Anthropo(s)cene: Environmental issues, ecological thinking, and sustainability in Slovak theatre
The multi-year project is aimed at researching how Slovak theatre (especially as regards its themes and knowledge concerning the activities and operation of theatres) relates to the tendencies in environmental sustainability as well as the approaches in fine arts that address the interaction between humans and nature. In the project, we will focus on two main areas: the ecological and environmental themes in Slovak theatre and the broad possibilities of ecological thinking in theatre practice.
The project consists of two separate parts.
The first part – Man in Conflict with Nature: Environmental Issues, Ecological Thinking, and Coexistence with the Natural World in Slovak Theatre –focuses on the past and the present. It is distinctive for its effort to examine the ways in which the interaction between humans and the natural world is reflected in the history of Slovak theatre. This part’s main goal is to initiate research that could highlight how the conflict between man and nature has become embedded in Slovak theatre plays and performing art productions.
The second part is called Sustainability and the Circular Model in the Operation of Slovak Theatres and focuses on the present and the future. In collaboration with external colleagues from partner institutions and Slovak theatres, we aim to explore the potential in the area of environmental sustainability of performing arts. The exchange of know-how between professionals from the environmental sector, Slovak theatres, and the project coordinator will facilitate the planning and implementation of measures to develop low-carbon strategies in theatre operation. This part of the project should allow the leadership and management of theatres to implement green solutions – changes in operation, organization of theatre processes, creation of productions, as well as the post-production phase of the staging process all the way to the derniére.
Partner: Institute of Circular Economy (Bratislava, SR)
Ten Choreographers of Slovak Contemporary Dance
In 2018 the Theatre Institute, in conjunction with the non-profit organisation Dance Prague, and the information, promotion, learning, advisory and research centre Art Institute – Theatre Institute presented an online catalogue entitled A Brief Guide to Slovak Contemporary Dance at the international dance fair The internationale tanzmesse nrw in Düsseldorf.
The catalogue contained a selection of the current works by contemporary Slovak choreographers, featuring the latest contemporary dance productions on Slovak stage. The catalogue served as the vantage point for the follow-up online project entitled Ten Choreographers of Slovak Contemporary Dance.
The catalogue is accessible to the public in Slovak and English at: www.theatre.sk/projekty/10-tvorcov-sucasneho-sk-tanca and www.theatre.sk/en/projects/ten-choreographers-of-slovak-contemporary-dance
By identifying the idiosyncratic inventive elements in the work of these authors, the project presents the diversity of the creative capacity on the home scene of contemporary dance within European context.
The online catalogue Ten Choreographers of Slovak Contemporary Dance captures the work of Slovak contemporary choreographers up to the 2018/2019 theatre season. The content will be further expanded by an additional ten authors, along with an update of the hitherto featured artists.
Contemporary Slovak Directors
The Theatre Institute's research and publication project Contemporary Slovak Directors focuses on the field of contemporary Slovak theatre direction. The aim of the new project is to capture and consequently make accessible the work of contemporary Slovak directors by way of publishing expert profiles as well as pictorial and documentary material.
The project’s initiative has resulted from the absence of a comprehensive charting of the outcomes of art activity by contemporary directors in Slovakia, as well as from the effort to bridge the ruptures in the presentation of their work in Slovakia and abroad.
The project aspires to create comprehensive informative portraits capturing the art of selected directors, who currently represent the cutting edge of Slovak active and high-quality theatre and whose art has been shaping contemporary Slovak theatre direction. The encyclopaedic structure of the name entries and the documentary and pictorial material charting the individual productions are a guarantee of a comprehensive overview of the state of contemporary Slovak direction.
The catalogue is accessible to the public in Slovak and English at: www.theatre.sk/projekty/sucasni-reziseri-slovenska and www.theatre.sk/en/projects/contemporary-slovak-directors.
The new profiles of contemporary Slovak directors will be continuously updated in the virtual online catalogue with the aim to cover the artistic work of Slovak directors of multiple generations.
Theatre Critics’ Dictionary
The research and publication project Theatre Critics’ Dictionary aspires to provide information – in the form of encyclopaedic name entries – about personalities connected with theatre criticism and writing in Slovakia.
The project’s objective is to create an encyclopaedia consisting of name entries – a dictionary of theatre critics and writers – intended for the general and expert public. The final encyclopaedia should contain around 200 names ordered alphabetically.
At present, the Centre for Theatre Research managed the production of an electronic version of the encyclopaedia that will then be put online on the Theatre Institute’s web page. Ultimately, the many years of research should result also in a print version of the dictionary.
Owing to its broad scope and horizontal structure, the lexicon should become a useful tool for all those working with theatre critiques and reviews, as these are an important primary source of information for research purposes.
The Present of Theatre Past
The Present of Theatre Past is a project prepared by the Centre for Theatre Research offering a series of interactive multimedia DVDs with the aim to mediate information about the past in theatre using a modern and attractive approach to communicate it to as many recipients as possible. Via productions that significantly shaped the history of theatre, the project presents the richness of the archive, museum and documentary funds and collections of the Theatre Institute, as well as the methods used to preserve the theatre past.
The project aims to mediate to the public as much of the available knowledge about theatre and its time as possible, and also to present the results of theatrological research using model productions.
Until now, the project gave birth to three interactive DVDs Herodes and Herodias (2013), The Forest (2014) and The Shepherd’s Wife (2017), in which the employees of the Centre for Theatre Research assembled archive materials on all Slovak professional productions of Hviezdoslav’s tragedy, Ostrovsky’s social comedy and Stodola’s drama.
Golden Collection of Slovak Professional Theatre
The ambition of the project called Golden Collection of Slovak Professional Theatre is to highlight the remarkable results of Slovak theatre producers by presenting the best work of Slovak professional theatres in the 1920–2017 period.
The project aims to analyze, describe and present selected productions which are considered – in terms of their ideas and aesthetic features – to be the best and most beneficial for the overall development of Slovak professional theatremaking.
The objective of the Centre for Theatre Research is to include the best of each theatre genre – drama, opera, ballet, puppet theatre, mime, contemporary dance and musical. It relies on the effort to capture productions that resonated not only at the time of their origin, but that also left permanent traces in the history of Slovak dramatic art for many years after their last performance.
The international project titled Reclaimed Avant-garde is organized and administered by Instytut teatralny im. Zbigniewa Raszewskiego (Theatre Institute of Zbigniew Raszewski) in Warsaw.
Apart from the Theatre Institute, the project’s participants include theatrological and art history institutions from countries of Central, Eastern and Southern Europe (Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bulgaria).
The objective of the international project is to explore and present European avant-garde tendencies in theatre art of the first half of the 20th century and thus raise the awareness of theorists and theatremakers of avant-garde art notions and movements in our geo-cultural area during the period in question. It is a period of the so-called historical avant-garde during the first decades of the 20th century, approximately delineated by the year 1939, when – besides the well-known western and Russian avant-garde movements – new aspects were introduced also to the local thinking about theatre art.
Contemporary Slovak Dance
Research of the most recent history of dance art in Slovakia is motivated mostly by the effort to explore and record the period in which the contemporary dance scene was shaped.
In collaboration with the Theatre Institute’s Department of Theatre Documentation, Information and Digitalization, collections are being complemented by material that maps the most recent history of dance in Slovakia. It includes mainly video recordings, photographs and press promotion material. At the same time, information is being completed and corrected in the existing registers according to unified terminology. Furthermore, an independent, comprehensive register of dance art productions after 1991 is being prepared – particularly work of artists who created and presented their art outside of repertory theatres.
Thanks to the cooperation with PLaST (Platform for Contemporary Dance), data is being acquired to map the situation, funding and conditions for contemporary dance art in the 2010–2018 period.
Fund of Slovak Artists Abroad
As part of the project titled Fund of Slovak Artists Abroad, the Centre for Theatre Research is preparing and completing the documentation for detailed research of the art and interpretational work of Slovak dance artists abroad, offering also a parallel reflection of their work in Slovakia.
The project includes several areas. One of these is the work of the Les SlovaKs dance group in Brussels. The members of the group (Anton Lachký, Peter Jaško, Milan Herich, Martin Kilvády, Milan Tomášik) currently do their own artistic work worldwide. The project reflects not only their art performed as part of Les SlovaKs, but also presents individual profiles of each of the artists which capture their independent creative and interpretational activities on a global scale.
Another area of the project is a reflection of the art of Pavol Zuštiak, who is currently working in New York.
So far, the project has helped create basic profiles of the following representatives of contemporary dance: Peter Šavel – Brussels; Lívia Balážová – Brussels, Costa Rica; Eva Klimáčková – Paris, Riga; Jana Tereková – Paris; Tomáš Danielis – Graz, Brussels, Moscow; Michaela Hulvejová – Linz; Jozef Fruček – Athens; Peter Mika – Palamos; Soňa Ferienčíková – Prague; Lucia Kašiarová – Prague; Zdenka Sviteková – Prague; Anna Caunerová-Línová – Prague; Mirka Mechelová – Ostrava; Viliam Dočolomanský – Prague; Andrej Petrovič – London.
Similarly, profiles of ballet artists working for prominent European ballet stages have been created: Nina Poláková – Vienna; Roman Lazík – Vienna; Roman Nowitzki – Stuttgart; Mário Radačovský – Haag, Prague, Montreal, Bratislava, Brno; Lukáš Timulák – Monte Carlo, Amsterdam; Natália Horečná – Haag, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Košice, Bratislava Slovak National Theatre; Jozef Varga – Amsterdam; Michal Zabavík – Graz; Martin Blahuta – Prague, Munich, Zaragoza, Haag; Boris Nahálka – Viseu (Portugal); Jozef Goga – Berlin; Thomas Shramek – Montreal.
These artistic profiles chart the interpretational and pedagogical work, as well as creative devising work, of Slovak dance artists abroad. They are continually updated and supplemented by new specialized material and documentation. The profiles provide a basic idea about the success of our dancers and choreographers in the highly competitive international theatre environment and about their strong influence on the professional dance scene in Europe.