Lexington dancer lauded at international ballet competition
A member of the Kentucky Ballet Theatre, who will perform in Lexington’s “Ballet Under the Stars,” won a silver medal in an international ballet competition last week.
Jorge Barani, 23, principal dancer at the Kentucky Ballet Theatre, was awarded the silver medal at the Varna International Ballet Competition. Barani applied for the Bulgarian competition earlier this year. Varna accepts 164 international applicants from six continents, a press release from the Kentucky Ballet Theatre states.
A native Cuban, Barani performed multiple solo variations and contemporary works over three rounds, a press release said.
Kentucky Ballet Theatre Artistic Director Norbe Risco coached Barani. He has been at the Kentucky Ballet Theatre since July 2014, a press release said.
“Thanks to all the people who helped me and made this possible,” Barani said in a Facebook post. He dedicated the award to his family.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Kentucky Ballet Theatre Executive Director Brie Lowry. “We are so tickled he has done so well.” Barani’s performance got five curtain calls, she said.
Barani graduated from the National School of Arts in Havana in 2010. His professional career started at the National Ballet of Cuba.
In 2013, he was a double gold medalist in the solo category and pas de deux in the World Ballet Competition in Orlando, Fla., and in July 2015 he won a silver medal in the Korea International Ballet Competition. Earlier this year he won a silver medal at The Vienna International Ballet Competition.
Barani returned to Lexington on Aug. 2 before the company opens its summer season of “Ballet Under the Stars,” the Kentucky Ballet Theatre said.
Barani will perform two contemporary solo pieces that he also performed at Varna. He will also dance as the principal “Solor” character in the first act of “La Bayadere.”
If you go
Ballet Under the Stars
When: 8 p.m., preshow; 9 p.m. main curtain, Aug. 4-7
Where: Woodland Park, 601 E. High St.
Admission: $5; children under 3 are free.