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Espen Giljane was born in Oslo and performed with the New York City Ballet from 1981 to 1995. He also danced with Makarova and Company on Broadway and in Cynthia and Fernando Live at City Center. From 2002 to 2012 he was artistic director of the Norwegian National Ballet. He has been a guest teacher at the New York City Ballet since 1994, and has also taught at the Royal Swedish Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, Finnish National Ballet, School of American Ballet, Alvin Ailey, Feld Ballets NY, Carte Blanche, Cullberg Ballet, Maggio Danza, Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Washington Ballet, Cedar Lake, Steps on Broadway, David Howard Dance Center, and Ballet Academy East. Giljane was the 2009 recipient of the Anders Jahre prize and was knighted by the King of Norway in 2012. He studied with Eva Haalke in Oslo and attended the School of American Ballet. Giljane has been on the faculty at Juilliard since 2015.