Jan Kodet started dancing in the University Artistic Ensemble of Charles University (later Dance Theatre Prague). Here he had the opportunity to work with leading Czech contemporary dancers (I. Kubicová, J. Hartman, M. Benoniová). In 1991 he graduated from the Faculty of Music and Dance of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, where he studied modern dance pedagogy under Prof. Ivanka Kubicová.
He was engaged as a dancer with a number of foreign theatres, including Dance Berlin, S.O.A.P. Dance Theatre Frankfurt and Ballet Gulbenkian, where he encountered such renowned choreographers as Naharin, Duato, Ribeiro, Galili, etc. The most significant for him remains, however, the Portuguese choreographer Rui Horta, in whose company he danced for several years and to whom he worked as an assistant with numerous European companies (Cullberg Ballet, Compagnie National de Marseille, Icelandic Ballet, etc.).
Kodet has created numerous acclaimed projects both in the Czech Republic and abroad; for instance, Danse Macabre (Archa Theatre), 6x Eva, Evička, No End, Adam + Eva – Náhoda neexistuje (Adam + Eve – There Is No Coincidence), Gates (Trans Dance Europe), Cala Estreta, Jade (Gulbenkian Ballet Lisbon), Chrysalis (BDT Bratislava).
His piece Lola & Mr. Talk (for Archa Theatre) earned him Divadelní noviny and Sazka Award for the best choreography of the 2003–04 theatre season).
His choreographic work never stops - Talking to Frida (Prague Dance Conservatory, National Theatre Ballet in Brno), Argonauts (Laterna magika), Duel (Czech National Ballet, Prague), (e)MOTION PURE, Light Symphony and Kevel (Divadlo Ponec, Audience Award at Czech Dance Platform in 2007), Camoufl•AGE (Czech National Ballet) awarded Divadelní noviny and Sazka Award for the best choreography of the 2008–09 theatre season.
Since 2002 Jan Kodet has been ballet master of the Czech National Ballet. He also created some of his acclaimed pieces on the company, such as Goldilocks (2006), Krabat – The Sorcerers’ Apprentice (2013) was critically well received and started a long collaboration between Kodet and the SKUTR – stage directors Lukáš Trpišovský and Martin Kukučka. In this powerful dance theatre piece, all elements of the spectacle work together to create a magical and emotional storytelling through images and dance. The creative team, along with designer Jakub Kopecký, continues to work on new projects for the Czech National Ballet, such as The Little Mermaid (2018) and the most recent Bon Appétit! (2020).
Well known and sought after for his teaching, Kodet teaches modern dance technique, improvisation and composition at several dance schools abroad (Hochschule für Tanz Frankfurt am Main, Institut del Teatro Barcelona, Ballet Academy Stockholm, Iwanson International School of Contemporary Dance Munich, Nordance Dance Company in Sweden, DV8 in London, Carte Blanche in Norway), as well as in dance groups and theatres in Germany, Sweden, France, Portugal and Switzerland. He has taught at a number of international workshops and is co-founder and artistic director of the International Contemporary Dance Workshop Prague (ICDW).
He teaches choreography the Department of Dance of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, he also collaborates with Prague Dance Conservatory and Dance Centre Prague.
“The craft of composition, the sense of music and contemporary dance forms, the skill of transferring the emotion from the stage to the auditorium without cliché, the faith in the power of an experienced performer and a courage of a young one - those are the components of Jan Kodet’s drive. His major contribution to the field lies in his approach of treating the dancer as an organic instrument of movement: he knows how to pluck the strings of each individual and mix the various sounds into a symphony.”
Lucie Hayashi, Taneční aktuality
Photo: Viktor Kronbauer