Solo 2016 – Milan Tomášik / Záhrada – Centre for Independent Culture

Studied dance at Ján Levoslav Bella Conservatory in Banská Bystrica and at the Music and Dance Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava. He graduated from P. A. R. T. – the prestigious international dance school in Brussels. As part of the ImPulsTanz – Vienna International Dance Festival in 2001, Tomášik won the DanceWeb scholarship and went on a tour with the Dutch group MAPA (Moving Academy for Performing Art).

He has collaborated with many eminent choreographers, such as Eva Weissmann, Iztok Kovač – En-Knap company, Maja Delak, Mala Kline, Snježana Premuš, or Barbara Novakovič Kolenc.

He extended his pedagogical activities to a series of seminars titled Happy Feet. It is intended for professional groups, festivals and dance academies. Simultaneously, he has led workshops with the title Playful Presence, organized in numerous countries of Europe, China, Democratic Republic of Congo and Mexico.

Tomášik has cooperated also with other artists. With Alexander Gottfarb, he created the production Baga-Basta (Plesni Teater Ljubljana 2008). In collaboration with Jelena Milovanovic, he created the multimedia performance Displaced Body (Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana 2010). Together with Stanislav Dobák, he made the documentary dance movie Off-beat Live (2014). In collaboration with Magdalena Reiter and Anjou Golob, he created Solo for Two Voices (Cankarjev dom – Dance Theatre Ljubljana 2017).

Tomášik is the co-founder and active member of the ensemble Les SlovaKs Dance Collective residing in Brussels, which internationally presented its collective work in projects such as Opening Night (2007), Journey Home (2009), The Concert (2010), or Fragments (2012).

At the 2015 Cortoindanza festival (Cagliari, Italy), his solo performance Off-beat (Plesni Teater Ljubljana 2011) won special prize for musical research and the expressive strength of choreographic language.

In 2014, he established the dance company Milan Tomášik & Co, under the auspices of which he created the choreography for Hunting Season (Spanish Fighters Cultural Center Ljubljana 2014) – which won two awards for best lighting design at the Kiosk festival (festival of Slovak dance and theatre) and at the Gibanica festival – as well as the choreography for the production Silver Blue (Dance Theater Ljubljana 2015) made for four dancers. His most recent choreography created for this company is the project titled Fight Bright (Cankarjev dom Ljubljana 2018).

The trilogy of solo performances created in the last decade (Within, Plesni Teater Ljubljana 2006 and Off-Beat, Plesni Teater Ljubljana 2011) was completed by the project titled Solo 2016.


Description of his work:

Milan Tomášik’s exceptionally refined musicality defined his style very early in his artistic career. His sense for translating musical form into dance movement is the defining element behind the quality of his choreography. It is characteristic for a ubiquitous lightness that defines not only the form of Tomášik’s movement language, but is also typical for his way of thinking – his view of personal, intimate themes. In addition, it also determines Tomášik’s movement in the space between radicalized polarities, whether ideological or physical ones.  His delicate movement connections are often created using subtle and intellectual sense of humour.


Solo 2016

In his Solo 2016 project, Tomášik concentrates all of his dance art experience to return to its roots. The research, which has been part of his creative process, started in 2015 and took place every day for 365 days wherever the artist was located. At all of these places, he would do training using selected music which was all around him and which he had a special relationship with. By doing this, he opened the issue of the conflict concerning the relationship with the music he adores and the musical genres he is ambivalent about. Tomášik addressed this conflict by means of aural layering, while closely cooperating with renowned composers and musicologists. In Solo 2016, Tomášik included in the creative process also the job of an assistant choreographer – bringing in a different, more objective view of the author’s work until then. Solo 2016 is a personal, as well as universal, documentary record of a dancer who uses a series of diverse emotional states to speak about intimacy, sadness, trust, hope, beauty and horror. The dance movement is a thread connecting the past with the future. The past and the future are interconnected in a moment when everything changes, while the body – like a basso continuo – keeps moving through time and space, resisting any pressure violently interfering with our intimate space. The interruption and phrasing of musical styles and periods extends the boundaries within which reality is defined and functions as an extension of the body into the universe. It dictates a change of muscular tension and creates a rhythm – like traces of movement in time. The boundary between the illuminating and absorbing light balances on a thin line between the present and a state of fading away, between disappearance and fluid life inside and outside of the closed-in space of our existence.  Solo 2016 is the reflection of a moment that is hard to define and is also timeless, a moment that comes and is already gone. One does not have the strength to capture it, to own it, or to comment on it. One can just savour it.


Premiere: 19 September 2016, Tabačka Kulturfabrik
Choreography, musical selection and dance: Milan Tomášik
Assistant choreographer: Špela Vodeb
Dramaturgy: Andreja Kopač
Lighting design and technical management: Luka Curk
Costume and stage design: Jasna Vastl
Video: Hana Bi
Production: KUD Cortesia
Co-production: Tersicorea/Suoni e Pause (Italy), Dance Theater Ljubljana (Slovenia), Cankarjev dom Ljubljana (Slovenia), Tabačka Kulturfabrik Košice (Slovakia), Mediterranean dance centre Svetvinčenat (Croatia), Studio Alta Prague (Czech Republic)
Financially supported by: City of Ljubljana, Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Ljubljana, City of Celje, Art Support Fund


Trailer to the production can be found at this link.
Author: Photo archive of the author

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