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 First Soloist. Dracula represented the United States in the Unicef project "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. 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 coordinates the New York Winter Festival, 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.
Luc Burns / Ireland
Mr. Burns began his dance training at the Rana’s School of Ballet in his native Ireland and graduated from the Kings International Ballet Academy in England. Luc performed Soloist roles with the Brecon Festival Ballet and later joined the Sorbian National Ensemble where he premiered the role of Smje (The Dragon) in Pumpot among other productions. Luc traveled to New York in summer 2022 to train in the Ajkun © Methodology and is joining the Company this season.
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 where she 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.
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.
Allan McCormick / Canada
Mr. McCormick was an original cast member of Celine Dion's "A New Day" in Las Vegas and performs with Franco Dragone (creative director of Cirque Du Soleil) in productions such as Le Reve, Abu Dhabi in "Story Of A Fort: Legacy of a Nation". Allan has formerly performed with Gloria Gaynor, Jennifer Holliday, RuPaul, and has performed on "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno and in "Dancing With The Stars" prior to joining the Ajkun Ballet Theatre in 2017 where he enjoys portraying characters such as Gamache in Don Quixote, Herr Drosselmeyer in The Nutcracker and The Wolf in The Sleeping Beauty.
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 is excited to join the Ajkun Ballet Theatre in 2021 and looks forward to being cast in Chiara Ajkun’s outstanding ballets.
Natasha Sheptalova / Russia
Ms. Sheptalova graduated from Moscow Classical ballet academy under direction of Gennady Ledyakh in her native Russia before joining the Russian National Ballet and Moscow Festival Ballet as a Soloist dancer. Natasha also completed her bachelor’s degree in theater history and journalism from The Russian Academy of Theatrical Arts and has been an independent ballet journalist in Moscow. Natasha joined the Ajkun Ballet Theatre in 2019.
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 is joining the Company this season.
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