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PRIZES FOR BALLET DANCERS and induction into the Hall of Fame



Upon the opening of a new season, the General Director of the National Theatre announces the awarding of the Prize for Artists up to 35 Years of Age. Serving to motivate and inspire, it is an expression of recognition of extraordinary achievements and energy that make the world more beautiful and cultivated.

This year, the prize went to Irina Burduja, a Czech National Ballet first soloist, who has adorned our company for a decade.  

Owing to her tender appearance, beauty and magnetism, she has been an ideal performer of young girls. In 2020, her sensitive portrayal of the devoted Olga in John Cranko’s adaptation of Onegin earned her a nomination for the coveted Thalia Prize. Following her psychologically profound performance of the title role in Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet, Irina was promoted to first soloist. A truly professional and versatile artist, she has dazzled in classical, contemporary and neoclassical choreographies alike. With her immaculate technique enhanced by physical attraction and singular personal qualities, Irina possesses great stage presence.

Hana Vláčilová, a Czech National Ballet soloist emeritus, was inducted into the Hall of Fame. She particularly enthralled audiences as a gracious, frail, trustful and damaged Giselle, and also excelled in other roles, including Kitri in Don Quixote, Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Clara in The Nutcracker, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Phrygia in Spartacus and Odette/Odile in Swan Lake. A prima ballerina in her own right, Hana was synonymous with excellent technique, refined expression of dramatic nuances and great sense of music, yet she was above all a forcible personality with a singular aura. Admired and adored, ballet lovers used to come to the theatre so as to see Hana in the flesh, as they were guaranteed to witness something astonishing.

After terminating her career as a dancer, she went on to pass on her ample experience: as the artistic director of Laterna magika and the State Opera Ballet company, and, most significantly, a renowned teacher, connoisseur and expert in staging classical ballet repertoire.

Congratulations! We wish the artists all the very best and numerous further successes!