“Both take credit for the good name of the Czech Republic in dance and promote Czech ballet and dance school and choreography to a great extent,” the Ministry commented on the recipients.
Jiří Kylián is an internationally recognized and acknowledged figure of dance choreography. Kylián’s work is intrinsically linked to the Nederlands Dans Theater he joined in the 1970s after he left then Czechoslovakia as a 20-year-old man after the occupation in 1968 and his engagement in the Stuttgart Ballet. He was the artistic director and choreographer of Nederlands Dans Theater in the Hague from 1975 to 1999. He has created about one hundred choreographies, many of which have been staged by leading international companies including the National Theatre in Prague, and he has received many awards from all around the world.
Ivan Liška was born on 8 November 1950 in Prague. After he graduated from the Prague Dance Conservatory, he and his family left for the Federal Republic of Germany. Between 1977 and 1997 he worked at the State Opera in Hamburg. When he was at the top of his artistic development, he had guest performances on stages all around the world. From 1998 to the end of the 2015/2016 season, Ivan Liška was the director of one of the biggest German ballet companies – Bavarian State Ballet in Munich.
Ivan Liška has also contributed to successful cooperation with the representatives of Czech ballet. He has been behind many successful projects presented at dance festivals, organization of masterclasses, authorial choreographies, and productions. Liška has also received the Artist Bohemiae Amicis Award from the Minister of Culture Lubomír Zaorálek.