Danced, choreographed, created and co-created over 125 ballet, theatre and opera productions.
2013 Awarded for outstanding achievement for directing and choreographing in Slovenia. Declared as creator of a new milestone in the quality and expression of classical ballet today.
2015 KYOTO PRIZE NOMINEE in Creative Arts and Moral Sciences.
BEST PRODUCTION 2014/2015 – Romeo and Juliet was recognized as the winner in category best production – “Latvijas Gāze Annual Award 2015”.
2016 special ORLANDO PRIZE in Dubrovnik Festival for top quality achievements in dance for the last 4 seasons.
2017 GLAZER PRIZE winner for her brand new ballet creation YEWGENY ONEGIN.
DANCE EUROPE MAGAZINE (January 2017) wrote; It takes a person of integrity and courage to present a brand new version of Onegin, given the general consensus that John Cranko’s iconic classic is the final word on the subject. The Ballet of the Slovene National Theater in Maribor has this in Valentina Turcu…she already has 125 productions under her belt as choreographer and director, not just in ballet and contemporary dance, but in theatre, music and opera, too. It is also clear that her great love of literature has had an immense impact on how she translates the written word into movement. Her attention to detail, particularly in drawing the characters, is astute and she has managed to create a production in which both the storytelling and the choreography are as one. There wasn’t a dancer on stage who didn’t believe in what they were portraying and this must be down to Turcu’s commitment and her ability to instill this vital element into her dancers. This is a homage to Pushkin and a triumph for The Ballet of the Slovene National Theatre.
DANCE EUROPE MAGAZINE in 2013 wrote for Valentina Turcu’s Romeo and Juliet:
”Female ballet choreographers are still in short supply, but I suspect it won’t be too long before Valentina Turcu’s name is more widely known on the strength of this, her first full evening ballet. …she has created a Romeo and Juliet that is bursting with passion. While signposting every dramatic turn and giving depth to each character, she moves the action forward at a breathtaking pace. …The balcony scene pas de deux is one of pure ecstasy. …Turcu has used her innate theatrical instincts and considerable theater experience throughout. …choreography is firmly built on the classical vocabulary, but used with flexibility and inventiveness to enhance the characterizations. …Each scene is given its rightful place and meaning. …In the midst of the high passion and the awesome dance there are moments of quiet drama that anchor the ballet…Energy and passion generated by the performers left an audience exhausted and exhilarated.”
Classical ballet dancer and professional choreographer Valentina Turcu is one of the most highly regarded outstanding artists in Slovenia and neighboring countries. Her creations range from award-winning classical ballet performances to contemporary dance works as well as choreography and stage movement for operas, theatre plays and instrumental and dance concerts.
Born in Zagreb, Croatia, Valentina discovered her passion for theatre at an early age. She mastered the classical ballet technique with her parents, internationally renowned ballet artists. In search of further development, she was admitted to Béjart Ballet Lausanne and was tutored by Maurice Bejart. Her diverse and remarkable dance skills were developed at Rudra Béjart Academy, where she enriched her repertory and knowledge with many challenging roles, coached by Michel Gascard, David Howard, Suzanne Farrell, Azari Plisetsky, Carolyn Carlson, Malou Artaud, Gilbert Mayer, Timothy Gordon, Wolfgang Stollwitzer among others .
After returning to Slovenia, the appearance in Edward Clug’s Tango established her as one of the most accomplished dancers in the region. Among her other notable appearances were in the international theatre production Silence of the Balkans on music by Goran Bregović, directed by Tomaž Pandur and choreographed by Edward Clug and Architecture of Silence that opened the Singapore Arts Festival in 2008. In October 2013, Turcu received Slovenian State Award for Outstanding achievement for directing and choreographing ballet Romeo and Juliet. For the Association of Ballet Artists of Slovenia, Turcu’s work is setting a new milestone in quality and expression of classical ballet today.
In 2016, Valentina Turcu created a whole new music concept, dramaturgy and choreography for Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin at the SNT Maribor. The production was highly prized and awarded by critics and public in Slovenia and abroad. Working in Germany, in April 2017 – she made for Augsburg Ballet a brand new exhilarant version of ballet Carmen.
For 2017 she is working on a brand new ballet production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni that will be created for Latvian National Ballet of Riga.
In 2018 she is creating Death in Venice by Thomas Mann – a world premiere for Croatian National Ballet in Zagreb.
Valentina’s most acclaimed choreographies until now are Prokofiev’s Romeo & Juliet created in November 2012 for the Ballet of Slovene National Theatre of Maribor, Latvian National Ballet of Riga 2014 and Metz Metropole Opera, France, in 2015. In April 2014, she designed the music concept, dramaturgy and staging of the novel Anna Karenina for the Croatian National Theatre’s Ballet in Zagreb. In August 2014, she created and co-choreographed a new ballet Dangerous Liaisons for the co-production of Dubrovnik Summer Festival, Ljubljana Festival and Slovene National Theatre Maribor.
Bizet/Schedrin’s Carmen was created in 2011 for the Ballet of Croatian National Theatre of Split, and was re-created with the great success in 2014 for the Slovene National Theatre of Maribor. Ravel´s Bolero, was also choreographed for the Ballet of CNT Split. It was performed in Istanbul, as a part of the performances marking the town’s European Capital of Culture 2010. Other notable choreographies include Brahms’ Hungarian dances and Khachaturian’s Masquerade Waltz for the SNT Maribor; Tarde, J. S. Bach’s Partita and Handel’s Lascia ch’io pianga were created for the Slovene International Ballet Galas 2011 and 2012.
In July 2012, Valentina was invited to make a choreography of a new piece for the Covent Garden Dance Company and to take a part in their programme International Stars of Ballet and Dance.
During the season 2011/2012 a very successful creation of Bernard Schlink’s The Reader enriched her directing experience. She worked with a soprano Allison Bell on exciting project Pierrot Lunaire by Arnold Schoenberg. Her choreographies for opera divertissements and stage movement for Lakmé, Carmen, La Bohème, Die Fledermaus, Les contes d’Hoffmann, My Fair Lady, Coronazione di Poppea were described as fresh and surprising, containing musical precision and a unique style. Using the technique of a pastiche she created a biographical play La Callas, a tribute to the legendary soprano, comprising opera and ballet in a visually enchanting setting to create a total work of art.
Turcu choreographed more then 40 theatre performances, including Christopher Hampton’s Dangerous Liaisons, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, The Tempest, Twelfth Night, Henry IV, Molière’s Le Bourgeois gentilhomme, Cervantes’s Don Quixotte, Stoker’s Dracula, Ionesco’s La Cantatrice chauve, Les Rhinocéros, Andersen’s Snow Queen, Lorca’s Bodas de sangre, Brecht’s Die Dreigroschenoper, Ibsen’s Peer Gynt and Bulgakov’s Master and Marguerite.
Valentina received numerous awards, among them the bronze medal from the World Dancing Competition in Nagoya, Japan. Her choreography titled Rosemary was regarded as The most innovative choreography by the jury at the Slovene Ballet Dancers Competition in 2007.
In 2008, she was awarded for her work in the field of ballet, opera and drama by the Slovene Association of Ballet Artists. The jury specified: By mastering the dance-theatrical expressions and using in-depth interpretations, she reaches the highest level of stage maturity and awareness. She enriches our stages with her charismatic personality. Her body expression simply opens up new dimensions in the understanding of the art of dance.