Aja Jung

Born in Belgrade in 1972, Aja Jung graduated from the class of ballet pedagogue Marija Janković at the State Ballet School in her home town. She received a two-year scholarship from the Joffrey Ballet School in New York in 1988. During her training in New York, she was simultaneously involved in programs at the Julliard University, the Carnegie Hall’s Neubert Ballet Institute and the Broadway Dance Center. Returning to Europe brings her a role in the Starlight Express musical in Bochum, Germany. Upon her return in Belgrade, she begins her career as a freelance dancer and choreographer, producing four full-evening works: Ophelia in the Mirror, produced by City Ballet and Atelje 212, Belgrade (premiere: Thessaloniki, Greece, August 1992 – Atelje 212, October 1992). Moi, La Meduse, production: City Ballet and Atelje 212, Belgrade, City Theater Corfu, Greece (premiere: Corfu, Greece, January 1994 – Atelje 212, February 1994), Zelle, production: City Ballet and Atelje 212 , Belgrade (premiere: Belgrade, Atelje 212, May 1999), The Josephine Baker’s Story, City Ballet and Belgrade Drama Theater (premiere: New York, USA, August 2002 and Belgrade Drama Theater, October 2002). With this productions she presented herself on important festivals and stages around the world: New York, Toronto, Paris, Arles, Avignon, Athens, Larissa, Rodos, Corfu, Heraklion, Argostoli, La Spezia, Palermo, Bari, Bolzano, Lucca, Pietrasanta, Trieste, Bologna, Livorno, Moscow, Jalapa, Mexico City, Veracruz, Limassol, Nicosia, Kiev, Odessa, Caracas, Dakar, Edinburg, Kaunas, Yerevan, Krakow, Sibiu, Buckarest… As dancer and choreographer, she has received several important awards in Italy, Ukraine and Serbia.
She was one of the founders and artistic director of Corfu Fest in Corfu (2002-2005). She is founder and director of the Belgrade Dance Festival established in 2003. At the very beginning, the Belgrade Dance Festival was awarded by the Jelena Šantić Foundation, while UNESCO proclaimed it a flagship project in the field of culture in Southeast European region (2006), followed by admission to the World Dance Alliance under the auspices of ITI UNESCO. In 2011, the festival was organized under the auspices of the President of the Republic of Serbia and won the Star of Belgrade award by the European Integration Agency. The German magazine BalletTanz, in 2012, labeled the Belgrade Dance Festival as “the most representative manifestation of the old continent” and “trendsetter”. Since 2013, the Festival has been organized under the auspices of the EU Delegation to Serbia. In 2013, the monograph “Decadance – marked the 10th year of the Belgrade Dance Festival. From 2015 to 2017, the festival’s realization was under the auspices of the Serbian Ministry of Culture. The latest editions of the Festival are attended by app 24.000 spectators and 120 accredited journalists.
Aja Jung is the director of the National Dance Foundation, established in 2009 by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Serbia. The Foundation has launched the first private Ballet School, collaborating with well known ballet schools and institutions from Italy, Russia, China and Cuba, and bringing best teachers from abroad. The Foundation has produced several own productions of contemporary choreographers Dana Ruttenberg, Miloš Isailović, Staša Zurovac, Paolo Mangiola, Itsik Galili… and continuously organizes workshops, seminars and master courses of foreign educators. In 2017, the National Foundation’s Ballet School has received accreditation by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Serbia.
Aja Jung has been the Vice President of the European Section of the World Dance Alliance – WDA Europe, ITI UNESCO, based in Rome since 2010. She holds many important international recognitions and she served several important roles in international and local organizations.
According to the decision of the French Minister of Culture, Audrey Azule, she was awarded the Knight of the Order of Arts and Literature in 2016. According to the decision of the President of Italy, Sergio Matarella, in 2018 she was awarded the highest Italian national decoration in the field of culture, the Order of the Italian Star.