Pavel Šmok Institute has opened a video library and launched the Ballet Prague Heritage online database

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A new video library with a study, where you can access some of the fully digitalized materials for studying choreographies of Pavel Šmok, Luboš Ogoun, and other figures of 20th-century Czech dance history, has been opened at the Pavel Šmok Institute in the Dance Art Center in Braník.


The venue offers a study room with an extensive archive of printed materials, photos, and a video archive of choreographies from the Studio Ballet Prague period as well as the Prague Chamber Ballet. The Pavel Šmok Institute has also launched the Ballet Prague Heritage website. The new database, which is going to gradually expand, features documents about the Studio Ballet Prague repertoire (1964-1969). Choreographies from the time when Pavel Šmok worked in Basel and the repertoire of the Prague Chamber Ballet will be added soon.

“The online database contains the overview of the Ballet Prague production (which was originally called Studio Ballet Prague), that means the repertoire from 1964–1969: information about choreographies, photo galleries, production teams, databases of dancers,” says Lucie Kocourková, the dance historian and writer as well as the coordinator of the Pavel Šmok Institute activities. “The web is user-friendly and has a modern and smart graphic design. The databases are going to be expanded and we aim to feature the repertoire of the Prague Chamber Ballet. There will also be more video materials, which are naturally rare as far as the 1960s are concerned.”

The Pavel Šmok Institute is now preparing the new monograph Pavel Šmok. The Choreographer with Poet’s Soul written by Lucie Kocourková. The book focuses on Pavel Šmok’s choreographies and the development from the first attempts. The book will be published in the book series Studio Ballet Prague and Prague Chamber Ballet – history and figures.

Pavel Šmok (1927 – 2016) – Czech choreographer and dance teacher, the author of ballet librettos ranks among the outstanding figures of Czech dance history. He worked on Czech and Slovak stages and was the head of the ballet company in Basel (1970-73). Šmok, Luboš Ogoun, and Vladimír Vašut founded the experimental dance company Ballet Prague in 1965, followed by the Prague Chamber Ballet with Šmok’s supervision. Šmok was appointed university professor in 1990. He was a teacher at AMU from 1990 to 2005. He trained many choreographers and performers and has influenced many others, such as Lucie Holánková, and Kateřina Franková – Dědková. He staged about 100 ballets, 60 of them as the world premiere. His work is based on Czech composers.