Professor Božena Brodská, founder of czech ballet historiography, has passed away
Prof Božena Brodská, nicknamed Bíba, passed away on Sunday, 23 June at the age of 96. Brodská had a major influence on the evolution of Czech ballet/dance historiography, in many aspects she lied the foundations for historical studies of (predominantly) theatre dance in our country.
As a dancer, Božena Brodská was the pupil of Milča Mayerová (1932-38), Lída Myšáková (1940-44) and Nina Jirsíková (1945-46). She studied Music Theory at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University in Prague (1946-50) and obtained her degree in Dance Theory at the Dance Department of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (1955, student of Jan Reimoser). She was a member of the Theatres of Labour Collective (Karlín, 1946-47), D 45 (1947-49) and Vít Nejedlý Army Artistic Ensemble (1950-51). From 1955 she was associated with the Dance Department of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (docent 1975, professor 1982, Head of Department 1975-86).
Teaching and research were at the core of her professional activities. Inspired by Jan Reimoser, she focused primarily on historical studies of dance. The central domain of her work was the observation of the historical evolution of theatre dance in the 18th and 19th centuries in the European and specifically Czech context. While studying Czech theatre dance, she amassed a fundamental amount of factographic data gained during her extensive research of sources deposited in Czech, Austrian and other institutions. She published the results of her research in the form of university textbooks and she co-authored synthetic publications, for example Dějiny českého divadla II (1968), Divadlo v Kotcích (1992), Dějiny umělecké kultury II (1996) and others. She also published numerous popularising articles in Taneční listy. In fact, her texts constituted the only Czech reflection of the given issues. She contributed significantly to the formation of Czech Dance theory and helped to raise new generations of researchers in the field of dance (Jana Holeňová, Helena Kazárová, Dorota Gremlicová). The list of her publications includes Romantický balet (Prague 1974); Dějiny českého baletu do roku 1918 (Prague 1983); Dějiny ruského baletu (Prague 1984); Vybrané kapitoly z dějin baletu (Prague 2000); Les Ballets Russes (Prague 2001).
Our heartfelt condolences to Božena Brodská’s family and friends!
Let’s remember this important personality by reading the interview she gave to Zuzana Smugalová in 2012, and the article by Dorota Gremlicová (2017) written on the occasion of prof Brodská’s 95th birthday.
Source: Czech Music Dictionary