Rodrigo Blanco Perez / Argentina
Mr. Perez began training in his native Argentina with Olga Conti and further his ballet education under scholarship at the school of the Teatro Colon and Fundación Julio Bocca before joining the National Company directed by Iñaki Urlezaga. In 2007, Rodrigo traveled to New York to further his training in the Ajkun© Methodology with Chiara Ajkun and, upon completing the course, joined as Principal Dancer the Ballet Company of the Teatro Argentino de La Plata and, later, the Ballet Municipal de Lima where he currently performs. Rodrigo was part of the original cast of Chiara Ajkun’s ballet “Karien, The Amazon” and joins the Ajkun Ballet Theatre to perform her choreography.
Areum Jeong / South Korea
Ms. Jeong began her dance training at the Universal Ballet Academy and graduated from Korean National Ballet Academy and the Sangmyung University/ Seoul Ballet Company in her native Republic of Korea before joining the Ajkun Ballet Theatre as a Junior Artist in 2019. Areum is Silver Medalist for the Korea Youth Ballet Grand Prix, and the recipient of the Excellence Prize for The Republic of Korea Dance Competition. Promoted to Senior Artist of the Ajkun Ballet Theatre in 2022, Areum has enjoyed performing traditional and new choreography in Chiara Ajkun’s ballets.
Bailey Smith / Florida, USA
Ms. Smith began her early dance training in Alabama, with Pamela Merkel, later furthering her dance education at the Orlando Ballet School and Joffrey Academy of Dance in Chicago. Bailey attended the Ajkun Ballet's Trainee Program in 2021 and joined the Ajkun Ballet's Company as a dancer in 2022. Her repertory has included 19th century classics and original art ballets. Bailey has originated the role of The Omen in Chiara Ajkun's ballet Dracula, voted top show in New York City in 2023 on Secret NYC.
Risa Takeshima / Japan
Ms. Takeshima graduated from The Australian Conservatoire of Ballet in Melbourne before joining the Tokyo City Ballet as First Soloist in 2020. Risa is the recipient of the First Place at the Victoire Ballet Competition in Osaka and the Frances Naylor Excellence Award. Her repertory includes Swan Lake, Giselle, Paquita, Scherezade, The Sleeping beauty, and The Nutcracker. Risa traveled to New York in summer 2022 to train in the Ajkun © Methodology and joined the Company thereafter.
Bianca Delli Priscoli / Italy
Ms. Delli Priscoli graduated in her native Italy from Salerno’s Artestudio where she began her dance training. Bianca furthered her study at the National Academy of Rome and the Ailey School and completed Level 5 as Certified Teacher from ABT ® National Curriculum Training. Bianca performed for a variety of Companies classical and contemporary repertory including Giselle, Apollon Musagète, Don Quixote, Nutcracker, Les Sylphides before joining the Ajkun Ballet Theatre in 2020.
Sofia Forero/ Colombia
Ms. Forero was raised in Colombia and graduated from The Ailey School Certificate Program, where she was a member of the Ailey Student Performance Group. Sofia performed choreographies by Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor, Alvin Ailey, among others and pursues a choreographic career on the side of her dancing. She is also the author of the book “Una Danza Para El Cambio Social'' that addresses healing through dance and movement in local communities. Sofia joined the Ajkun Ballet Theatre in 2022 and enjoys performing character roles in traditional and Chiara Ajkun’s new ballets.
Nicola Iervasi/ Italy
Mr. Iervasi has danced with Graham 2, Pearl Lang, Igal Perry, Max Luna III and Sokolow Now!, the Anna Sokolow Contemporary Dance Company directed by Lorry May and currently teaches in a variety of Schools to include Peridance Capezio Center, LaGuardia High School, NYU, Trinity LaMaMa and the University of Calabria a method he developed with Kevin Albert with whom he is codirector at Mare Nostrum. Nicole joined the Ajkun Ballet Theatre in 2022 where he enjoys performing character roles in traditional and Chiara Ajkun’s new ballets.
Megan Dollar / Michigan, USA
Megan began her training at home in Michigan with the Ada Dance Academy and the West Michigan Youth Ballet. She then studied at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, D.C. for three years before joining the Joffrey Ballet Chicago as a trainee. While at Joffrey she was chosen to perform new choreographic pieces as a part of the Winning Works choreography competition. She has since performed a variety of classical and contemporary works with the neoclassical ballet company Ventana Ballet in Austin, Texas, before joining Ajkun Ballet Theatre in 2023.
Jeffrey Salce / New York, USA
Mr. Salce began his training in acting at Abrons Arts Center in Manhattan's Lower East side when he was invited to further his dance education on full scholarship at the Dance Theater of Harlem and the School at Steps. Jeffrey has performed with Urban Ballet Theater, and has been a Leading Artist with Ballet Lubbock, Delaware Dance Company, Dallas Ballet and Buffalo Ballet and has appeared on television in "Law and Order", "Six Degrees of Murder" and modeled for Tommy Hilfiger among other achievements, prior to joining the Ajkun Ballet Theatre in 2023.
Telmen Munkherdene / Mongolia
Mr. Munkherdene began his training at the Mongolian State Conservatory, before being awarded full scholarships by the Kirov Academy Ballet Academy and the Joffrey Ballet School. Telmen is the recipient of the Gold Medal at the World Ballet Grand Prix in New York and of the medal for Leading Cultural Artist in Mongolia awarded by the Ministry of Culture. Telmen’s repertory includes Don Quixote, Le Corsaire, Flames of Paris, Walpurgis Night, Diana and Acteon, Nutcracker, Swan Lake, and Giselle. Telmen joined the Ajkun Ballet Theatre in 2021 and has, since, enjoyed performing Chiara Ajkun’s outstanding ballets.
Abbi Johnson / New South Wales, Australia
Ms. Johnson began her ballet training at the Highgate Ballet School and Central School of Ballet in London, UK, and completed her dance education at the Bolshoi and the American Ballet Theatre. Abbi is the awardee of a merit scholarship from the Joffrey Ballet School, two times Gold Medallist of the Cecchetti Choreographic Competition and a Silver Medalist of the Cecchetti Mabel Ryan Competition. Abbi performed with Complexions Contemporary Dance before joining the Ajkun Ballet Theatre as a Junior Artist in 2022 and being promoted Senior Artist in 2023.
Eureka Nakano-Grimes / New York, USA
Ms. Nakano Grimes has performed with Pennsylvania Ballet and has been featured as an actress by Netflix and by HBO. Eureka modelled for Estée Lauder, Lancôme, Samsung, among others and enjoys teaching ballet in New York City. Eureka joined Ajkun Ballet Theatre in 2023.
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