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WOW! – Stanislava Vlčeková, Jozef Vlk / Debris Company

Stanislava Vlčeková

A graduate of Ján Levoslav Bella Conservatory in Banská Bystrica, and holder of a degree in pedagogy of modern dance from the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava. Since 2011, Stanislava Vlčeková has worked at the Acting Department of the Theatre Faculty, Academy of Performing Arts. In 2002, together with Renáta Bubniaková and Lucia Kašiarová, she established the dance group MY3, in which she was a co-author and dancer. She has collaborated with the SkRAT Theatre, elledanse theatre, as well as with theatre and film personalities (e.g. directors Roman Polák, Kamil Žiška, Martin Čičvák, Michal Vajdička, Peter Bebjak, Rastislav Ballek, choreographer Šárka Ondrišová, and others).

She is a core member of the physical theatre Debris Company, where she works as a choreographer and performer. Using the music composed by Jozef Vlk, she created choreographies for the following productions of the Debris Company: Soliloquy (Aréna Theatre 2006), Dolcissime Sirene (Chamber Studio of the Slovak Radio 2007), Ortopoetikum (A4 – Space for Contemporary Art 2007), Hexen (elledanse theatre 2010), MONO – in collaboration with Peter Jaško (elledanse theatre 2010), and EPIC (elledanse theatre 2012).

Stanislava Vlčeková is fascinated by the physical limits of the human body – it allows for a discovery of new possibilities of expressing and linking movement. She organizes and leads intensive workshops for professional dancers, dance pedagogues, choreographers and actors in Slovakia and abroad.

She has been awarded numerous prizes. In 2004, the Jury Award at the 12th Saitama International Dance Contest in Tokyo for choreography co-authorship for the MY3 group in the production My Tri My Try (The Three of Us, My Try) (Aréna Theatre 2002). In 2009, she won the TAOS prize as the Dance Personality of the Season in contemporary dance, for the production Hexen. In 2012, she won 3rd prize at the Festival of Choreography Miniatures in Belgrade for the choreography to Rose, created for the Bratislava Ballet (New Stage Theatre 2011).

 

Jozef Vlk

After the establishment of the theatre company Hubris (later renamed to Debris), Vlk took advantage of several music and theatre scholarships (Graz, Stuttgart, Amsterdam, etc.) and workshops. He is the founder and leading personality of one of the first Slovak independent theatre ensembles – the Debris Company – that he has led for nearly twenty years.  He wrote the musical score for numerous dance and theatre productions, films, and projects. His name is connected with a great number of theatre, film, dance and other productions.

As a director and composer, he has collaborated with several important personalities at various domestic and international musical and theatrical projects that were successfully presented in Slovakia and abroad. The personalities Jozef Vlk has worked with include, among others, Matthew Hawkins, Judy Kaplan, Lloyd Newson, Marjolin Sinke, F. Cox, Jean Michel Bruyere, Pauline de Groot, Martin Burlas, Milan Sládek, Marta Polákova, Šárka Ondrišová, Kamil Žiška, Martin Luther, Martin Čičvák, and Juraj Chĺpik. At present, he is active mostly in theatre, new electronic music, contemporary dance and film. He has organized theatre events and festivals in Bratislava, such as Bazén, Priestor 98 and Protéza.

He is the composer and director of productions made within the past ten years and produced by the Debris Company, all choreographed by Stanislava Vlčeková: Soliloquy, Dolcissime Sirene, Ortopoetikum, Hexen, MONO (in collaboration with Peter Jaško), Epic, WOW!, The Abduction of Europe

In 2003, he directed the middle-length dance movie The Day. He has received several awards.

For example, in 2008, he won the DOSKY theatre award in the Best Stage Music category for the production Canto Hondo (elledanse theatre 2007), and in 2012 the DOSKY theatre award for Best Music in the production Rose.

 

Description of their work:

Director Jozef Vlk and Stanislava Vlčeková create art through searching for music-movement compositions emphasized or directly created by means of strong musical, lighting and visual elements. A lush intellectual theme – defined in the depth and breadth of the given context, as well as in the delicately tuned details of allusions and quotations – has become a norm in their work. The postdramatic theatre work both artists have produced for the Debris Company is characteristic for its fragmentation of text, space and movement, and a reduction thereof to impulses and associations from which the audience has to construct its own story representing an idea or impression. This is also the case of the production titled WOW! It is the first part of a trilogy. In 2017, its second part was produced with the title Abduction of Europe, and the artists are currently working on its final chapter, with the working title Job.

 

WOW!

WOW! is a visually strong production about the essence of the origin of life, inspired by the poetry of Eugen Gindl. In the production, life defies itself. Consumerist society, admiration of one’s self and one’s power, competitiveness and constant changes, referred to as liquidity… in the 21st century, all of these have reached a single point: WOW! Awe blends with horror, static cramp with dance, extinction with inception. The genesis of the origination or extinction of human civilization is verbalized using projections of individual periods (Abstract, Holocene, GoldenAge, TheLegology, StupidityBoom, ProGnosis, ColorSlide, RedSpot, PornoGraffiti, CyberClip, VirtualZoom, Decrescendo, Catharsis, Impromptu in Green).

In many parts of the production, both performers are almost motionless before they again spring into expansive movement. They are creatures in a certain stage of development, with uncertain direction between origination and extinction. The whisper of the narrator (Braňo Mosný) creates the impression of an uncanny mystery which is intended only for the chosen ones.

Alex Zelina’s projections on the backdrop of the set display images of objects and structures in the universe.  They blend with and flow through the dancers, as if the bodies themselves were only something amorphous, translucent and indefinite. During the performance, the projection shifts from the background into the performance space and becomes more three dimensional, until it covers the physical presence of the performers themselves. The visuality of the individual scenes, the whisper, the music – all these elements feel like parts of a Greenaway movie, gradually revealing the levels of the genesis of human kind. The whole composition of WOW! is true to the style of the Debris Company: it abundantly uses music and visual elements combined with precise movements and exaggerated expressivity. In addition, it allows the spectator to delve deep, all the way to the core of the issue.

 

Premiere: 24 and 26 February 2017, A4 – Space for Contemporary Culture
Concept and direction: Jozef Vlk
Choreography: Stanislava Vlčeková
Dance: Stanislava Vlčeková, Peter Cseri
Text: Eugen Gindl
Translation: Martin Solotruk
Video art: Alex Zelina
Dramaturgy: Dáša Čiripová
Music: Jozef Vlk
Stage design: Ján Ptačin
Costume design: Katarína Holková
Whisper: Braňo Mosný
Technical cooperation: Matej Černušák
Production: Martina Širáňová
Financially supported by: Bratislava Self-Governing Region, Art Support Fund, A4 – Space for Contemporary Culture, Cvernovka Foundation

 

Trailer to the production can be found at this link.
Author: Juraj Chlpík


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