Ballet – from 1940 to 1948

In the development of Slovak ballet the period from 1940 to 1945 is inextricably linked with the name of Maximilian Froman, Artistic Director of the Slovak National Theatre Ballet, who was a representative of the Russian ballet school and former member of Sergej Diagilev’s Ballets Russes. Before his arrival in Bratislava he worked in Zagreb and Belgrade. Froman introduced the Slovak public to the ballet performances that he knew from the time when he was working with Diagilev.
The transitional period of 1945-1948 brought problems almost identical to those which had been faced during the early years of Slovak ballet, namely a lack of qualified staff, creative personalities and performers. At this time the only ballet school which taught dance artistes to a level high enough for the professional ballet companies was that of Ella Fuchsova-Lehotska. Once again, help came from Czech ballet circles, and in particular from dance practitioners Stanislav Remar and Rudolf Macharovsky, together with performers such as Eliska Slancova, Jitka Mnackova, Miroslav Kura, Magdalena Panova and others. Other influential individuals during this period included Tamara Isicenková, Jozef Zajko and graduates of the Ella Fuchsova-Lehotska School, Augusta Starostova, Gertruda Mucksteinova and Katarina Gratzerova.
The ballet ensemble of the State Theatre Košice started as a mini-sized ballet ensemble led by Zdenko Hornung and Hilda Hauptova. However the ensemble was not formally established until after the arrival of Stanislav Remar, who became its Artistic Director for the 1947-1948 season after performing in 1946-1947 as a soloist at the Slovak National Theatre in Bratislava.