The ballet company of the Brno National Theatre will host Dance Brno 2021, a week-long meeting of Czech ballet talent in one city. Photo Credit: Národní divadlo Brno / Ctibor Bachraty.
Brno, Oct 18 (BD) – The Ballet of the Brno National Theatre (Ballet NdB) is an innovative organization. It is known for creative videos that show off our city, like its announcement for its 2020-21 season, its trailer for West Side Story and its packed YouTube channel. It always has interesting and eye-catching posters that are hung all over town. The dancers reach out to the public with intimate performances, like during the summer on a makeshift stage on náměstí Svobody. And they perform interesting contemporary works, like the melding of the music of Radiohead with the timeless story of Romeo and Juliet.
Of course, Brno ballet also has a long historical foundation: the Mahen Theatre was the site of the world premiere of Sergei Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, which has gone on to be one of the most performed ballets, and, two years ago, some of the best dancers in the world helped celebrate the company’s 100-year anniversary.
Now, after the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ballet NdB is back with another move forward: Dance Brno 2021 will put ballet at center stage this week.
“This one week of dancing in Brno will be stunning,” said Mário Radačovský, the Artistic Director of Ballet NdB. “It includes all the Czech companies so that we can see the best that the artistic directors have decided to show. And it will all be in one place: Brno.”
Dance Brno 2021 begins Monday, October 18th. There are performances every day until Ballet NdB performs its own version of The Lady with the Camellias on Saturday. For details and ticket information, click here: https://dance-brno.cz/en/
Safeguards are still in place to protect against the transmission of COVID-19. Please check the website for more information.
On Tuesday, the National Theatre Ballet of Prague will perform the works of three important contemporary choreographers: William Forsyth, Edward Clug (who choreographed Radio and Juliet) and Wayne McGregor. It will serve as a tidy introduction to the current trends of ballet.
Ballet NdB will finish the festival on Saturday with the timeless story of The Lady with the Camellias (Dáma s kaméliemi). It is based on the semi-autobiographical story by Alexander Dumas Jr. It will start at the Janáček Theater at 7pm.
“I chose Lady with the Camellias because I think it is very beautifully done by Valentina Turcu,” Radačovský said about the Croatian choreographer. “Visually and artistically — the whole production, not only the dancing — everything is at a high level. It was created for us so nobody else has (this version) in the world, so it is unique for us. I wanted to have something like this for Valentina because she is a very good story teller.”
The Lady with the Camellias premiered in Brno last year, but it was performed only a handful of times because of the pandemic.
“I would like to reintroduce this performance to our public,” Radačovský said. “It is a beautiful show. It has the quality that I would like to continue with our company for the coming years. I would love to go this direction.”
Early indications are that Dance Brno 2021 has attracted a lot of attention. Political support, financial support and ticket sales are all positive.
“It is great for our dancers to see the other companies,” Radačovský said. “This is not a competition, but you will be able to compare. It will be comfortable to be home and go every night to see where we are compared to Prague, where we are compared to Ostrava. The dancers will meet and see each other. They can see how others interpret (different aspects of their craft). How do they do this? How do they behave? These are details that are very important. Sometimes when you are only in your own environment you don’t see or even know how good it is, then you go out and see, `Oh, we are good!’ — or, maybe, ‘We are bad!’”
“This is the base,” Radačovský said of the biennial festival. “If it is successful financially and from the artistic point of view, then maybe in the near future we can slowly develop it and include Slovakia, Austria, Poland, Hungary, maybe Germany, and slowly build it into an international festival.”
DANCE BRNO 2021
Dance Brno 2021 is a festival focused on the professional ballet ensembles of the Czech Republic. The dramaturgy focuses mainly on original works, repertoire progressive titles and the interpretations of important European and world choreographers, with an extraordinary level of solo and ensemble performances.
Ballet of the J. K. Tyl Theater in Pilsen presents:
Let’s Throw Him Off the Bike (Vyhoďme ho z kola ven) (a.k.a. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest)
Choreographer: Dustin Klein
Mahen Theatre, 7 p.m.
Ballet of the National Theater in Prague presents:
Choreographers: William Forsythe, Edward Clug, Wayne McGregor
Janáček Theatre, 7 p.m.
Ballet of the South Bohemian Theater in České Budějovice presents:
Radio Free Cunning Little Vixen (Rádio svobodná Bystrouška)