American Ballet Theater star Ivan Nagy died suddenly February 22 in Budapest, Hungary at the age of 70.
Performing with some of the top ballerinas including Natalia Makarova, Gelsey Kirkland, Carla Fracci, Cynthia Gregory, and Margot Fonteyn; Nagy was considered to be a great partner.
Nagy retired from the American Ballet Theater in 1978 at the age of 35. After spending the next two years touring, he became the director of a number of ballet companies around the world. including the Ballet de Santiago in Chile, the Cincinnati Ballet, New Orleans Ballet, and the English National Ballet.
He had spent the last year as an artist advisor for the Hungarian State Opera House Ballet. He was working on a new production of "La Syphide" to open May 25.
Ivan Nagy was born on April 28, 1943 in Debrecen, Hungary, the son of a ballet teacher. After learning from his mother, he began studying with the Budapest State Opera Ballet - now the Hungarian State Opera House Ballet - when he was seven. In 1960 he became a part of the Budapest Ballet Company.
Nagy was a child when Hungary became a part of the Eastern Block countries behind the Iron Curtain. He defected to the United States in 1965, on a visit to the National Ballet of Washington.
Along with the American Ballet Theater and the Budapest Ballet, Nagy has performed with the National Ballet in Washington and the New York City Ballet.
He is survived by his wife of over 30 years ballerina Marilyn Burr and daughters Aniko and Tatjana, a granddaughter, and a sister.