Dočolomanský Viliam

Theatremaker, director, choreographer

Villiam Dočolomanský’s activities are closely associated with his own company Farm in the Cave. It deals with weighty social topics and the final artwork the ensemble participates in is usually preceded by research and interviews, which may take several years. Means of expression are based on performer’s body and the physical language as well as spoken word, singing, live music and multimedia.

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Viliam Dočolomanský was born in Slovakia. After having graduated from JAMU, he completed his PhD degree at DAMU under Professor Jaroslav Vostrý. His future career was influenced by the dramaturge and anthropological theatre promoter Jana Pilátová, he was also deeply influenced by the Polish theatre director Jerzy Grotowski. Dočolomanský founded his first motion theatre company at high school. After finishing his studies, he worked as a director in Czech and Slovak theatres, but then he entered the world of alternative theatre with his own company Farm in the Cave. The name of the company is inspired by the Arabic name of Federico García Lorca’s homestead in Andalusia, which he visited with the group of young actors to look for material for his first project.

Farm in the Cave’s first production was Lorca’s Dark Love Sonnets, followed by the projects Journey to the Station (2003), Eastern Voices (2004), Waiting Room (2006) or Sclavi / The Song of An Emigrant, which received the Alfréd Radok Award in 2005. In the production of Waiting Room, Dočolomanský revived genius loci of the Slovak train station, which was the starting point of the deportation of Jews in the WWII and raised the question of the influence of tragic historical events on the present. Sclavi / The Song of An Emigrant, using dance, live singing and simple stage design, depicts the scattered existence of an individual, who is uprooted from the original environment and cannot be integrated into any society. In 2010 Dočolomanský made the production The Theatre, in which he applied the concept of theatre on freedom of humans. In 2011 he and his company received the XII Europe Prize Theatrical Realities awarded by the European Commission. In 2011 and 2012 Farm in the Cave was nominated for the Ministry of Culture State Award for Merits in Theatre.

The current topics society ignores are to be found in the trilogy “Night in the City”. In the production Whistleblowers (2015) on the verge of physical theatre and documentary theatre, Dočolomanský dealt with propaganda and coercive techniques of international corporations and was inspired by the case, which happened several years ago and was followed by the court proceedings. The team explored the influence of corporative lobbying on the life of an ordinary person in the European and world context, which provided the parallel research project “Lobby”. Another project called Disconnected premiered as soon as in 2016 and was based on interviews with hikkikomori: the individuals, who isolate themselves from the rest of society as a result of excessive pressure of the society on performance and perfection. The Czech Dance Platform acknowledged it as the Dance Production of 2016. In 2017 the trilogy ended with the project Together forever! supported by the group of seniors from Prague, who had no previous experience with physical or dance theatre. The production was part of the European project of social and community theatre Caravan Next and received the Theatre Newspaper Award for authorship and directing. The last project is Refuge (2018), inspired by interviews with the young people community in London, who have extreme life experiences. Since 2018 Farm in the Cave has been the residential company in the Centre for Contemporary Art DOX.

The most recent project Ephemera was originally created as a live performance that would fulfil the imposed anti-epidemic measures. From the circulating cabins of the paternoster lift, spectators were to watch parallel events happening across six floors of the Lucerna Palace. Since Farm in the Cave were not allowed to realize the project live, they decided to make the 45-minute performance as a film which premiered at the end of 2020.

Farm in the Cave’s projects balance between physical and dance theatre, videoart and documentary theatre. Apart from repertoire productions, the company also produces site-specific projects, concerts and theatre events. It has frequent guest performances abroad and has received many awards, e.g. Fringe First Theatre Ward, Herald Angel Award and Total Theatre Award at Fringe Festival in Edinburgh. Viliam Dočolomanský takes part in many festivals, manages theatre workshops and has lectures in the Czech Republic and overseas (e.g. Tisch School in New York or Ecum Congress in Brazil). He participates in MenART project as a mentor and aims to develop young talents at music schools.

If Viliam Dočolomanský has been a quibbling nitpicker so far, he is now apparently surrounded by a group of nitpickers like him, who are engaged in various scenic disciplines, thus the final shape is a miracle of accuracy, miracle of technique and miracle of discipline. And he eventually managed to stab us under the ribs.

Nina Vangeli, Theatre Newspaper, 2017