Promotion of the monograph

Miljenko Vikić, the troubadour of Thalia

The promotion of the monograph Miljenko Vikić, the Troubadour of Thalia by Ljiljana Gvozdenović and Mladen Mordej Vučković published by Hilarion, the Society for promoting music, dance and stage art will be held in the CNT Foyer at noon, on April 29, 2017, the International Dance Day.

The monograph follows the very rich professional journey of Miljenko Vikić and presents dates of his performances and significant events from the theatre life of his time. It could serve as a guide to younger generations on the history of the Croatian ballet stage and ballet profession. Miljenko Vikić is also the author of this year’s Croatian message for the International Dance Day.

Miljenko Vikić was born in Dubrovnik in 1931 where he was attending a teacher`s school. At that time a movie was being shot in his native city about Greek partisans and the crew needed extras, so Miljenko got the job. His role turned into something much more significant. Despite only a few spoken sentences it was clear that this was a talented young man, so he was invited to the Academy of Theatre Art in Belgrade. He enrolled as a student and among other things took classes of ballet. Having shown exceptional dancing talent, his pedagogues Sima Laketić and Nina Kirsanova advised him to dedicate himself to ballet. Courageous and curious, in his sophomore year he took up ballet and this resulted in an engagement in the Ballet of the National Theatre in Belgrade. He danced smaller soloist roles and was invited to the Ballet of the National Theatre in Sarajevo. Soon after he became a soloist in the company and danced leading roles, after which he joined the Ballet of the Croatian National Theatre in Rijeka and finally ended up in the Ballet of the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb where he worked as a ballet principal until his retirement.

In his dancing career Miljenko Vikić interpreted a large number of roles of the classical ballet repertoire and those that were inspired by folkloric or contemporary dance expression. He was an exceptionally popular ballet dancer and on many international tours of the Zagreb Ballet he always achieved great acclaim and admiration of the critics for his ballet creations.

After he finished his active dancing career, he commenced a new cycle as a choreographer in ballets, operas and drama performances, often working with prominent stage directors such as Georgij Paro, Ivica Kunčević, Joško Juvančić, Miro Belamarić, Vladimir Kranjčević et al.

Audiences and the critics accepted his balletic version of Bizet’s Carmen with great admiration and declared his choreographic script as a new way of expressing a drama plot. An entirely different yet very impressive was his ballet Papissa Ioana in which the dancers besides dancing technique had to pronounce text on the stage which they did quite well. Other successful performances followed. In The Woman and a Dagger created for the Ballet of the CNT in Split he placed the actress Zdravka Krstulović in the centre of the ballet ensemble. He also choreographed ballet numbers in operas The Love of Don Perlimplin by Belamarić, in Faust by Gounod and in Samson and Dalila by Saint-Saëns that sometimes incited turbulent reactions of some critics who were unable to accept this type of boldness at that time. He was also active in the field of television and film and recorded complete ballets or separate ballet numbers for TV shows and films.