Vizváry, Radim

(* 1979)

Mime, performer, director, teacher and choreographer

The universal personality of Radim Vizváry joins the world of pantomime and contemporary dance: he is an author, teacher, organizer, choreographer and director of motion and theatre as well as drama and opera productions; he has co-founded several artistic companies, he is the initiator and programmer of pantomime and motion theatre festivals. He is one of a few representatives of independent theatre who has received the Thalia Award in the category of ballet, pantomime or other dance and drama genre.

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Radim Vizváry comes from Ústí nad Orlicí and he was engaged in community theatre, through which he found out about pantomime and physical theatre. He studied at grammar school in Polička in east Bohemia, where he was a member of a community theatre club in the Tyl Theatre (he founded the international festival of mime theatre Mime Fest and is its director). In Prague he worked in the Minor Theatre at first and in 2004 he enrolled in the Department of Non-Verbal Theatre where he studied under Professor Boris Hybner and he also did his PhD there.

Radim Vizváry deals with the development of modern mime as an author, performer and teacher, he develops the technique of physical mime according to his methodology, he is both a practitioner and theoretician. He started teaching when he was studying himself, later taught stage movement and pantomime at various schools (e.g. Die Etage in Berlin), in 2010-2016 he taught at the Department of Pantomime at HAMU, where he lectured on Pantomime and Physical Mime, the main subject. He cooperated with the center for contemporary circus Cirqueon, Pedagogical Faculty, Charles University and DAMU. He also teaches pantomime abroad and leads master classes and workshops at festivals and art schools (e.g. Academy of Fine Arts Teak Helsinki, Academy of Arts in Cairo, The School of Modern Mime in Warsaw). Vizváry is also engaged in journalism and is the programmer of the international festival Comedians in the Streets in Tábor, which was also founded in 2011.

In 2007 Vizváry and the dancer, choreographer and director Miřenka Čechová founded the company Teatro Pantomissimo, which is now Tantehorse and Vizváry was associated with the project for ten years (On the Dark Road, Virgine – In a Dark Place, Dante – Light in a Darkness, Silent Love, Dark Trilogy, Lorca – Hopeless Love, Uter Que, Lessons of Touch and others). In 2007–2009 he was a guest in Spitfire Company (Chaplin’s Trial, The Voice of Anne Frank), in 2008–2015 he worked with the theatre company Teatr Novogo Fronta and in 2010-2016 he was the regular director of the Tichá Opera company, merging opera and pantomime. Since 2015 he has worked with the National Theatre, where he created choreographies for drama and opera, and he also works as a director in the opera company. In 2013 he founded his own theatre company Mime Prague, where he works as a director and performer as well as an artistic director and programmer. He realized solo projects, such as Solo, the non-verbal fairy tale for children Pejprbój or VIP. He received the Thalia Award 2016 for his performance in Solo, which is a series of pantomimic acts evoking various periods and streams in the genre in the past and present. In the feature production VIP he offered a compact story in the form of modern pantomime interpreted through his original depiction of the present shape. In 2017 he started working with dancer and choreographer Jiří Pokorný (the former member of Jiří Kylián’s Nederlands Dans Theater Jiřího Kyliána) on the production Sunday Neurosis, with the main topic of a mental illness, neurosis, and they looked for a link between the world of contemporary dance and modern pantomime. It premiered in Haag and the final version was performed in Prague at Tanec Praha 2018.

In 2019 he collaborated with Losers Cirque Company on HEROES, an acrobatic-pantomime piece that premiered at Letní Letná. Vizváry has also created a children-oriented piece Mimjové for Losers Cirque Company. This performance opened the newly reconstructed theatre in Bráník in 2020 – BRAVO theatre.

As of 2021, Radim Vizváry became the Artistic Director of the National Theatre’s fourth stage, Laterna magika. He is planning to build on the legacy of Laterna Magika as a multi-genre theatre, to use his connections both in the Czech Republic and abroad to attract creators and artists, and to encourage the use of new technologies. He also envisions more extensive educational activity and accompanying programmes.

“Pantomissimo (inspired by the topic of a violinist’s life journey) is the most beautiful variation on the famous etude The Life of a Man, which I have ever seen – even if very famous mimes interpreted it. Vizváry plays with a perfect and airy gestures, in the exact depiction of attitudes, with a lyrical effort of movements, in the nobility of character’s preoccupation with music. (…) This performance proved Vizváry is the master of the form, whose perfection elevates a specific topic to a generally valid symbol of production. (…) Vizváry is also aware of the importance classical etudes have in the context of pantomime and acting and they are, apart from Decroux’s methodology, the valid basis of the art of interpretation. (…) Vizváry is undoubtedly the biggest personality of contemporary mimic theatre, embracing its presence and the classical legacy.”
Ladislava Petišková, Taneční aktuality, 2016

“Vizváry’s VIP witnesses various stages of high spirits, hallucination and delusion; in the state of the utmost destruction, he realizes the necessity for a change. In the final sequence, his effort projects through the effort to find oneself, the almost lost art and love into a bloody battle with addiction. At the end he leaves the stage as a normal person without his stage image, with a costume mask over the arm. The journey towards the actual Very Important Person is open.“
Ladislava Petišková, Taneční aktuality, 2018