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History

The beginnings of ballet education for children date back to 1835, when Johann Raab undertook to establish a ballet school within the Estates Theatre in Prague. Between 1862 and 1868 Franz C. Liegert, Marie Kneislová and Marie Hentzová taught children at Prague’s Provisional Theatre. Hentzová assumed the task of officially founding the preparatory school (1868–1880) and taught there together with Karolina Höflichová (1880–1883) and Františka ze Schöpfů (1881–1899).

Following the opening of the National Theatre, the ballet prep school existed on and off (1883–1953). It was officially managed by the Ballet’s artistic directors Václav Reisinger (1883–1884), Augustin Berger (in 1883 he taught there, as the ensemble’s chief he headed the school in 1894–1900 and 1912–1923 in tandem with his wife Giulietta Paltrinieri), Achille Viscusi (1901–1912), Remislav Remislavsky (1923–1928), Jaroslav Hladík (1928–1933; during his directorship Remislavsky alternated as a teacher; primarily Helena Štěpánková and Zdenka Zabylová carried out pedagogic work), Jelizaveta Nikolská along with Joe Jenčík (1934–1945). Also playing a vital role at the ballet prep school were Václav Pohan (1924–1933 and 1945–1953), Emanuel Famíra (1945–1946) and Saša Machov (1946–1951).