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Remembering Maria Vegh

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Maria Vegh served as Artist Director at Marin Ballet from 1976 until 1987.  She passed away on February 3rd of this year at the age of 91.  She was a luminary in the world of dance, influencing the lives of countless dancers whom she trained at ballet schools, within professional companies, and through hundreds of teacher trainings and master classes.  Prior to joining Marin Ballet, Maria was Co-Director of the Harkness House for Ballet Arts in New York, a post she held for 11 years. She was founder/director of Ballet Repertory of Pennsylvania, and an official coach for dancers in the American team at the International Ballet Competitions in ’81, ’82 and ‘86.

During her 11 years at Marin Ballet, Ms. Vegh doubled enrollment, created Footlight Performances, developed a ballet career track, and delivered more than 100 demonstrations and educational programs to Marin County schools.

David Howard of the David Howard Dance Center said, “I do not think there is a more dedicated, talented professional in all the American dance scene than Maria Vegh. Maria’s students can be seen in nearly all the world’s major companies.”

Marin Ballet’s Artistic Administrator Corinne Jonas was one of Vegh’s students. She reflected on Ms. Vegh’s influence on her dance career, saying “Ms. Vegh created gutsy, go- for- it dancers with her direct, passionate, and somewhat unconventional methods of ballet training.  She encouraged each one of her students to push themselves further than any of us believed we could, because Ms. Vegh never settling for anything less.  There was no “phoning it in” with Maria Vegh at the helm!  You needed to be on your game, authentic, committed to improving, and willing to push past any physical or mental obstacles. Every class she taught was a whirlwind, an adventure, a moment in time and space where anything was possible. There is no doubt that I became the dancer I was, and later, the teacher I am today, because of her significant influence.” 

Maria Vegh and David Howard as Co-Directors of Harkness Ballet.