Irina BurdujaFirst soloist of The Czech National Ballet
Irina Burduja launched her professional career in 2010 as a member of the ballet company of the State Opera Prague. In the 2012/13 season, she was engaged at the Czech National Ballet, where in 2015 she was named a demi-soloist. In April 2021, Irina was promoted to soloist. A tender, youthful and attractive appearance makes her an ideal performer of young girls. She received a nomination for the Thalia Prize 2020 for her portrayal of Olga in Cranko’s Onegin, having been praised for technical excellence combined with the ability to express the right degree of light-heartedness and joviality. The successful portrayal of the title character in the Czech premiere of the ballet Romeo and Juliet by John Cranko brought Irina to the first soloist in February 2022.
Born in Kishinev, Moldavia, Irina Burduja began devoting to ballet at the age of seven. After completing her studies at the State Dance Conservatory of Moldova (1998–2009), she enrolled at the Prague Dance Conservatory (2009–2010). While still a student, she garnered a number of accolades, with the most significant being first prize at the International Dance Competition in Ukraine (2007) and an honourable mention at the International Ballet Competition in Brno (2009).
As a Czech National Ballet dancer, she has appeared in numerous roles, including Cupid and Kitri’s friend in Don Quixote (Jaroslav Slavický, Hana Vláčilová), the Pas de deux in Giselle (Hana Vláčilová), Clara and the Chinese Dancer in The Nutcracker – A Christmas Carol (Youri Vàmos), and the Fox in The Snow Queen (Michael Corder). She has captured attention as Gamzatti and in the Shadow variation in La Bayadére (Javier Torres), in Pas de trois, Pas de quatre and the Neapolitan Dance in Swan Lake (John Cranko), in the Spanish Dance in Swan Lake (Kenneth Greve), and she has performed as the Blind Fairy and Volante – the Fairy of Courage in The Sleeping Beauty (Javier Torres), the Juggler in Romeo and Juliet (Petr Zuska) and Cécile de Volanges in Valmont (Libor Vaculík).
Irina has also danced in modern and neoclassical choreographies, including Cacti (Alexander Ekman), Kylián – Bridges of Time (Jiří Kylián), Tremble, Solo for the Two of Us (Petr Zuska), Serenade (George Balanchine), Le Sacre du printemps (Glen Tetley), Aspects (Katarzyna Kozielska) and KAFKA: The Trial (Mauro Bigonzetti).