Biography Christiane Palha

Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Christiane started dancing at a very early childhood. At the age of 6 she began to take ballet lessons with her mother Suely Palha who was also a pianist accompanying ballet classes of professional dancers. From 10 years old Christiane started taking lessons from Russian ballet teacher Tatiana Leskova and then later with Eugenia Feodorova. At the age of 12 Christiane got the gold medal and discovery prize at the International Ballet Competition in Rio de Janeiro (C.B.D.D.). 

Christiane was 14 when she had her first important international experience when she got a scholarship to study in Los Angeles at the Stanley Holden Dance Center. She was then prepared to take part in the Prix de Lausanne in Switzerland (International Classical Ballet Competion) where she got the "Prix Espoir". With this prize Christiane had a scholarship to study at the Academie de Danse Classique Princess Grace in Monaco. In 1991 she moved to London to study at the Royal Ballet School were she got her graduation 2 years later.

In London Christiane got the Arnold Haskell Award given by Dame Alicia Markova. In 1993 Wayne Eagling (director of the Dutch National Ballet in Amsterdam, HNB) offered Christiane a contract to join the Dutch ballet company.

At the Dutch National Ballet Christiane performed several solo roles from choreographers such as Sir Peter Wright, Sir Frederic Ashton, Twyla Tarp, George Balanchine, William Forsythe, Hans van Manen and Rudi van Dantzig.

In 2001 Christiane decided to explore other directions using her broad dance experience. She studied and got certified as a Gyrotonic Expansion System trainer and next to that Christiane fulfilled her old dream to learn Argentinian Tango.

The Tango took Christiane to Buenos Aires where she spent a lot of time leaning from the best maestros and dancing at the Milongas (Tango salons) of Buenos Aires. In 2003 the legendary Tango dancer Carlos Gavito invited Christiane to dance with him in the film "Exiliado en el Cielo". Also with the maestro Gavito Christiane performed in the Salon Canning in Buenos Aires a part of their Tango from the film. 

In 2004 the German / Sirian theater director Ola Mafaalani asked Christiane to dance and act the role of Juliette next to leading dutch actor Pierre Bokma in the production of Romeo & Juliette by Toneel Groep Amsterdam, touring in the Netherlands and Belgium (see video). 

In 2005 the acclaimed Russian violinist Maxim Vengerov invited Christiane to perform the Tango with him at the world premiere of the Viola Tango Rock Concerto composed by Benjamin Yusupov. The same Tango Maxim and Christiane performed together in Moscow for the celebration of the 50th anniversary of maestro Rostropovich & Galina Vishnevskaya in the presence of several Royal families members and state leaders. Christiane also participated in the film/documentary "Living the Dream" with Maxim Vengerov, produced and directed by Ken Howard. This film has been broadcasted for television in various countries around the world and released on DVD by EMI.

Christiane was chosen by British film director Sally Potter to dance Tango in her new production of the Opera Carmen by English National Opera (ENO) at the London Coliseum. Christiane's image was used to advertise the production in London.

Since 2007 Christiane has been a guest teacher at Linus Aabye's Tango school in Copenhagen and together they taught and performed at the England Tango Festival.

In the Netherlands Christiane performed with trumpet player Andre Heuvelman and the Netherlands Blazer Ensemble at the New Year's Concert at the Concertgebouw and in Andre's performance "Windkracht". Also in the Netherlands she performed with the Residentie Orchestra and bandoneon player Carel Kraayenhof.

From 2010 Christiane started the TANGO AT THE CASTLE series of tango performances and tango salons (at Kasteel Amerongen), in cooperation with NOTV / Robert Koumans. The first performance was EN LAS SOMBRAS, an audiovisual live performance inspired by the Argentine poem ‘EN LAS SOMBRAS’ (Manuel Meaños, 1936), with video by (also former National Ballet dancer) Altin Kaftira.

Website: www.christianepalha.com

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