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The ceremony of the Czech Theatre DNA Awards took place on 18 February 2022. The Czech cultural network Nová síť awards the winners as a tribute to outstanding figures and activities in new theatre. Given the fact that the pandemic has significantly affected the sector of live arts, most of this year’s awards went to figures and initiatives that have substantially participated in improving the conditions for theatre and dance production.

The award for the outstanding long-term achievements, development and support of new theatre:

Buchty a loutky / Puppets and Cake company
The independent, alternative and puppet theatre has been entertaining children and adults with its unique poetics for thirty years. They adapt classical works as well as their pieces with insight and unmistakable humor. Buchty a loutky theatre was founded in 1991 in the hostel in Cheb by recent graduates of the Puppetry Department at DAMU. Since then, they have produced 60 theatre premieres for adults and children, puppet and animated films and videos, many one-time projects in non-traditional theatre, music, visual arts, film and the merger thereof. The theatre has inspired many followers from puppetry amateurs to professionals. Thanks to Buchty a loutky, the genre keeps developing and manages to surprise and entertain. Buchty a loutky is undoubtedly a classic theatre company.

The award for the outstanding achievement, development and support of new theatre:

Rezi.Dance Komařice
The residence house Pod Javory is exceptional for its unprecedented dynamics of development and support of artists not only in the Czech Republic. Applying its distinctive concept, it provides important space for artistic and cultural projects, entices new inspirations and approaches in contemporary dance, theatre and literature. It provides a creative environment and facilities for residencies. It has offered a brand new perspective to the active approach to regional culture on which it has had a positive impact. The patrons of the current development of creative residencies are Markéta Málková a Aleš Hrdlička. www.

You Don’t Have to Endure It! Initiative
Marie Luisa Purkrábková and other DAMU students have demonstrated unprecedented courage to establish the Ne!musíš to vydržet/You Don’t Have to Endure It Initiative. The initiative aptly describes and questions behavior that should be no longer considered normal at university or anywhere else. Sexual harassment, the issue of power abuse, the lack of safe space and the right to equal relationships go far beyond universities. The You Don’t Have to Endure It Initiative has brought in the much-needed dialogue and started changes that will lead to a healthier environment and mechanisms providing safety, support and accountability in many other departments.

Jakub Vedral
Jakub Vedral was instrumental in stabilizing culture after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. He has demonstrated his ability to enforce the interests of Czech culture with unprecedented determination, tenacity and strong-mindedness through countless very successful negotiations at the level of the executive sector and the government of the Czech Republic. Jakub Vedral is a member of the presidium of the Czech Centre of the International Theatre Institute, he has worked with outstanding Czech independent theatres as a production manager and producer. He has visited a few continents with these companies and won many prestigious awards; he has been involved in the production, dramaturgy and directing of the Czech presentation at EXPO in Aichi, Shanghai, Milan, Astana and Dubai. He is the co-founder of the biggest drive-in festival Art Parking. Jakub Vedral is the founder and director of ART Prometheus z.s.

Nominees for the award for the outstanding achievement, development and support of new theatre:

Miřenka Čechová
A prominent representative of contemporary dance and physical theatre, director, writer, teacher and co-founder of Tantehorse and Spitfire Company. In the past two years, Miřenka Čechová has staged numerous successful projects (Metabaletky/Metaballerinas, Strachy/Fears, the Invisible and Emergency Dances series, and others) that have enticed vivid discussions among the public. Her projects rank from autobiographic shows and performative laboratories to dance activism. They emphasize the importance of the reflection of a self and a shadow that is not necessarily flattering, the open and free environment of artistic and institutional practice.

The international platform PiNKBUS protects young queer artists and opens creative space for cooperation between the underground LGBT community and established artists from the Czech Republic and abroad. The authors keep responding to the worldwide rise of drag culture they have successfully brought to Prague. Thanks to this platform, theatre and dance stages have acquired new and valuable impulses for their development. PiNKBUS cultivates a safe space for the LGBT community and opens up current social topics of sexuality, nakedness, freedom of physicality or a beauty cult.

The podcast series and a solo performance of voice artist, musician and performer Ridina Ahmedová. Sádlo deals with the issue of social pressure on (not exclusively) women’s appearance and examines variable and complicated ways to accept one’s own body. Since its very beginning, the project has stirred impetuous reactions, sparked the discussion across all social classes and highlights the neuralgic and intimate taboos of today. Naming and sharing rank among the fundamental building blocks, this is also the reason why the podcast and performance Sádlo has a significant influence on destroying the stereotypes concerning appearance.

Temporary Collective
The independent platform Temporary Collective focuses on the possibilities of examining various areas and media. Its recent projects are Call Alice, Silence, Voices and Duets. The company creates moving interactions of connections and places, plays with changes and uniqueness of relationships as well as circumstances entering in the specific project with each show. In these projects, Temporary Collective evaluates its previous interest in the joy of experimenting and crossing the borders.

Terén is a dramaturgic and production platform with no company and permanent stage that produces unique theatre and boundary-pushing art projects all year round. Since 2019 it has been the third stage of the Center for Experimental Theatre in Brno. It examines, proposes and evaluates perspectives of the change in thinking about performing arts. It aims at redefining the conditions under which current performing arts work. The scope and variability of strategies Terén works with makes it a truly unique project in the Czech Republic

Život on Air
The podcast of the theatre company Ufftenživot was created as a reaction to the closure of cultural life in the first period of the coronavirus pandemic. Život on Air has brought inspiring interviews that brought together listeners across the Czech Republic. The purpose of the podcast activity is the production of experiences that provide a new point of view, are thought-provoking and search for unexpected connections possible with the aim to create a safe space for communication. The producer of the podcast is the theatremaker and actor Jiří Šimek.

The Czech and French collective of the Y-generation of artists dealing with contemporary motion and visual arts. tYhle is made up of four artists who share a similar opinion on contemporary arts, based on the need to experiment and cross the borders. Actors and dancers Lukáš Karásek and Florent Golfier, stage designer and choreographer Marie Gourdain and light designer Zuzana Režná have been increasingly interested in their own artistic goals and keep developing their original poetics.