Albanian Dancer Ilir Kerni Appointed Director of Ballet Theater in Croatia

Ilir Kerni, an acclaimed Albanian ballet dancer, was appointed director of ballet at the Split National Theater of Opera and Ballet in Croatia for the next four years.

Yesterday he announced he will take over his new position at one of Croatia’s oldest theaters starting from 1 October.

Kerni, 60, one of most renowned Albanian ballet dancers, was the former director of Albania’s only national theater of opera and ballet for almost three years from 2013 to 2016.

In July 2016, he resigned from the post over the low government funding of arts. He said the budget for the theater he led was “a possible Guinness World record.”

“Without mentioning regional countries, only Kosovo has a budget nine times higher on artistic programs. This were times of passion, dedication, hope and pure ideals for the only opera house in Albanian-speaking territories,” Kerni said when he resigned.

The Ministry of Culture stated that “any resignation is an individual and voluntary act that cannot be commented.”

Ermonela Jaho, another Albanian artist and one of the world’s most acclaimed sopranos, congratulated both Kerni, as well as the Croatian theater “[…] for their vision and appreciation of a valuable artistic [asset] of Albanian nationality […]”.