DKP, A Path to Professionalism
Pavel Šmok. Jiři Kylian. Nikola Márová. Many of the Czech dance names that we know and love have one thing in common: they are proud alumni of the DKP – Dance Conservatory of Prague (Taneční Konzervatoř Hlavního Města Prahy).
The Dance Conservatory of Prague was founded shortly after the end of WWII, on October 11, 1945. Students study the normal academic curriculum while dipping their toes into these dance classrooms at age 11.
Training stretches through age 19 or 20. This year roughly 150 dancers are carefully balancing lessons of history and physics with intensive dance lessons.
And this is no ordinary year. A gala concert on October 11, 2015 kicked off a celebratory season to mark both the 70th anniversary of the Dance Conservatory of Prague and the 10th anniversary of the founding of its performing company, Bohemia Ballet.
Setting the Stage for the New Generation
Imagine a young, graduating dancer who has spent years training to improve his or her craft. But wait — who’s going to hire a newcomer with no real-world experience?
The idea of Bohemia Ballet was born under the guidance of Jaroslav Slavický, who also serves as the current director of the Dance Conservatory of Prague. Bohemia Ballet dancers spend no more than two to three years in this performing company, to ensure space for more upcoming talent.
“Bohemia Ballet’s purpose is to bridge the gap between ballet teaching and professional practice,” explains the company’s Executive Manager and Producer Helena Potměšilová. “The difference is that in bigger companies, most recent graduates end up performing minor roles. In Bohemia Ballet, the members get much more interesting roles and are given more personal attention…”
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