Pedagogues

Current pedagogues

Jana Jodasová

Head of the Czech National Ballet Preparatory School

She began devoting to ballet at the Czech National Ballet Preparatory School under the tutelage of Naděžda Sobotková (1970–1973). From 1973 to 1976 she attended the Prague State Conservatory under Albína Kliková. After passing all her exams, she began studying at the school’s Dance Department in the class of Olga Pásková. After completing her education, concluding in a graduation performance in the role of the Lilac Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty in 1981, she joined the Czech National Ballet.
She danced in all premieres of both the classical and modern repertoire, including in the productions The Stone Flower, Jennifer, Spartacus, Macbeth, The Bouquet of Flowers, Petrushka and The Firebird, in the suite Paquita, in The Fountain of Bakhchisarai, Ferda the Ant, Isadora Duncan, The Chap-book, The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew, Lucrezia Borgia, Coppélia, La Sylphide, From Fairy Tale to Fairy Tale, La dame aux camélias, Le Bal, Prince Bajaja, Little Mr. Friedemann and Psycho, The Sleeping Beauty, Wary in Vain, Songs of the Night, Les contes d’Hoffmann, Sylvia, Carmen, Cinderella, Some Like It… and Tchaikovsky. 
She also portrayed solo roles in numerous ballets, including the Mother (The Bouquet of Flowers – the part of Lily, 1984), Janinka (Fireflies, 1992), the Guide (Mowgli, 1996), Johannes’s Mother (Little Mr. Friedemann / Psycho, 2000), Sybille (Raymonda, 2001), the Mother and Bathilde (Giselle, 2004), the Nurse (Onegin, 2005). She danced in three Swan Lake productions: in the Spanish Pair solo, as the Queen, and in the roles of swans.
On 1 February 1998, she began working as a pedagogue at the Czech National Ballet Preparatory School. During her time there, she has nurtured numerous young talents and successfully prepared them for exams at the Dance Conservatory in Prague. She has also trained and guided pupils in acclaimed Czech National Ballet performances – Goldilocks, The Nutcracker and La Sylphide / Napoli. Moreover, since 2004 she has been a Czech National Ballet rehearsal accompanist.
With effect from 1 January 2011, she was appointed head of the Czech National Ballet Preparatory School.

Monika Kysilová

Pedagogue of the Czech National Ballet Preparatory School

Born in Prague, she received her first dance lessons at the age of three. When she was six, she began attending the Czech National Ballet Preparatory School (under the tutelage of Naděžda Sobotková and Dagmar Špryslová). From 1988 to 1996 she studied at the Prague Dance Conservatory. In 1996 she was engaged by the Czech National Ballet. Audiences have seen her in the productions Swan Lake (Pas de trois), Cinderella (Fairy), Giselle (Companions), La Sylphide, Raymonda, Ballet Mania, Onegin, The Nutcracker – A Christmas Carol, etc.

 

Pavla Zusková

Pedagogue of the Czech National Ballet Preparatory School

Born in Prague, studied at the Prague Dance Conservatory, from which she graduated in 1997. In the same year she joined the National Theatre as a member of the ballet company, where in 2005 she became a demi-soloist. Her classical solo roles include the Spanish Dance and Pas de trois in Swan Lake, Myrtha’s Companion in Giselle, the Courtesan in John Cranko’s The Taming of the Shrew, the Indian Dance in Yuri Grigorovich’s The Nutcracker, the Arabian Dance and Solo Waltz in the ballet The Nutcracker – A Christmas Carol, choreographed by Youri Vàmos, Pas de six in Act III of the ballet Napoli and Raymonda’s Friend in Yuri Grigorovich’s Raymonda. She has also danced in Onegin, Romeo and Juliet, Goldilocks, Ballet Mania and La Sylphide.
When it comes to the modern repertoire, she has appeared in Alvin Ailey’s choreography The River (solo duet), Jiří Kylián’s The Child and Magic, Petite Mort and Sinfonietta, George Balanchine’s Who Cares?, Itzik Galili’s Through Nana’s Eyes and Petr Zuska’s Among the Mountains, Ways 03, Requiem, Ibbur, or A Prague Mystery, D.M.J. 1953 – 1977 and BREL - VYSOTSKY - KRYL / Solo for Three.

Gallery of pedagogues

Naděžda Sobotková

(* 20. 4. 1923, † 20. 3. 2014)

Studied with the pedagogues A. Handlová and J. Nikolská. In 1956 she graduated in dance education from the Dance Department of the Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts. She has worked at the National Theatre since 1939. In 1948 she was appointed a soloist and in 1959 ballet master and head of the National Theatre Opera ballet section. She applied her technical skills and powers of expression in the roles of, to name but a few: the Woman in The Mill for Women, May, the Water Lilly and New Year in the ballet From Fairy Tale to Fairy Tale, the Goddess of Light in Prometheus, Tao-Cho in Red Poppy, Lotta in The Philosopher’s Story, the Water Nymph in Victorka, the Ugly Sister in Cinderella, Anička in Jánošík, Amor in Flames of Paris and the Butterfly in Carnival.
As an assistant choreographer, she has worked on numerous productions: The Miracles of Mary, Les contes d’Hoffmann, Carmen, Tamerlane, Der Freischutz, Manon Lescaut, Mirandolina, Eva, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, The Brandenburgers in Bohemia, Copernicus, Libuše, The Greek Passion, Master Jeroným, A Christmas Night Story, The Dogheads, Falstaff and Betrothal in a Monastery.
From 1983 to 2010 she was head of the Czech National Ballet Preparatory School. Under her management, the school further developed, was widely promoted among the public and its pupils successfully appeared in Czech National Ballet performances. Highly acclaimed was their show marking the 50th anniversary of the school’s renewal. In 1998 Naďa Sobotková received a Senior Prix from the Artist’s Life foundation.

Dagmar Špryslová

(*27. 7. 1929, † 12. 10. 2014)

Pedagogue of the Ballet Preparatory School between 1977 and 2011.

Dagmar Špryslová studied with E. Nikolska and Z. Zabylová. In 1944, she was engaged at the National Theatre in Prague, where she would serve for some 33 years. She appeared in all Czech National Ballet productions, as well as in dance scenes in operas, mainly portraying rounded female characters and roles requiring a vivid, spirited rendition. She performed in the Dance of the Priestesses in Aida, as the Cobbler in Cinderella, the Girl’s Companion in Spring Symphony, she appeared in Moravian Dances, performed the Gypsy Dance in Carmen, the Queen and the Grandmother in From Fairy Tale to Fairy Tale, the Harem Maid in The Fountain of Bakhchisaray, the Bacchanalia in Tannhäuser, the Nurse in Petrushka, the Mother in The Nutcracker, the Nurse in Othello, Bertha in Giselle, the Queen in Swan Lake, and she also danced in the productions The Strange Adventures of Arthur Rowe and Rigoletto. Between 1977 and 2011, she worked as a teacher at the National Theatre Ballet Preparatory School, where she nurtured and prepared dozens of pupils for their future studies and artistic careers.

In 2000, she received the Senior Prix from the Nadace Život umělce (Life of an Artist) foundation.

MgA. Věra Ždichyncová

(*17. 02. 1922)

One of the founders of the Ballet Preparatory School at 1953. Pedagogue of the Ballet Preparatory School between 1953 and 1963.

Born in Prague, Věra Ždichyncová was a pupil of H. Štěpánková and H. Bekeffi. In 1956, she graduated from the Dance Department of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague as a dance educator and completed her studies with O. A. Ilyina at the Prague Dance Conservatory. Between 1931 and 1941, she was as soloist of the ballet company of the State Theatre in Ostrava, from 1942 to 1944, she was engaged at Konigsberg (Kaliningrad). In the 1945/46 season, she danced at the Fifth of May Theatre in Prague. In 1946–1947 and 1959–1962, she was again engaged in Ostrava. In 1948, she joined the National Theatre in Prague. A distinguished educator, she worked at the Dance Department of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague from 1958 to 1987. In addition to classical dance, she also taught yoga. She co-authored (in tandem with Olga Pásková) the lecture notes Rudiments of Classical Dance (SPN, Prague, 1973) and the textbook Rudiments of Classical Dance (SPN, Prague, 1978). She was the mother of Pavel Ždichynec, a Czech National Ballet dancer.

Doc. Olga Pásková

(*15. 6. 1923, † 10. 1. 2003)

One of the founders of the Ballet Preparatory School at 1953. Head of the preparatory school between 1953 and 1983.

She received the rudiments of dance training in Brno, where she attended Máša Cvejčová’s school and Ivo Váňa Psota’s classes, familiarising herself with the Russian ballet technique. In 1939, she joined the ballet company of the Provincial Theatre in Brno, where she got to know the work of Saša Machov, who choreographed E. F. Burian’s production of Dyk’s Piped Piper. When she heard that Machov had been appointed artistic director of the National Theatre Ballet company in Prague, she (along with her colleague Miroslav Kůra) enrolled in an audition, following which she was engaged. In 1946, she became a member of the Czech National Ballet.  In 1951, she began studying dance education at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague under the guidance of Mariana Tymichová. In 1953, together with Naďežda Sobotková and Věra Ždichyncová, she assumed a teaching post at the reorganised National Theatre Ballet School. Following the secretary Otta Stočes’s retirement, she was named director of the institution, which would come to be known as the National Theatre Ballet Preparatory School. Olga Páskova taught there until 1983. Moreover, she collaborated as an educator with the Czech-Slovak Song and Dance Company, the Military Artistic Ensemble and Laterna magika, and she also trained some of the female members of the national gymnastics team (including, for instance, the young Věra Čáslavská, whom she prepared for the World Championships). In the 1960/61 school year, Olga Pásková began working as an external teacher at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, where in 1963 she was appointed assistant professor. She and Věra Ždichyncová taught the classical dance methodology and technique at the Dance Department, they jointly wrote the lecture notes on the rudiments of classical dance and methodology (Volume I and II, 1972), and completed their new edition (1983). The SPN publisher issued their textbook Rudiments of Classical Dance (1978) and its second edition (1986). Furthermore, Olga Pásková translated from Russian into Czech N. Bazarova’s book Classical Dance (SPN, Prague, 1985) and N. Bazarova – V. May’s The Alphabet of Classical Dance (SPN, Prague, 1980). In 1980, Olga Pásková was appointed a senior lecturer at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, where she served as a teacher until 1991. Of great significance too was her educational work at the Dance Department of the Prague Conservatory and the Prague Dance Conservatory, where in 1968 she stood in for Zora Šemberová and later, following her emigration, she took over her and another two classes. Olga Pásková taught at the Prague Dance Conservatory until 1989. As one of the few dance educators, she had the opportunity to concurrently work at all three levels of dance training, which duly reflected in her practical and theoretical achievements. In 2001, the Nadace Život umělce (Life of an Artist) foundation awarded her the Senior Prix.