Remembering Vlastimil Harapes: A Ballet Icon and Beloved Actor

Vlastimil Harapes, a significant figure in ballet, choreography, and acting, has passed away. His talent and charisma left an indelible mark not only on the stage but also in the hearts of the general public, who knew him primarily through his film roles. Harapes became a symbol of elegance and artistic excellence, respected and admired across generations. Born on July 24, 1946, in Chomutov, he displayed exceptional talent for dance from a young age, which led him to soloist positions in the ballet ensemble of the National Theatre in Prague. 

Harapes' acting career began in the 1960s with films like Green Gold / Starci na chmelu and Marketa Lazarova. His role as the young Count Kristián in Marketa Lazarová brought him to wider public attention. During the 1970s and 1980s, he became well-known for roles in popular films such as How to Pull Out a Whale's Tooth/Jak vytrhnout velrybe stolicku, How to Get Dad Into Reform School / Jak dostat tatinka do polepsovny and Beauty and the Beast / Panna a netvor. His artistic range allowed him to portray various characters, from romantic heroes to comedic figures, ensuring his place in the hearts of audiences. 

Vlastimil Harapes was not just a ballet dancer and actor but also a prominent choreographer and educator. After 1989, he returned to the National Theatre as a choreographer and head of the ballet, contributing significantly to the development of ballet in the Czech Republic. His pedagogical skills led him to teach classical dance not only in Prague but also abroad, including in Florence and Rome. He was also a member of the Kylián Foundation board and chaired the Philip Morris Ballet Flower Award. His contributions to ballet were recognized at international competitions and festivals. In addition to ballet and film, Harapes appeared in numerous television films, such as You're Dead, So Don't Cry, Bolero, and Dedictvi aneb Kurvahosigutntag + Dedictvi aneb Kurva se nerika. His roles in these films further showcased his versatile talent and ability to reach a broad audience. Harapes' legacy will live on not only through his artistic works but also through the memories of those who were fortunate enough to know him personally or through his performances. Vlastimil Harapes was and will continue to be an inspiration to all who aspire to achieve the heights of the artistic world.

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