The Kossuth Prize winning artist, known for his inimitable technique, has lived 90 years.
The late Istvan Rapper (Rapowski), a ballet dancer known for his inimitable technique. He left Hungary in 1953 as a Kossuth Prize-winning performer, and the artist, who settled in the United States, passed away in New York at the age of 90.
Stephen Rapp and his wife, who is also a ballerina, Nora Kovac (Kovac), separated from East Berlin to the West in 1953, and their escape from the Communist regime was highly publicized in the world press at the time.
His current wife, Candice Ito, confirmed his death. As she said, her husband was taken to hospital on August 17 due to stomach ailment, where he passed away the next day, the New York Times wrote.
Rap (Rabovsky) Istvan was born in 1930 in Szeged. He grew up in a very poor family, he was raised mostly by his grandparents. His talent as a dancer was revealed early on, so he enrolled in the ballet school of the Hungarian Opera House. His master was Ferenc Nadezi, and since 1948 he became a private dancer at the Opera House. After visiting Galina Ulanova to Budapest, she and her subsequent wife, Nora Kovats, studied in Moscow and Leningrad for half a year in 1949 and 1950 under Pyotr Gusziev and Agrippina Vaganova, mastering the traditions of the Russian ballet school and playing the Kirov opera stage.
In March 1953, the couple received the Kossuth Prize; The public can see it, for example, in the Swan Lake in Tchaikovsky or the woodcarved prince in Bartok. On a tour of East Berlin in May 1953, they escorted their escorts and ascended to the west side. Their departure to Crimea was later covered in a film with their personal appearance, Hungarian-born writer and humor George Mixes wrote a book about the story in 1955 in London titled Leap Through the Curtain.
The New York Times reported in 1953 about one of its Western premieres at the Ballet Festival in London. As they wrote at the time, the public celebrated them for the same period of time after their 15-minute dance production on Don Quixote’s Pas de Deux. Their career in the open air was embraced by star manager Sol Loeb, and they also performed with the Grand Ballet du Marquis de Cuevas. In addition to Nóra Kováts’s glamorous performance, Rab’s talented jumps and energetic style provided the basis for her success, which was later made famous in the West by Bolshoi Ballet and Kirov Ballet from 1956.
The couple moved to the United States; In 1956, they made headlines with their rescue from the Italian ocean liner, the Adria Dori, which collided with a Swedish ship, Stockholm, near Nantucket, Massachusetts. In America, the couple performed a number of TV shows, danced seven times at the Ed Sullivan Show, appeared on the Judy Garland variety show, and also performed at Radio City Music Hall. In 1966, they released a record called Zigani Ballet with the Hungarian Gypsy Orchestra. The gypsy musical album also features the first American contribution to the guitar and talented violin traveling around the world, Elec Bashek. Rabovski and Kovac run a dance group called the Hurok Bihari Ensemble. Rap and Kovats divorced in 1962, but until 1970 (albeit with less and less success) he worked together on stage as a dancer in America and in various productions around the world (Nora Kovats died in 2009). The artist, who had already worked in his life in the open air as Istvan Rabovsky, founded his own school and taught talent for fifteen years. Its name is still named after alumni of Istvan Rabovsky Ballet Camp Alumni in New York.
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