Ksenija Hribar (1938–1999)
dancer, choreographer, pedagogue
After finishing her secondary education in ballet, Ksenija Hribar was engaged in the ensemble of the Slovene National Theatre Ljubljana, Opera and Ballet. In 1965, she went to Great Britain to continue her dance education first at the Marie Rambert School of Ballet and later at the London Contemporary Dance School. Later she joined the school’s dance company and was one of the cofounders of the London Contemporary Dance Theatre (LCDT).
In collaboration with its director Robin Howard, Hribar also prepared the school’s educational programme. In 1977 she graduated from the Drama Department at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the Victoria University of Manchester.
After returning from Great Britain in 1978, she choreographed for many Slovene theatres, including the Slovene National Theatre Ljubljana, Opera and Ballet, as well as for the London Contemporary Dance Theatre and Lidija Sotlar Company. In the period from 1973 to 1996, she choreographed for practically all Slovene theatres (Slovene National Theatre Drama Ljubljana, Mladinsko Theatre, Slovene National Theatre Nova Gorica, Slovene National Theatre Maribor, Slovene People’s Theatre Celje, Prešeren Theatre Kranj, Ljubljana City Theatre, Slovene Permanent Theatre in Trieste, Ljubljana Puppet Theatre, Glej Theatre …) and collaborated with many influential theatre directors (Dušan Jovanović, Mile Korun, Mario Uršič, Aleš Jan, Vinko Möderndorfer, Janez Pipan, Dušan Mlakar, Vito Taufer, among others).
In 1984 Ksenija Hribar and Damir Zlatar Frey cofounded the first Slovene professional dance company Dance Theatre Ljubljana. Her most acclaimed dance performances created for the Dance Theatre include: Grenke solze za l. M. (Krst) / Bitter Tears for I.M. (Baptisme) – 1985; Koncert / The Concert – 1985; Alpsko sanjarjenje / Alpine Traumerie (Alpine Daydreaming) – 1986; Nostalgija / Nostalgia – 1987; Odisejev povratnik / The Tropic of Odysseus – 1989; Bikec Ferdinand / Ferdinand the Bull – 1988; Komemoracija – Posušene solze / Commemoration – Dried Tears – 1996; Bikec Ferdinand jr. / Ferdinand the Bull Jr. – 1997; Sentimentalne reminiscence / Sentimental Reminiscences – 1998.
In the frame of the educational programme at the Cankarjev dom Cultural Centre, she choreographed and directed the Dance Lesson. She was the initiator, cofounder, and the first president of the Contemporary Dance Association Slovenia, established in 1994. In 1991 she became assistant professor for the art of movement and the head of the dance and movement department at the Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television Ljubljana. Besides being active in the arts, Hribar also participated in the creation of educational TV programmes (musical for children Muri the Cat, directed by Slavko Hren), was member of different boards and expert groups, and has written many experts articles.
Ksenija Hribar was the driving force behind the struggle for the institutionalisation and professionalisation of contemporary dance in Slovenia.