Szabolcs (Sabi) Varga is a Soloist with Boston Ballet and a wedding and portrait photographer under the name of VargaImages. Sabi began his training at the age of seven, as part of his schooling in a small village in communist Hungary. As most dancers under the communist-style dance-training system, he was first evaluated for natural physicality and flexibility and it was determined that he had the potential to begin training. Before the end of his first year however, his family received a preemptive letter telling them that perhaps he was not suited to the ballet program after all. To the contrary, the results of his first year evaluation were stellar, giving him the equivalent of an “A”.
Favorite Quote: “Love the art in yourself, not yourself in the art.”
Sabi spent three years at this school but desired to train at the Hungarian Dance Academy in Budapest, Hungary. He was advised that no one from his village or school had been accepted to this prestigious school before, but he decided to try. At the age of ten, he was among 3,000 who auditioned for the academy, and about 30 boys who were accepted. He left his village and his parent’s home to reside and train at the Academy, returning home only during the summers. He spent several years training at the Academy and was among four of the original 30 who graduated. In 1997 he was named “Best Young Dancer” at the International Rudolf Nureyev Competition.
Upon graduation he headed to Canada and joined Alberta Ballet under the direction of Mikko Nissinen. There he performed principal roles in works by George Balanchine, Helgi Tomasson, and Christopher Wheeldon. Sabi also met his wife while dancing with Alberta, former Boston Ballet soloist Melanie Atkins, who is currently Children’s Ballet Mistress and faculty member with Boston Ballet School.
In 2002 Nissinen invited Atkins and Varga to join Boston Ballet. Sabi joined as a member of the corps de ballet. He was promoted to second soloist in 2004 and to soloist in 2006.
His repertoire with the Company includes Mikko Nissinen’s Swan Lake (von Rothbart) andThe Nutcracker (all principal male roles), Rudi van Dantzig’s Romeo and Juliet (Romeo), Rudolf Nureyev’s Don Quixote (Espada), Val Caniparoli’s Lady of the Camellias (Gustave), Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion, and Lambarena, Marius Petipa’s The Sleeping Beauty, John Cranko’s The Taming of the Shrew (Lucentio), Jorma Elo’s Plan to B, Carmen(Escamillo), In on Blue, Le Sacre du Printemps, George Balanchine’s Duo Concertant andSerenade, Helen Pickett’s Etesian, Lucinda Childs’ Ten Part Suite, Mark Morris’ Up and Down, David Dawson’s The Grey Area, James Kudelka’s Cinderella, Sir Frederick Ashton’sLa Fille mal gardée, and Jiří Kylián’s Sarabande.
Out of his career as a professional dancer, Sabi Varga developed a passion for photography. Originally intending to capture the life of dancers on and off stage, Sabi extends his appreciation for beauty, line, and emotion to capture relationships between people. Under the name VargaImages, Sabi photographs weddings, events, and portraits with an incredible eye for capturing the beauty of love.
Visit VargaImages Website
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Dancer Answer: Question from an Aspiring Young Dancer
Q: From Cindy in WA-What is your opinion on how to choose the right summer intensive?
A: Sabi Varga -Since the parents are going to be paying for it, it needs to be a discussion between the parent and the student. Seriously talk about what style of dance you are pursuing and understand where they want to be when they grow up and based on this discussion it will help in deciding what schools and programs to target.
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