Iana Salenko, Staatsballett Berlin, Germany

Born in Kiev, Ukraine, Iana discovered dance at the Pisarev Ballet School in Donetsk, from which she graduated in 2000. She then joined the city’s Opera Ballet as a Soloist. She then danced for the Kiev National Opera Ballet as Principal Dancer, which allowed her to return to her native city, which is so dear to her heart.

In 2005, she moved to the Berlin Ballet as a Demi-Soloist, under the direction of Vladimir Malakhov. She was promoted to Soloist the following year and to Principal Soloist in 2007 (the highest rank in the Berlin company, equivalent to the status of Principal Dancer). Since then, the direction has changed several times, from Nacho Duato to Christiane Theobald, passing by Sasha Waltz.

In 2002, she won the 1st Prize and the “Diaghilev Prize” at the Kiev Ballet Competition; in 2004, 1st Prizes at the Vienna and Perm Competitions, as well as the 3rd Prize at the International Competition in Varna, Bulgaria. In 2005, the 1st Prize at the Helsinki International Competition, as well as at the Nagoya International Competition and in 2012, the “Anna Pavlova Grand Prix” at the Dance Open, in Saint Petersburg.

In 2010 she was awarded the “Deutscher Tanzpreis Zukunft” (German Prize for the Future of Dance).

Iana is one of the greatest dancers of her generation. She has nevertheless managed to find time to give birth to three children with her husband, the Principal Dancer Marian Walter.

Le Corsaire, Iana Salenko @ Daniil Simkin
©Costin Radu