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Judge Aivars Leimanis

AIVARS LEIMANIS is the Artistic Director of the Latvian National Ballet Company since 1993.

In 1976 he graduated from the Riga Choreography School. From 1989 until 1995 he studied at The Faculty of Ballet Masters of the Russian Academy of Theatre Arts (GITIS), specialty of choreographer. In 1995 he obtained the degree of the Master of Arts.

He was a ballet soloist of the Latvian National Ballet from 1976 until 1996 where his repertoire included leading roles in ballets The Nutcracker, Giselle, Don Quixote, Sleeping Beauty, Le Corsaire, Cinderella among others.

He has represented Latvian art in more than 40 countries including the USA, France, China, Great Britain, Argentina etc.

As a guest soloist, he has danced together with Bolshoi ballet, Ballet Philippines, Moscow Festival Ballet and other ballet companies in Czech Republic, Russia, and Azerbaijan. From 1989 until 1993 he danced in the Star Group of Vladimir Vasilyev and Yekaterina Maksimova.

At the Latvian National Ballet he has choreographed and staged many ballets: Francesca da Rimini, The Life, Fuete, Atlantis, La Bayadère, Le Corsaire, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Raymonda, Don Quihote, Coppélia, The Fountain of Bakhchisaray, At the Blue Danube and ballet Karlsson Flies... that received the Latvian Great Music Award and special prize of “Latvijas Gāze” as Best Performance of the Year.

He has staged dances for opera Aida (productions in Riga and Slovenia) and opera Rose and Blood, as well as ballet miniatures (Award as the Best Choreographer in Budapest '98). Staged Lake of a Hundred Swans in Tallinn (co-production of Latvian and Estonian ballet), Giselle in Croatia and ballet Le Corsaire in Slovenia.

From 1999 until 2005 he combined the work in Latvian National Ballet with the position of the Board Member of the Riga City Council. From 1999 until 2001 he was a Chairman of the Committee of Culture, Art and Religion at the Riga City Council.

He is the Chairman of the Jury at the International Baltic ballet Competition, Member of Jury in ballet competitions in Korea, Russia and Sweden.

In 2003, he was awarded the Latvian Three-Star Order.

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