Principal Dancer and Choreographer, Leonard Ajkun was raised in Tirana, the Capitol of Albania.
PERFORMING CAREER: Leonard began his professional career with the National Ballet Company of the Tirana Opera House at the age of sixteen, bypassing the corps de ballet and qualifying directly to Soloist rank. Promoted Principal dancer at 18 years of age, Mr. Ajkun is today considered the most outstanding dancer in all the Country’s ballet history. At the time of his principal dancer tenure with the company, Leonard was promoted Etoile by Ileana Iliescu, Ballerina Assoluta and Director of the National Ballet Company of the Bucharest Opera House in Romania. As a Principal Dancer, Leonard also performed with the Dance Theater of Harlem, Teatro Bellini di Catania, Los Angeles Classical Ballet, Shanghai National Ballet and appeared with a variety of Companies in the United States, Asia and Europe. National television broadcastings include programs for ABC, Albanian National Television, BBC, FOX, RAI National and International, among others.
REPERTORY: Leonard’s repertory includes virtually all traditional ballets and expands in Balanchine’s and neoclassical and contemporary creations choreographed on him by Masters of this century. S om e of i s performing higlights are in Basil in Don Quixote, Siegfried in Swan Lake, Nippur in Chiara Ajkun’s Karien, The Amazon, Romeo in Romeo & Juliet, Albrecht in Rudolf Nureyev’s Giselle, Prince Charming in Cinderella, Spartacus in Grigorovitch’s Spartacus and Bacchus in Walpurgis Night.
“Leonard Ajkun is one of the most acclaimed dancers, from both the media and the public. Although he fascinates worldwide audiences with spectacular butter-landed leaps and razor shaped turns, it is his noble feature, his passionate temperament and dazzling predominance onstage that mesmerizes the audience.”
-Los Angeles Times by Victoria Looseleaf
“Ajkun possède le don du vertige, lent mais profound, avec un résultat scénique sophistiqués, formidable et merveilleux”.
Mr. Ajkun has co directed the Ajkun Ballet Theatre, since the conception in the year 2000. As co/founder and co/artistic director, his leadership brought the company to perform in traditional and contemporary creations for thousands of audience members across the world and opened the professional avenues for hundreds of emerging dancers and choreographers. Today, the company is known as one of the most comprehensive organizations in the performing arts, the excellence of its artists and the exceptional training of its programs. In 2016 Mr. Ajkun founded Ajkun Media Arts a production company focusing with his artistic leadership in
newly and energetic “Century Dance” more so in his artistic tune and vision. Pushing furthermore his choreographic particularity and versatility
Since 2007, Leonard annually restages traditional repertory ballets and new creations on the National Ballet Company of the Tirana Opera House, often offering the opportunity to Artists from Ajkun Ballet Theatre, Arizona Ballet and Het National Ballet to appear in leading roles in his productions.
Leonard was also a Guest Artist in residence of the Università degli Studi di Danza e Teatro, Teatro San Carlo of Naples in Italy and serves the National Televisions as an Artistic Advisor.
Mr. Ajkun original choreography: Legacy- The Odyssey of Albania, Goya- The Spanish Master, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Red, Hamlet, Les Misérables, Revolution, Inferno, America and Notre Dame are present in you tube.
“You are preserving our culture and heritage and demonstrating that our diversity is our greatest strength”
Hilary Rodham Clinton- Secretary of State of United States.
“Leonard Ajkun is my white pearl of Dance Theatre of Harlem as I was the black pearl of New York City ballet.
Arthur Mitchell -Founder and Artistic Director of Dance Theatre of Harlem.
A multi-award winner Mr. Ajkun was presented the diplomatic status of Albanian Ambassador of The Arts by President Berisha in (1998), was distinguished as a Worldwide International Dancer by the American Guild of Music Arts in (1997) and performed for the Vatican holy Father, Giovanni Paolo II.
Mr. Ajkun received the National Medal of Arts by Malta Culture Ministry Young (1991), Gold Medal at “Re Manfredi”, International ballet competition (1994), Gold Medal at “Fiuggi Europa Platea” appointed as best European Principal dancer in Italy. International Gold Medal for the Arts by Knights of Malta’s Prince Humberto Ferdinando I (1999) also nominated Knight of Knights of Malta. Mr. Ajkun is part of Albanian Excellence of the Arts and his contribution to the National Opera and Ballet extend from (2008,2009,2010,2011) in coproduction with Ministry of Culture of Albania for various productions.
During his career, Mr. Ajkun has shared the stage and worked with some of the most significant Artists of the century, among them, in no specific order, Ekaterina Maximova, Vladimir Vasiliev, Luigi, Cynthia Gregory, Victoria Simon, Artur Mitchell, Jack De Boi, Patricia Nery, Maximiliano Guerra, Luciana Saviniano, Judith Fugate and Iliana Josifescu.
BALLET MASTER & DIRECTING:
Mr. Ajkun as directed and have maintained regular relations with many companies and artistic venues where he has constantly contributed to the dance community. Regular master classes London, Italy, Turkey, Greece, Albania, China, Japan, all over Europe and USA. He has been Ballet Master and choreographer at National Opera and Ballet of Albania, National Opera of Bucharest-Rumania, Teatro Bellini Catania-Italy, Xian Opera House, Shanghai Opera House-China, Ajkun Ballet Theatre-New York. Directing and choreographing engaged from the respective Theaters or producing in collaboration with art organization of such countries with government projects or private founding.
Original choreography by Leonard Ajkun such as: Legacy, The Odyssey of Albania, Goya “The Spanish Master”, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Red, Hamlet, Les Misérables, Revolution, Inferno, America and Notre Dame.
Mr. Ajkun is artistic director of Fanen International Arts (china), Co-founder of Ajkun Ballet Theatre-New York, Founder and Art Director of Ajkun Media Arts and “Century Dance”.