Contemporary Dance in Prague

Move your feet, or watch someone else´s

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 18.08.2009 14:03:50 (updated on 18.08.2009) Reading time: 5 minutes

Do you like contemporary dance? Do you prefer to watch it or do you like to do it? Either way, we´ve got good news for you. The Czech contemporary dance scene is hot and continues to grow year after year. There are more and more opportunities to enjoy the fascinating fluidness of this special art, which speaks a language understandable to everyone. Here there are no language barriers; an open mind and heart are all that is needed.

Who will dance for you?

Let´s first discuss the recent history of Czech contemporary dance starting in 2001, when the first dance theater was established. We can say that Czech dance is still a small 8-year-old child and that´s why we are able to count the professional Czech dance companies on the fingers of both hands. But the quality of the dancers and choreographers continues to improve and these days Czech dance can be sometimes even compared to top foreign dance artists.

Nanohach (http://www.nanohach.cz/), DOT 504 (http://www.dot504.cz/), TOW, 420 people (http://www.420people.org/), VerTeDance company (http://www.vertedance.com/), Farm in the cave (http://www.infarma.info/) and solo interpreters and choreographers such as Věra Ondrašíková (http://www.veraondrasikova.com/), Dora Hoštová (http://www.dorahost.cz/) and Lenka Bartůňková are some of the biggest names in the Czech dance field. Some of them are former students of the conservatory Duncan Centre (http://www.duncanct.cz/) in Braník, which also houses a small dance theater. Seeing the work from any of these artists would be an enjoyable evening.

The current trend of Czech contemporary dance is to create pieces in conjunction with foreign choreographers. The works born from these collaborations have sometimes an exciting, sometimes a strange, or sometimes just a spicy, soul. Dance company Nanohach created the playful energetic performance Love me with Nigel Charnock, founder of the British company DV8. DOT504 invited Josef Fruček and Linda Kapetanea (former members of Belgian company Ultima Vez) to work together and their performances Holdin´ Fast and 100 Wounded Tears scored a great success all over the world. Václav Kuneš and Nataša Novotná, creators of 420 people made the short chi-chi choreography Bolero with Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin. VerTeDance company put on the stage a very particular and intensive piece, Dance of Canis Lupus, designed with choreographer Thomas Steyaert, also a member of Ultima vez company. If you ever see these titles in the program, don´t hesitate to buy a ticket. You will not regret it.

Map of dance venues

AGENCY PROPERTIES

Apartment for rent, 1+KK - Studio, 25m<sup>2</sup>

Apartment for rent, 1+KK - Studio, 25m2

Konojedská, Praha 10 - Strašnice

Apartment for sale, 3+kk - 2 bedrooms, 100m<sup>2</sup>

Apartment for sale, 3+kk - 2 bedrooms, 100m2

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Apartment for sale, 4+kk - 3 bedrooms, 99m2

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Apartment for sale, 1+1 - Studio, 53m<sup>2</sup>

Apartment for sale, 1+1 - Studio, 53m2

Jáchymovská, Karlovy Vary - Bohatice

Where should you go to see fresh contemporary dance in Prague? The first point from where to start our dance tour is over at the Ponec theatre (http://www.divadloponec.cz/) which was built eight years ago in the Žižkov area not far from metro station Florenc, especially for dance research. Here also began the first steps of the professional Czech dance companies mentioned above. The team of the theatre, along with the director Yvona Kreuzmannová, organizes the biggest dance event in Prague – Tanec Praha. This festival, held every June, invites each year one of the stars from the world of dance. For example, in the last three years Tanec Praha has presented choreographer Marie Chouinard, the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance company and the company Montalvo-Hervieu from France. Every year, at the festival´s gala evening, the winner of the Sazka award is announced. This is the most important and prestigious award in Czech dance. In 2009, the winner was young dancer and choreographer Kateřina Stupecká.

The second stop of our guided tour around the Czech dance zone will be in the neighborhood of Ponec theatre – Archa theatre (http://www.archatheatre.cz/). This modern building opened in 1994 and a few times a year hosts some real stars of world-class contemporary dance. On Archa´s stage, such icons of contemporary dance like Anna Teresa de Keersmaeker, Ultima Vez, DV8 and Anouk van dijk have been found.

Very popular in Prague is something we could call ‘new theater;´ performances combining dance, theatre, and other concepts such as cirque or the use of new media.

Just two tram stations from Archa and you arrive at Roxy NOD (http://www.nod.roxy.cz/) – the experimental stage for new theater and dance. Almost every evening they present nonverbal crossovers between theater, dance and other forms. One of their steady fixed stars is the company Krepsko (http://www.krepsko.com/). They´ve proved very popular thanks to their nonverbal pieces with a special French flavor of new cirque and all the nostalgia and poetic sounds of the accordion. Some practical advice: If you visit Roxy Nod, have a drink or hot soup in their newly reconstructed cafe NOD.

In the agreeable area of Letná, you can find an alternative space for new forms of art and theater: Alfred in the Courtyard (http://www.alfredvedvore.cz/.) Performers here like to abandon the normal borders of theater structures and visit some crazy spheres of life.

In Holešovice, you can find dance performances at La Fabrika (http://www.lafabrika.cz/); reconstructed from an old foundry factory. This modern austere space is now the home stage of Skutr (http://www.skutr.org/). Their gamesome combination of theatre, dance, cirque, acrobatics and music is a good way to spend a pleasant evening. My personal recommendations would be the pieces La Petite mort and La Putyka.

Move it!

If you would like to dance contemporary dance yourself – don´t leave Holešovice but head over to studio Hala Alta (http://www.alart.cz/.) This is a dance oasis in the hustle and bustle of the city, where workshops and special contemporary dance events take place a few times a week.

There are also other possibilities where to take dance lessons, and not only of the modern dance kind. Check out: http://www.proart-festival.cz/ (modern dance lessons in Prague 6), http://www.danceperfect.cz/ or http://www.dancehouse.cz/ (located in the center of Prague.)

Whether you would like to see a dance performance or you would like to take some lessons; you can easily find a special experience and see some original personalities. Dance in Prague will color your daily life!

More info about Czech contemporary dance can be found at: http://www.tanecnizona.cz/, http://www.tanecniaktuality.cz/, http://www.danceonline.cz/.

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