WITH A NEW FLAIR AND ENERGY
Non-verbal theater and dance have a longstanding tradition in the program strategy of the Czech Center New York (ČCNY), but COVID put a stop to this, and thus experimentation began. Thanks to the support of ČCNY, a dance film project by the New York studio of Dušan Týnek was presented here in the past. Now, a whole new project – this time created in collaboration with the Prague Dance Film Festival – will bring a “dance present,” and as such has excellent prospects for captivating New York audiences. Dance-for-camera films combine the poetry of film with a new dimension of dance.
JANA NÁVRATOVÁ, ART DIRECTOR OF THE DANCE FILM FESTIVAL:
“After five years, we are set to return to the Bohemian National Hall with more Czech dance films. Back in 2016, we presented a collection of Czech dance-for-camera films for the first time ever. This year will see us offer artistically more mature works, which are the result of a newfound enthusiasm and the courage to experiment and search for a strong visual and emotional statement that blurs the line between dance and film.”
MIROSLAV KONVALINA, DIRECTOR OF THE CZECH CENTER NEW YORK:
"A time that has been so incredibly difficult for travelling and organizing live art events has actually been very beneficial for the dance film genre. This is not about replacing live performances, but rather about offering a full-fledged, independent, interdisciplinary space where dancers, choreographers, and filmmakers can meet with their audiences. We are very happy that the Czech Center New York can offer this space and we are confident that our visitors will find Czech dance film production intriguing.”
Foto: Vojěch Novák
The organizers have also decided to go one step further and enrich the show (staged on the rooftop of the Bohemian National Building in New York) with a live dance performance by Czech dancer Denisa Musilová and her American dance partner Tami Stronach (USA).
DANCING “UNDER THE STARS”
Delimitation – this year's winner of the international competition at the Dance Film Festival was shot by director Tereza Vejvodová with dancer Markéta Jandová in the lead role. The film explores the search for personal space and feelings of loneliness in the midst of a bustling metropolis. Tereza Vejvodová also directed the second film for the event, Roselyne, which is a film version of the solo of the same name by performer Cécile Da Costa. The character of Roselyne is based on a real woman who paid too much attention to her surroundings and forgot to live her own life. The film provides an intimate insight into the fragility and chaos in which the character tries to find herself.
Foto: Vojěch Novák
The film Ephemera was created as a ready-made variation of the site-specific project of the same name, Farm in a Cave, at a time when the ensemble could not play the production in front of a live audience due to COVID restrictions. The leader of the Farm in the Cave ensemble, Viliam Dočolomanský, and director Jiří Matoušek conceived the film as a psychedelic walk through a house of horrors and curiosities. Dočolomanský was able to offer the camera panoptical characters and unsettling horror situations, which serve as random glimpses inside the inhospitable spaces of a dissected building and a path to the floor of the subconscious, where we meet monsters, traumas, and bad dreams.
Foto: Vojěch Novák
In the film Fibonacci, director Tomáš Hubáček paid a great tribute to the beautiful, natural landscape around Kyjov in Moravia. In collaboration with choreographer Maria Gourdain, they created an environmental visual poem in which the structure of the landscape is enhanced by the rhythm of music and the movement of a human herd as an expression of both the unity of life and a concern for life’s wellbeing.
The program that viewers saw in New York reflects both the quality of Czech dance and choreography and the power of the audiovisual concept. The selection is thus a valuable insight into the themes of contemporary Czech art.
Foto: Vojěch Novák
The Czech Centres (ČC) are a cultural institute established by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic. Their main mission is to spread and support the good name of the Czech Republic and strengthen cultural relations among countries. The Czech Centres are members of the network of European National Institutes of Culture – EUNIC. They represent our country in a wide range of cultural and social spheres: from arts and creative industries to the promotion of successes of Czech science and innovation. They organise Czech courses abroad. Furthermore, they are involved in international projects and serve as a platform for the development of international cultural dialogue. At present, there are in total twenty-six offices abroad spread across three continents – in addition to these centres, the network includes Czech Houses in Moscow, Jerusalem and Bratislava. www.czechcentres.cz
The Dance Film Festival (FTF) is an international competition biennial founded in 2009 with the aim of presenting works in dance cinematography, dance documentaries, innovative recordings of dance productions, and particularly works in the dance-for-camera genre. The festival has been consistently dedicated to the production and distribution of dance films and remains committed to spreading awareness of the genre as well. It supports and organizes educational projects and serves as a meeting place for creators active in dance and film. www.tanecnifilmy.cz