Emanouela Merdjanova


Emanouela Merdjanova, born in Sofia, Bulgaria, had too much energy as a child. Rhythmic gymnastics appealed to her more than ballet, but because there was no subsidised training for it, she spent several years at the State Choreographic School (now Sofia National School of Dance Art) instead, which combined training in ballet and folk dance. On graduating, Emanouela danced with the Sofia Opera and Ballet, the Jeune Ballet de France and the Ballet du Capitole in Toulouse. In 2002, she joined Dutch National Ballet, where she was promoted to coryphée in 2005. In order to challenge herself further, she switched to the Finnish National Ballet in 2012, returning a year and a half later as a grand sujet to the Dutch National Ballet, which she calls her ‘home’. In 2012 she was promoted to soloist. Emanouela won the Anastras Petrov Award in 1997 and a special prize at the famous ballet competition in Varna in 1998.


  • With Dutch National Ballet since:  2002
  • Place of birth:  Sofia (Bulgaria)
  • Career with Dutch National Ballet:  Soloist (2012), grand sujet (2011), coryphée (2005), corps de ballet (2002)
  • Previously danced with:  Sofia Opera and Ballet (Sofia, Bulgaria), Jeune Ballet de France (Paris, France), Ballet du Capitole (Toulouse, France)
  • Training:  State Choreografic School (Sofia, Bulgaria)
  • Awards:  1998, Internationale Ballet Competitie (Varna, Bulgaria), 1e 1997, Grand Prix Anastas Petrov (Sofia, Bulgaria)