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AŠHEN ATALJANC, Prima ballerina and ballet pedagogue

Born in Belgrade, in 1971. She graduated from the Ballet School ‘Lujo Davičo’ in Belgrade. At the age of sixteen she started performing solo parts at the National Theatre Belgrade. Upon graduating in 1988, she became the youngest soloist of the Ballet at the same theatre.

In 1991 she won the first prize at the World Ballet Couples Competition in Osaka (Japan) with her partner Konstantin Kostjukov. The same year she became the (youngest) principal dancer of the Serbian National Ballet. As the National Theatre’s principal dancer she was a guest artist in Tel Aviv in 1993 and in Munich in 1994.

From 1997 to 2000 she was a soloist of the State Opera in Berlin. During this period she mainly appeared in classical repertoire roles, but also started showing interest in the modern expression. The turning point of her career came in 2000 with the association with the Italian Ballet Company Arteballetto, which completely changed her focus, directing it at the modern dance. With this company she appeared in a number of choreographies of Mauro Bigonzetti, which Arteballetto performed all around the world: France, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Great Britain, Serbia, Switzerland, Austrian, Lithuania, Russia, USA, Brazil, Mexico, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, China, New Zealand.

In 2007 she became a freelance artist and started developing her ballet teaching career. The twentieth anniversary of her artistic career was celebrated in April 2007 on the stage of the Pozorište na Terazijama Theatre in Belgrade with a production of La Capinera. In 2011 she started her collaboration with choreographer Edward Clug and the Bitef Dance Company on the production of the Divine Comedy. The same year she opened the Dance School Ašhen Ataljanc in Belgrade.