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Růžena Mazalová left us



Růžena Mazalová died on March 13, 2019. The late ballet mistress, teacher, choreographer and former ballerina would turn 93 this summer. Undoubtedly she was one of the greatest experts and most fervent propagators of classical ballet and her enormous élan vital, perfectionism and dedication inspired several generations of dancers at home and abroad.

She was born to a big music-loving Czech-Russian family. After short engagements in Tyl Theatre in Nusle, German Theatre and State Opera (after the war) she came to the National Theatre in 1947. Under the tutelage of Saša Machov, ballet master, choreographer and artistic director of the Czech National Ballet (since 1948), she was lucky to take part in the creation of the post-war ballet scene. Already in her first season 1947/48 at the age of twenty she danced successfully the role of Step-mother in Prokofiev’s Cinderella.

She studied ballet in Prague and experienced her first success here, later she went to Moscow. After studying there for five years she returned to Prague in 1956 as choreographer and ballet mistress. She became the soloist in the National Theatre and danced there until 1968, she also worked as choreographer and teacher at the Prague Conservatory.

In 1969 she became a part of the German Oper am Rhein in Duisburg and spent sixteen years working there as ballet mistress, choreographer of mostly classical works and since 1970 as assistant to the artistic director Erich Walter. One of the greatest German ballet companies of the time flourished under her influence, she left an indelible mark there. The creative duo Walter–Mazalová became legendary.

In 2008 Růžena Mazalová received the Thalia Prize for lifetime achievement.

Rest in peace, Růžena!