Ballet master of the National Theatre Ballet Nelly Danko was born in Lvov, Ukraine. In 1961 she began attending the Kiev State Institute of Choreography, from which she graduated after eight years. In the 1970–71 season she was engaged by the National Theatre Ballet in Prague. She performed as a chorus dancer until 1979. The role of Carmen in the ballet Passion was her first solo part and on the basis of its successful interpretation she received a soloist contract. Audiences had the opportunity to see her as Bathilde and Myrtha’s Companion in Giselle, the Gipsy in Stone Flower and Petrushka, Runa in Raduz and Mahulena, Mrs Capulet in Romeo and Juliet, the Mother and Death in Bouquet, Lady Macbeth in Macbeth, the Beggar in Jennifer, Madge in La Sylphide, the Dresser in Sylvia, as well as performing solo parts in the modern Dialogue of Forms, the lyrical Chopiniada and the unforgettable Spanish Dance in Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, in the role of Mercedes in Don Quixote and many others. Especially worthy of mention is Nelly Danko’s collaboration with the choreographer Libor Vaculík and the stage director Jozef Bednárik. She enacted Norman’s Mother in the ballet Psycho from the mixed bill Little Mr Friedemann / Psycho, Hatred of the Montague Clan in the production of Gounod’s opera Roméo et Juliette, Mrs von Meck in the ballet Tchaikovsky, Sweet Sue in Some Like It… and Isadora Duncan in the ballet of the same name, for which she won the 1998 Thalia Prize. Since 1976 she has worked at the Prague Dance Conservatory, teaching stage practice, classical and character dance. She has also cooperated with the Dance Conservatory of Jitka Tázlarová and Antonín Schneider. In 1985 she completed her studies of dance pedagogy at Prague’s Academy of Performing Arts, where she worked as an external teacher of character dance from 1986. In 1983 she also began teaching at the National Theatre Ballet, where at the present time she works as a ballet master. As a soloist and ballet master, Nelly Danko has collaborated with a number of leading choreographers, including Boris Bregvadze, Yuri Grigorovich, Natalia Dudinska, Konstantin Sergeyev, Peter Darrell, László Seregi, Youri Vàmos and Jiří Kylián.