Iván Markó, Kossuth Prize-winning dance artist, choreographer, founder, and long-time director of the Győr Ballet, has died at the age of 75.
Iván Markó was born in Balassagyarmat in 1947, graduated from the State Ballet Institute in ’67, and then signed a contract with the Hungarian State Opera. In 1971, he became a principal dancer at the Opera House, but he did not stay long, because a year later he became the leading soloist of the Brussels company of French choreographer Maurice Béjart. International critics ranked him among the world’s ten best dancers as early as 1974. One of his most famous roles in Béjart’s company was in The Firebird, which he danced several times in Budapest, 24.hureports.
In 1979 he returned home and founded the Győr Ballet, where he was director until 1991. From 1985 he was the permanent choreographer of the Bayreuth Festival. Until 1992 he was ballet master and choreographer at the Rubin Academy in Jerusalem, and from 1993 he was a guest choreographer in Vienna, Paris, and Sydney. In 1996 he founded the Hungarian Ballet Festival.
In 1981 he was awarded the Meritorious Artist Prize, in 1983 the Kossuth Prize, and in 1985 the SZOT Prize. In 2005 he became a permanent member of the Society of Immortals. He was awarded the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary in 2007. In the same year, he was made an honorary citizen of his home town ofBalassagyarmat. In 2008 he was awarded the Prima Primissima Prize, writesBlikk.
Featured image: A performance of the Győr Ballet with soloist Iván Markó. Photo by Tamás Urbán/Fortepan