OpusOsm Minutka: TanecValmez Dance!
The Czech dance community gathered in the Moravian town of Valašské Meziříčí in early June to celebrate the international language of dance. Take a peek.
Opus Osm’s Minutka (″Little Minute″):
5 Fast Facts about the TanecValmez Contemporary Dance Festival
June 5-7, 2015
1 Friday and Saturday night’s programs featured an opening act of amateur performances from local dance schools. Proud parents filtered into the outdoor theater to support the young men and women who were milling about the grassy backstage area in colorful costumes, ready to show their routines. They ranged from classical ballet and contemporary numbers to jazz, street, and high-energy break dancing.
2 Bohemia Ballet’s contemporary performance Vnuknutí (Suggestion) was set to a musical version of Charlie Chaplin’s speech from the 1940 film The Great Dictator. Young choreographers Ondřej Vinklát and Štěpán Pechar combined frantic desperation – the dancers leaping and stretching across the stage – with moments of quiet breath. In the end, the dancers lined the front of the stage to mime lyrics such as, “More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness.” Take a quick look at how this ″worked:″
3 Norwegian choreographer Jo Strømgren’s company performed A Dance Tribute to the Art of Football, a crowd-pleasing, athletic number including slow motion action scenes, celebratory dances, and fights on the field. This primed the audience for the Czech version of A Dance Tribute to Ping Pong, a collaboration between Strømgren and 420People. The piece explored Asian stereotypes and female objectification through music, dance, and running Czech commentary from a puppet with an Asian accent. The incorporation of props was ambitious, including an intricate light show of glow-in-the-dark ping-pong balls.
4 The Czech National Ballet’s Ondřej Vinklát and Matthias Deneux joined Gustav Skála for an interesting look at the dynamic of age. The three men used varying levels of energy and indifference to explore the relationship between youth and maturity. Vinklát’s choreography incorporated everyday movements, twirling chairs, and technical solos to showcase each dancer’s strengths, backed by music from Czech group Monkey Business and Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World.
5 Closing night of the festival moved from Valašské Meziříčí to the neighboring town of Zašova. The National Moravian-Silesian Ballet’s contributions included Barocco by Polish choreographer Jacek Przybyłowicz, Trio in G Moll by Pavel Šmok, and Jockey Dance by Karina Elver. The TanecValmez festival, now in its eighth year, has grown from a showcase of local dancers into a professional program featuring international talent, thanks to the passionate direction of Milada Borovičková. Her vision of bringing quality dance performances to the Zlín region now attracts audiences from all over the country.
– Auburn Scallon, Opus Osm writer
Photo Credits: Photos and video: Auburn Scallon