Pocková Johana

dancer, choreographer

Johana Pocková and her artistic group POCKetART she founded in 2019, belong to the bold new wave of Czech dance artists, bringing new themes and strong personalities to the stage. At the same time always providing the audience with material to think about. Working closely with dancer and choreographer Sabina Bočková, their artistic tandem created several highly praised pieces that stand out also internationally.

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Born in 1992, Johana Pocková studied Duncan Centre conservatory. She also attended Peridance Capezio Centre in New York for six months, as well as completed two years at SEAD (Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance). Early on, she was interested in choreography and soon her dance and creative qualities became known, winning the choreographic competition Jarmila Jeřábková Award in 2017 (with „MURDER! A little comics history“).

After, she created projects „Why not now?“, „SPEKTRUM“ and intergenerational piece for four dancers, an eight year old and a grandmother of eighty-nine years „Full Store of Emotion“. In this project she works with sentiments and memories, combining profesional and amateur performers.

Her work is also influenced by her collaboration with Miřenka Čechová (Tantehorse), who turned her attention to elements and creative processes of physical theater which Pocková started to employ in her pieces. Experimenting with spoken word, as well as singing, give her work different impulses. She also met Sabina Bočková in the Miřenka Čechová project for young artists „!O! Family Therapy“ and since then Sabina and Johana found common ground and continue to collaborate since.

Firstly preocuppied by personal themes, Johana Pocková progressed to address social and cultural issues in her work. She likes to get involved in the research before the creative proces itself. She is also capable of using elements of absurd humor in dance.

In 2019 Pocková created „Onto the Scale“, together with Vojtěch Hříbek who she also met in the Tantehorse project. Dealing with themes of competition, exploring an audition proces in which people stubbornly try to succeed, driven against all obstacles.

Her critically acclaimed project „The Lion’s Den“ (2019), is precisely choreographed and emotionally raw performance focusing on the manipulation and power strategies of political populism. A symbolic designation of the space which current society is more or less voluntarily falling into. This appelative duet of Sabina Bočková and Johana Pocková has been selected in 2020 among the three Czech representatives who have succeeded in the fierce competition with more than 600 applicants from 35 European countries in the Aerowaves network. They will represent Czech dance scene in the Aerowaves Twenty21.

The most recent project is „Treatment of Remembering“, premiered in Ponec theatre in 2020. Working for the first time with an expanded team of a set designer Denisa Švachová, along with music composer Lukáš Palán and sound designer Jakub Šťourač, they explore the themes of the relationship with nature, using the technique of a procedure of remembering what a person felt in nature confronted with a space where nature is worn out and abolished. Adding one more dancer to the interpretation, the trio’s movement resonates and leaves us pondering about our relationship to nature and ourselves.

„The recent premiere made it clear that the creative tandem of POCKetART remains viable. The creators have not abandoned their characteristic style based on the rhythmisation of movement expression and imaginative sharing of individual impressions – a typical example of one of the possible forms of contemporary dance in central Europe, East of Eden in the parallel universe of the German tanztheatre.“
Zuzana Smugalová, Taneční aktuality 2020

Photo: Marek Lampart