J U R Y - July 2019



Kalina Bogoeva

Prima ballerina of the State Opera and Ballet Theater in Sofia. 

Graduate of the State Choreography School in Sofia and of the Academic Ballet School in    Moscow, Russia.

One of the most prominent and internationaly acclaimed representatives of Bulgarian ballet,

with 29 year long stage career.

Recognized authority, on European level, in the fields of Classical Dance 

(Russian School), Classical Ballet Repertoire and as balletmaster-producer with

over 50 year long activity. 


Certified Ballet Master and Stage Director of the GITIS State Institute 

of Theater Arts in Moscow, Russia. 

Head of the Ballet Pedagogy Department at the National Music Academy “Prof. Pancho Vladigerov”. 

Doctor Honoris Causa at the National Music Academy “Prof. Pancho Vladigerov”, Sofia, Bulgaria.

Bearer of the “Golden Century” and other State awards for her contribution in the development

of Bulgarian art and culture.






Krasimira Koldamova


• World critics define Koldamova as one of the brightest stars of 20th Century European ballet.

• She has been trained at the Bulgarian and Russian Ballet Schools. She has danced and is familiar with the whole classical ballet repertoire - St. Petersburg version.

• She is a long-term ballet pedagogue and artistic manager of the State Ballet School for the period of 1984 – 1988.

• She has represented Bulgaria as a ballet dancer, a pedagogue and a member of international jury /Varna, New York, Paris, Holgate, Osaka, Jackson, Moscow/ for years.

• For special merits to the Republic of Bulgaria in the field of ballet art she was decorated by the president with the order of Stara Planina - Second Degree.

Ass.Proff. Maria Ilieva


She graduated from the Ballet Academy "Vaganova" in St. Petersburg.

Prima ballerina of the National Opera and Ballet Sofia.

Awards: National meeting of young talent - Dobrich and International Ballet Competition - Varna.

She has toured over 15 countries, including Austria, Germany and Switzerland, with a month touring.

Since 1994 works as a ballet teacher at the National School of Dance.

In 1995 she created the ballet school.

In 2000 recorded Ballet "Young Ballet of Bulgaria."

In 2007 he was awarded the Doctor degree.

 In 2013 she became Professor at the National Music Academy “Prof. Pancho Vladigerov”.

Mary Hadzimichali


1960 born in Athens, Greece

2005 Master in the Art of Ballet and Direction

1978-1980 D. Grigoriadou Higher Professional Dance School, Teaching Diploma

1978-1983 University of Athens, Law School “Good”

1989-1990 Varna International School, Diploma in Dancing and Teaching 5th Degree Vaganova

1980-1981 Specialization in Classical Ballet Methodology, Kalina Bogoeva

1982-1983 Specialization in Teaching Character, Ivan Maydatsefski

1985-1986 Specialization in Teaching Character, Emilia Kirova

1980-Present Teacher of Classical Ballet & Modern Dances

Teacher of Character at Professional Level

Member of Professional Dance Team

Choreographer of Dance Performances at major theatres of Athens


Ayfer Tarlak

Ayfer Tarlak


Ayfer TARLAK was born in Germany in 1982.

She was graduated from a ballet school which is accreditted from Ministry of Education in 2000 with a Honour Degree.

She compleeted RAD education, pioneered by Dr. Zeynep Tuzcular Vural in 2002.

She has graduated from Management Information Systems at Sakarya University in 2006.

Between 2006-2018 she has worked as General Art Director and General Manager in an Art Center in Istanbul. 

She founded "Ballet Artists Association" which has members all over the nation in 2018 and started to work as its President.

She completed the Vaganova Pedagogical Formation in 2019.

She is currently General Art Director in Yeşilköy Ballet and Dance School which is accredited by the Ministry of Education.



Sara-Nora Krysteva


 - Graduate of National School for Dance Art, Class of 1996,

   with Acad.Kalina Bogoeva.

 - Awards for Achievements in Classical Ballet and Dancer with 

   Great Potential at the National Ballet Competition - “Anastas Petrov”.

 - Awarded with the “Anastas Petrov” Scholarship in 1995-96.

 - Awarded with the Youngest Participant Special Distinction at the

   Osaka International Ballet Competition in 1996.

 - Finalist at the Moscow International Ballet Competition in 1997.

 - Prima Ballerina at the Sofia National Ballet since 2003.

- In 2003, becomes the youngest director of the Sofia National Ballet, 

  in the history of the Company. Under her leadership the Company is awarded with

  “Golden Feather”, the “Sofia Award” and “Golden Lyre”.

 - Her repertory includes Kitri and Carmencita in “Don Qichote”, Mirta in

   “Giselle”, Odette-Odille in “Swan Lake”, Zobeida in “Sheherazade”, Lilac

    Fairy in “Sleeping Beauty”, Efi in “La Sylphide”, Marguerite Gautier in

    “La Dame aux Camélias” and many others.

 - Her international career includes guesting and touring with Baletto del Sud, Italy, as 

   Odette-Odille and a subsequent three year engagement  with the same company ,

   with “Rapsody in Blue”, “Sheherazade”, “Swan Lake” and many others.

 - Solo guesting with Ballet Romand, Switzerland, in “The Nutcracker”.

 - Performs with the Sofia National Ballet in Spain, Italy, Greece, The Netherlands, 

   Hungary, Germany, Turkey, Peru and Bolivia.

 - Ballet Pedagogy Graduate, Class of 2002, with Acad. Kalina Bogoeva, at the 

   National Music Academy “Prof. Pancho Vladigerov” in Sofia, Bulgaria.

 - Awarded with the Union of the Music and Dance’s “Crystal Lyre” award 

   in 2003, for the role of the Black Knight in “The Crusaders”.

 - Awarded with the “Silver Riton” from the Bulgarian Cultural Minister, prof.Stefan Danailov 

   in 2009, for high achievements in the active promotion of Bulgarian Culture.

 - In 2016, she receives personally from the Cultural Minister of Bulgaria Mr. Vejdi Rashidov         

   the “Golden Century” award for highest achievements in development and promotion of             

   Bulgarian Art and Culture.

 Svetlin Ivelinov


 - 1990 completes Ballet Master and Choreography at GITIS,Moscow,Russia.

 - In 1998 aquires a Magistrate at the National Music Academy “Prof.Pancho Vladigerov”,Sofia.

 - Since 1994 he is Head Ballet Master and Deputy Director at the 

   National Music Theater “ Stefan Makedonski”.

 - His professional activity is multi faceted and covers a wide spectrum.Among his most notable

   Ballet Creations are “Dimension in Colors”,”The Limit”,”On Our Road”,”Erotore”,”Breath in Time”.

 - For the realization of “Tango”,he is granted the “Musician of the Year” award for best Music and Stage    creation for year 2000.

For the Musical “Josef and his fantastic colorful dress” he is granted the “Crystal Lyre” award for exeptional choreographic achievement.

 - He choreographed Performances and Ballet Canvas within the Opera Creations of the National Opera and Ballet in Sofia,Bulgaria.

 - His spectacles and concerts are performed in Bulgaria,but also in Greece,Turkey,Germany,Slovenia,Austria,Macedonia,Denmark,The Netherlands,Switzerland and Japan.

 - At present,Svetlin Ivelinov is active as Head of the Ballet Company and Head Ballet Master at the National Music Theater “Stefan Makedonski” in Sofia,Bulgaria.



Teodora Stefanova


Teodora Stefanova was born in Sofia in 24.09.1970. She graduated from the National School of Dance Art in 1989. Since 1990 she works in the Ballet "Arabesque", since now she is prima ballerina of "Arabesque”. 

She has worked with the most popular bulgarian choreographers- Margarita Arnaudova, Boryana Sechanova, Antonia Dokeva, Olesya Pantikina, Mila Iskrenova, Galina Borisova, Christian Bakalov, Rossen Mihailov, etc. 

She has a work experience with a lot of foreign choreographers Mark Taylor /USA/, Elsa Limbach /USA/, Vittorio Biagi /Italy/, Alberto Alonso /Cuba/, Luc Bui /France/, Be Van Vark /Germany/, Robert Tanian /UK/ Liz Lee /UK/ Roger Jeffery /USA/

She toured in Austria, Germany, Belgium, Italy, France, Korea, Greece, Spain, USA, Yugoslavia, Romania and others.

She is one of the founders of "Amarant Dance Studio" in 1993. She is аlso bearer of "Crystal Lyre” - 1998.

In 1999 she was awarded the "Best Dance Artist" at the competition "In Memory of Margarita Arnaudova”. 

In 2011, she was awarded the "Silver Rhyton” for her 20 years of creative activity. 


Olesya Pantikina


Olesya Pantikina graduated the National School of Dance Art in Sofia in 1986 in the class of Lyubov Fominih. In the period of 1986 – 1996 she has worked as a ballet dancer in Ballet Arabesk - Sofia.

She studied Ballet Directing with Margarita Arnaudova and Boryana Sechanova at the New Bulgarian University – 1993-1996. 

She graduated in Ballet Pedagogy at the National Academy of Music Pancho Vladigerov – Sofia, with Prof. Kalina Bogoeva.

Since 1994 she has worked as a choreographer. In the period between 1994 -1996 taught modern dance at the American University in Blagoevgrad and at the New Bulgarian University – Sofia.

Since 2000 she has been a choreographer and tutor in Ballet Arabesk.

Since 2001 she has been teaching modern dance techniques at the National School of Dance Art – Sofia.

Olesya Pantikina is an author and choreographer of performances for Ballet Arabesk, the National Opera – Varna, the National School of Dance Art – Sofia, etc. 

Some of her performances have been filmed by the Bulgarian National television. 

She has been a member of the jury of the International Youth Ballet Competition in the town of Lvov – 2006 and in the town of Kharkov (Ukraine) – 2007



Boriana Sechanova small

Boriana Setchanova


1981- Boriana Sechanova graduated from the National School for Dance Arts in Sofia and in the same year she joined the Sofia National Ballet as a ballet dancer.

1990 - She is graduated as a Ballet Director in the State Institute for Theater Art, Moscow, Russia, in the class of Olga Tarasova. 

1991- She starts working as a choreographer. 

She created more than 50 ballet and theatrical performances for the National Theatre for Opera and Ballet – Sofia, Arabesque Contemporary Dance Company, National Theatre “Ivan Vazov”, State Operas in Stara Zagova, Varna, Rousse, Pantdance Theatre etc.

From 1992 Boriana Sechanova teaches Modern Dance Technique at the National School of Dance Arts in Sofia, Bulgaria.

From 1996  she is director of the program “Ballet Directing” at the New Bulgarian University and from 1995 she is  Dance Lecturer at the American University  in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria.

1997 - She was Contemporary Dance Professor in Sejong University, Seoul, Korea.

Since 2000 she became Artistic Director and Choreographer of the Arabesque Contemporary Dance Company.

As a chief consultant, from 2016, Boryana Sechanova contributes to the professional development of the ballet company with the State Opera Plovdiv, Bulgaria

In 2006 and 2008 Boriana Sechanova was elected as a Jury member at the International Ballet Competition, Varna. 

In 1996 she received First Award for contemporary choreography at the 17th International Ballet Competition, Varna, for her piece “A little bit later”, with music by Enia. 

Her performance “FAUST” was awarded “Best Performance” from Sofia municipality in 2003. 

In 2004 Boriana Sechanova was honored with “Award of Varna” for best performance - "Diary of a Seducer”

Her performance “Carmina Burana” was rewarded  “Best Performance” for 2006 and received the prize “Crystal Lyre” from Union of Musicians & Dancers, Sofia, Bulgaria.

In 2015, Boriana Sechanova was awarded with the “Prize of Sofia Municipality” and her creation “Pandora” received the “Best Performance” nomination.

In 2015, her performance “PANDORA” was awarded with the prize “Crystal Lyre” from Union of Musicians & Dancers, Sofia Bulgaria

In 2018, Boryana Sechanova received the CRISTAL LIRA award for her performance "Romeo and Juliet", with which Ballet "Arabesque" opens its 50th anniversary season.

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Mila Iskrenova


Milla Iskrenova is one of the most prominent Bulgarian choreographers, 

in the field of Contemporary Dance.

Specializes in Contemporary Dance at the Palucca Schule in Dresden, Germany, the Koeln Dance Academy and the Laban Center in London, U.K.

Teaches Contemporary Dance technique at the New Bulgarian University, at the National Academy for Film and Theater Arts, at the National School of Dance Art as well as in Italy and Greece.

Works with the leading Bulgarian dance companies such as the Arabesque Ballet, where she is resident choreographer since 2001, Amarant Dance Studio and Heteropods Dance.

Author of the books “The Joy of the Body”, “The Taste of Your Body”, “Anna and the Scarlet Pack” as well as the theater play “Melomimic”.

George Elkin


George Elkin acquires his Classical Dance Education at the State Ballet School in Sofia, Bulgaria and at the Moscow Academic Ballet School in Moscow, Russia. 

His Classical repertory includes a wide range of roles, which he performed both in Bulgaria and abroad. 

Following his intense interest in Contemporary Dance, inspired by the visionaries of the style Maurice Béjart, Luc Bouy, Wiliam Forsythe and Jiri Kylian, he joined the “Arabesque” contemporary dance company in Sofia, Bulgaria and, later on, the Cullberg Ballet Company in Stockholm, Sweden.

There, he pursued a 23 year long international stage career, with the unique art of Swedish choreographer and dramatic theater director, Mats Ek and with the internationally known choreographers Jiri Kylian, Nacho Duato, Christopher Bruce, Ohad Naharin, Wiliam Forsythe, Carolyn Carlson, Philip Taylor and many others. 

George Elkin has interpreted and performed creations by these choreographers on the stages of almost all major theaters, all over the world.

George Elkin is the bearer of the Special Award for Notable Artistic Achievements from the Swedish National Theater Center.

Classical Dance Technique teacher (2004 - 2009) at the Stockholm Ballet Academy - Stockholm, Sweden and at the University of Dance and Arts - Stockholm, Sweden.

BA and MA in Ballet Pedagogy, at the National Music Academy “Prof. Pancho Vladigerov” in Sofia, Bulgaria.

George Elkin is currently active as international Guest-Teacher, Classical and Contemporary technique coach, conducts Contemporary Dance workshops and composes music for stage, film, installations and expositions. 


Assen Nakov


He was born in 1976 in Sofia. He graduated from the National School of Dance Art under the leadership of Rumen Rashev and Ivan Trifonov. He is a soloist of the Ballet "Arabesque". 

He is dancing in over 40 productions of leading Bulgarian and foreign choreographers, including Margarita Arnaudova, Boryana Sechanova, Mila Iskrenova Margarita Gradechlieva, Antonia Dokeva, Olesya Pantikina, Rossen Mihailov, Stanislaw Genadiev and Anna Doneva (Bulgaria), Elsa Limbach and Mark Taylor (USA), Sonya Clark (Canada), Luc Bui (Belgium), Christian Bakalov (France), Wayne McGregor and Liz Lee (UK). 

He has won the “Crystal Lira” award for excellence in dance art for 1999.

During 2011 Asen Nankov is Asen Nakov is the undisputed favorite of the audience and the jury of VIII Competition for Contemporary Choreography and he won “Margarita Arnaudova” award for performance "Little rules" with music by Rumen Boyadziev – junior. His productions "You need tolerance," "Parallel Reality" and "Little rules" are in the repertoire of the Ballet "Arabesque”.

© G.Elkin 2020