Katherine Elizabeth Barkman is an American ballerina who is currently a principal dancer for Ballet Manila, one of the most prestigious ballet companies in Southeast Asia, under the artistic directorship of Philippine prima ballerina Lisa Macuja-Elizalde.
Since joining Ballet Manila, Barkman has debuted in the classical roles of Kitri in Don Quixote, Giselle in Giselle, Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Snow Queen in The Nutcracker, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet and the Grand Pas de Deux in Le Corsaire. She originated the role of Cinderella in Ballet Manila’s world premiere of the said production, as well as the lead role of Corazon in the world premiere of Martin Lawrance's Rebel: EDSA 30. She is currently preparing for her full-length debut of Odette/Odile in Swan Lake this coming October.
Born in New Jersey on December 21, 1996, she spent most of her growing up years in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where she began taking classes at local dance schools while barely three years old.
In 2010, at age 14, she began extensive training with Russian pedagogue, Nadia Pavlenko, a graduate of the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet in St. Petersburg. As a student of Pavlenko, Barkman competed in many regional and international competitions. She received the Gold Medal (Women's Senior Classical Division) at the 2014 Youth American Grand Prix in Philadelphia, and was a finalist at the 2014 Youth American Grand Prix in New York City.
Also in 2014, she was selected to compete at the USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi, where she placed in the semi-finals.
Before completing her training with Pavlenko, Barkman received the Gold Medal for Classical Variations and the Bronze Medal for Contemporary Dance at the 2015 Tanzolymp in Berlin, Germany, as well as the Gold Medal at the Valentina Kozlova International Ballet Competition that same year. She also took home the Bronze Medal at the 2015 Concorso Internazionale di Danza in Spoleto, Italy.
After joining Ballet Manila, she competed at the 2015 Asian Grand Prix in Hong Kong, where she was awarded the Grand Prix's highest honors, as well as a Silver Medal in the Pas de Deux Division.
Since 2016, Barkman has participated as guest principal artist in international festivals and productions in Latvia, Hong Kong, Canada, the USA, and Russia.