Kuneš Václav

Dancer, choreographer, artistic director

Václav Kuneš’s choreographic style has been shaped by his engagement in Nederlands Dans Theater and Jiří Kylián’s work. Restlessness, refined sophisticated movement, dynamics and a highly demanding dance technique are typical features of his work. His independent projects present psychologic topics and his engagement in live music was a path to enter the realm of dance concerts (e.g. The Watcher) He also participates in experimental drama and productions overlapping the genres. His production is highly responsive and impresses young viewers.

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The graduate from the Conservatory of the City of Prague joined the junior company Nederlands Dans Theater, and five years later he advanced to the main company NDT 1. With Jiří Kylián as the head, he worked there until 2004 and had the opportunity to learn about works by choreographers from the second half of the 20th century (e.g. Ohad Naharin, William Forsythe, Paul Lightfoot, Mats Ek, Nacho Duato, Johan Inger, Andre Gingras, Hans van Manen). His first big choreographic opportunity took place in Laterna magika in 2001 (the composed programme Graffiti). Since 2004 he has been a successful free-lance dancer (including his performance in Silvie Guilem’s project 6000 Miles away and Roberto Bolle’s gala evening). He also worked as Jiří Kylián’s assistant and is one of a few who can stage his choreographies with other companies. At first, he did not manage to avoid Kylián’s characteristic features in his work, yet he has never yield to mimic him.

In 2007 he founded the 420PEOPLE dance company with Nataša Novotná, aiming to present his production and invite international choreographers of his generation. His first choreography for the company was the duet Small Hour (later performed as a full-length performance – A Small Hour Ago), which won the Sazka Award and Theatre Newspaper 2007 Award. Fine and cultivated motion was typical for his other choreographies (Golden Crock, Affordance). He started to work with a musician (Amos Ben-Tal) on the stage in his choreography REEN. Cooperation with the National Theatre Drama resulted into a full-length performance of May (2012), inspired by the iconic poem in Czech literature, and it was also a trigger point in his cooperation with actor and director David Prachař. His production Mirage (2013) dabbled into a dance stand-up comedy. As far as choreography is concerned, Václav Kuneš has focused on a more dynamic and unrefined shape with growing demands on dancers’ physical performance (Wind-up, The Fairy Queen, The Watcher). With Jan Nebeský as a director, he created a dance and theatre production Peklo – Dantovské variace (2014, nomination for the Theatre Newspaper Award), followed by the choreography Paradiso. In June 2017 he staged the coproduction project Nomad in cooperation with Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and his Eastmen company. Kuneš and director Jan Nebeský met again during the production of Ovidius: Orfeus (Vila Štvanice, 2017) and the scenic poem Pustina (2018). He creates choreographies for his company as well as international companies (Nederlands Dans Theater 2, Copenhagen International Ballet, Korzo Theater in Haag, State Opera in Bordeaux etc.), he works with the OPTO File company founded by former members of 420PEOPLE in Japan.

His last piece Panthera premiered in 2019 and its inspiration came from the history of mankind depicted in the Sapiens novel.

420PEOPLE have been active in the field of dance films, in 2021 they introduced online three different film creations – Through Glass (choreography Sylva Šafková), Origi and Ohně stroje – Konkurz (choreography by Václav Kuneš).

Kuneš’s choreography is variable in motion, dynamically polarized from a fast sequence of elements until the motion stops or slows down. Fidgety impulses give rise to calmly flowing as well as swiftly spurting motion, developing in recurring dynamic arches. (Lucie Dercsényiová, Taneční aktuality, 2013)