The production of Bon Appétit! was created in cooperation with the National Theatre Ballet. The viewers can see dancers of both ensembles in one project. It is the first time Laterna magika has organized this kind of coproduction. However, experimenting ranks among its basic principles and as we can see, it does not have to be an experiment with forms and technologies. “It naturally brings along organizational challenges, yet our mutual enrichment is vitally important,” says choreographer Jan Kodet. “Dancers in both companies and excellent and working together poses a challenge that pushes everybody forward.”
Fascinated with food
The new performance Bon Appétit! is designed for young audiences who are interested in modern music and dance. Fascination with food is the inspiration the authors share. It is a pure author’s theatre with no lines or libretto as it keeps developing from the first meeting to the premiere, and it can change its direction at any moment. “This method was regularly used abroad for dance theatre and contemporary dance, it is pretty common,” explains Jan Kodet, talking about the method which is not common at the National Theatre.
Associations the authors implemented on the stage resemble free verse. “Snippets of stories, inner worlds of people we have passed in the street or dream. Fear, search, and discovery. Passing of time. Joy from the pancake well done. Orange and its secret under the skin. A thrown-away cup. Loneliness at the table. Touch. Lack of touch. French – the language of cooks. Chocolate fountain. Frozen and defrosted feelings in the middle of a cooling box. Dancers express all of this by their movement, but also words and singing. For each viewer, all these fragments can make a different story and world, which is enticed or finished by the phrase Bon Appétit!,“ explains Martin Kukučka, one of the directors.
Author’s theatre of a well-coordinated team
The head of the artistic team is choreographer Jan Kodet: “It was only logical to find a topic close to everybody. However, food is only a springboard. The topic triggered many associations and other ways to dance images that are more or less abstract or specific, touch upon human relationships, enjoying one’s life, as well as environmental issues.”
“I guess it is important to underpin that we have aimed at a dance project from the very beginning. Dance is also part of Laterna magika, not only the merger of projections and motion,” says Lukáš Trpišovský. “In my opinion, viewers who love a free and associative form will enjoy the performance the most. It is a girl with an orange, played by Kristina Kornová, who opens and closes the performance. She lets us enter her inner landscape with an orange tree, animal, and storm. The inner storm is experienced by other characters as well – the pancake makers, a girl at the table, garbageman, garbage woman, boy-animal, and others. Sometimes only in one scene, sometimes as guides in the performance – they step out of the crowd or merge with it,” he adds.
The stage designer is Jakub Kopecký, who has worked in Laterna magika before – he was a stage designer for Human Locomotion, Sorcerer’s Apprentice for the National Theatre Ballet, or The Bouquet (the three authors of the successful productions are the same – Jan Kodet + SKUTR). Jakub Kopecký’s current interest is to explore the use of fluorescent tubes and their oblong diodes are the main part of the light park. The cold and stark stage contrasts with the energy and passion of the dancers’ motion.
The performance is dominated by contemporary music by Ivan Acher, who ascribes different styles to particular scenes. The universal interpreter of the demanding choreography and singing is the talented Ballet demi-soloist Kristina Kornová. The combination of the minimalistic cold and metaphorically expressive dance costumes, which sometimes play the role of props as well, was designed by Simona Rybáková, who also works with the authors on other projects. The screenings are the work of Erik Bartoš, who experienced Laterna magika in the performance The Garden.
Choreographer: Jan Kodet
Directors: SKUTR (Martin Kukučka, Lukáš Trpišovský)
Music: Ivan Acher
Stage design: Jakub Kopecký
Costume design: Simona Rybáková
Screenings: Jakub Kopecký, Erik Bartoš
1st and 2nd premiere: 10 and 11 September 2020 at 8 p.m.
New Stage of the National Theatre