Ivan Liška

Ivan Liška

Director Bayerisches Staatsballett II / Junior Company

Born in Prague in 1950, Ivan Liška trained at the Prague Conservatory. After graduation in 1969, he emigrated to dance with the Ballett der Deutschen Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf, Germany.

From 1974 to 1977 he was a Soloist with the Ballet of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich (Staatsballett since 1989) and then went to become Principal Dancer with the Hamburg Ballet where he danced many leading roles in John Neumeier's creations – A Midsummer Night's Dream, Matthew Passion, As You Like It, ballets to Gustav Mahler Symphonies I, III, IV, IX, X, Peer Gynt, Odysseus - as well as in works by Jerome Robbins, Murray Louis, John Cranko, Hans van Manen, Lar Lubovitch, Maurice Béjart, Antony Tudor, George Balanchine and Jíři Kylián. Guest appearances, as Onegin with Natalia Makarova beside others, lead him to Paris, London, New York and other cities in the world. Alongside Marcia Haydée, as Maguerite, he danced the role of Armand in the famous tv production of John Neumeier's Lady of the Camellias. He also won the Plissetskaja-Competition award as 'best partner in dance'.

In 1997, Liška moved to Munich to prepare for his office as Ballet Director of the Bayerisches Staatsballett. In 1998 he started his first season with the company. Until 2016, when he gave over the Artistic Direction to Igor Zelensky, he has not only increased the number of classical recreations of the St. Petersburg-Era with ballets such as Raymonda and his productions of Sleeping Beauty and Le Corsaire after Marius Petipa, he has also initiated various contemporary creations for the Bayerisches Staatsballett including Emma B. by Jean Grand-Maitre, Le Sacre du printemps by Saburo Teshigawara, Händel/Corelli by Lucinda Childs, After Dark by Jacopo Godani and The Silver Rose by Graeme Murphy. Further works of the repertoire: Portraits of Jíři Kylián, Mats Ek, John Neumeier and his A Cinderella Story, Hans van Manen, William Forsythe's Artifact, the second detail, Limb's Theorem, George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins and Kenneth MacMillan's Manon as well as works by Martin Schläpfer, Simone Sandroni, Terence Kohler, Jörg Mannes, Nacho Duato, Merce Cunningham and Richard Siegal. Under Liška's direction the Bayerisches Staatsballett has toured to Russia, Hungary, Germany, Spain, India, Italy, Prague, Greece, Turkey, China, Taiwan, Austria, France and Oman.

In 2007 the Bavarian State Ministry awarded Liška with the medal for special earnings for Bavaria in a united Europe. In 2008, he received the Outstanding Contribution Prize for Cultural Exchange by the Chinese Ministry of Culture. On July 9, 2009, Bavarian prime minister Horst Seehofer awarded him with the Bavarian Order of Merit.

In February 2012, he was honoured with the German Dance Price for his world carrier as a dancer and his work as Artistic Director of the Bavarian State Ballett. In November 2012, Horst Seehofer awarded Ivan Liška the highest honor of the State of Bavaria: The Maximilian Order for outstanding achievements in arts sciences.

In 2010, together with Konstanze Vernon who sadly passed away in January 2013, and Jan Broeckx, Director of the Ballet-Academy Munich, Ivan Liška founded the Bavarian State Ballet II / Junior Company. In July 2013, he was officially appointed head of Heinz-Bosl-Foundation and is also the Director of the Bavarian State Ballet II.

Ivan Liška is married to ballet mistress Colleen Scott - they have two sons.

Past events with Ivan Liška

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