Ivan Nagy

Ivan Nagy was a ballet superstar who partnered some of the greatest ballerinas of his time, including Natalia Makarova, Gelsey Kirkland, Carla Fracci, and Margot Fonteyn. Born in Hungary, he trained in Budapest and captured the silver medal in the Varna Ballet Competition in 1960. There he was recruited by Frederic Franklin to join Washington’s National Ballet, remaining there three years before moving on to New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. He made four Pillow appearances from 1968 through 1973, partnering Cynthia Gregory, Violette Verdy, and Eleanor D’Antuono. Although he stunned the dance world by retiring from ABT at the relatively young age of 35, an interview later quoted him as saying “I left five minutes early, but that is still better than leaving five minutes too late.” Active as a company director in Chile, Great Britain, and the U.S. after his retirement from the stage, he died unexpectedly on February 22, 2014 at 70.
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