The solo performance of the dancer, performer and singer Cecile da Costa is a disarming testimony about self-doubt. The author says the following about the production topic: “I feel guilty. I cannot remember why. I might have done something wrong, or something that was not good enough, or something I should have done but I didn’t. Guilt could have been present before. The worst thing is not to feel guilty, the worst thing is to try and remember why.” Cecile da Costa is an extremely fragile person, but as she demonstrated in her previous solo The Narrator, she is also extremely strong. In Roselyn, she keeps holding a big flowerpot with a house plant so that viewers cannot see her face. Everything she wants to say is communicated by the body action and a speech full of gasps that is incomprehensible half the time. She tries to be invisible on an elegant spacious stage with a white sofa. “The performance of Roselyne is interwoven by melancholy; melancholy follows the woman. Yet it does not lack humor; it also contains the scene of a semi-acrobatic clownery – on and around the white sofa,” says Nina Vangeli, the dance journalist, about Cecile da Costa’s work in Taneční zóna magazine.
Constellation III – Spitfire company
Spitfire Company, the physical theatre ensemble, has staged the last part of the Constellation in the Ponec Theatre. The company specializes in dealing with a specific idea or a topic in the series of three works to explore options, limits and varieties from various points of view. In the third part of Constellation, the shape of the production oscillates from provocations to a ritual. The protagonists are performers Miřenka Čechová and Markéta Vacovská, as well as the musician and sound designer Sára Vondrášková aka Never Sol. Miřenka and Markéta have worked together for a long time and their harmony on the stage is deep and intimate. Sára shapes their presence on the stage by creating acoustic electronic landscapes. Dancers’ behavior and motion on the stage is symbolic, yet truly physical. It reminds the viewers of the preparatory stage of a transformation ritual. Viewers can watch the seemingly chaotic development provided that they resolve to be on the same page.
“It is not easy to be a Spitfire Company viewer, but I guess it is worth it. Moreover, Sára Vondrášková keeps a tight rein on the development and changes viewers’ anticipated experience in alternative theatre to experience in music and dance. Like DJs at dance parties or industrial concerts, she controls atmosphere, timing and sensitivity of the experience on the stage; she fixes audiences, does not let them have a rest or the tiniest escape,” says Zuzana Smugalová in one of her reviews for Taneční aktuality.
The Wariot Ideal Company has a stable position in Czech independent theatre. It has had ten years of experience, during which they have been exploring the limits of genres in experiments spiced up by jokes and childlike dreaming. In the new Vojta Švejda’s one-man cabaret The Illusionist, the company returns to the beginning and follows the once-successful solo clowneries Bliss or Albert Is Afraid. The new piece is not a simple return to modern pantomime or clownery, but it stubbornly creates the eclectic mixture of all available stage disciplines. Vojta Švejda represents a classic anti-hero, who tries to do a great theatre performance on a shabby scene whatever it takes. The production directed by Petr Forman brings many funny and magical moments. The Illusionist is a production, which will be entertaining for both children and adults.
“In his fifty-minute-long solo, the performer eclectically moved among various inconsistent stage disciplines, roles, costumes and genres from a guitar concert, a western movie, horror, opera and ballet to a documentary and a film parody,” writes Marie Kobrlová for Taneční aktuality.
The Freak Show
Lenka Vagnerová company’s premiere of The Freak Show was a big event of the late 2019. Vagnerová staged it in the Comedy Theatre, where the company is based. The new item in the repertoire of the LV & company, The Freak Show, is an obscure noir performance in the shape of a cabaret fresco. The author Lenka Vagnerová was inspired by the 19th century, when salesmen with bizarre things were travelling the world, their business based on voyeurism and a specific type of human curiosity. Vagnerová and her team have thoroughly explored the facts and each character in The Freak Show has its real model. Dark atmosphere of the performance the choreographer develops by the sequence of scenes is underpinned by Ivan Acher’s provocative music. The means she uses are eclectic, ranging from dance to the art of magic, juggling and opera singing. Visual intensity and frequent moments of surprise are supported by smart costumes, which are both functional and dramatic, and they esthetically anchor the performance in the historical times. The Czech dance scene has acquired a great and visually attractive production.