Having graduated at the Economics University in Bratislava in 1984, Mr Vlk is indeed a renaissance-like talent: he is author, stage director, musician, composer, choreographer, performer, light designer, and producer. In 1990 he founded, with Martin Ondriska, the movement theatre Hubris Company which was transformed into Debris Company in 1995. With a break from 1999 to 2004, the Debris Company has been on stage for 15 years.
After the foundation of the Hubris Company, Mr Vlk received a number of music-theatre scholarships (Graz, Amsterdam, Stuttgart). With the Debris Company he created over 25 productions that featured at international festivals and showcases (Festival Hybaj Ho!, Prague; Divadelní Flora Olomouc, Czech Republic; International Theatre Festival of Kerala, India; Festival Magie der Sprache, Austria; International de Danca de Recife, Brazil; Tanzschrittweise Graz, Austria; Off Europe, Leipzig, Germany; Theatre Festival Minsk, Belarus; 4front@ Murska Sobota, Slovenia; Singapore Fringe Festival; L1 Fest MU Színház Budapest, Hungary, etc.) As stage director and composer he worked with some of the leading names and theatres on a range of local and international music, stage and film projects: Matthew Hawkins (GB), Steinvoer Pállson (Iceland GB), Jodi Kaplan (USA), Bill Young (USA), Lloyd Newson, Marjolin Sinke (NL), Vinko Globokar (FR), Deborah Wargon (AUS), Anabela Žigová (USA), Martin Čičvák (CZ), Martin Burlas (SK), Moyzes String Quartet (SK), Milan Sládek (SK), Marta Poláková (SK), Šárka Ondrišová (SK), Jozef Lupták (SK), Dorota Sadovská (SK), DIVE Company (SK), Ballet Bratislava (SK), Slovak National Theatre ND Ballet and Drama Company (SK) etc. As musician he tends to work within acoustic and electronic new music, sound installation and mapping. He was active member of the groups Transmusic company (SK, CZ), Vitebsk Broken (SK), Vitebsk Sucks (AT), Gottverdämerung (SK, AT), Secatchi Dobroty (SK), TeaPeak (SK), Sleepy motion (SK), Double Affair (SK). He is convenor of stage and multigenre events and festivals Bazén, Priestor 98, Protéza, RDF Ružomberok. In 2003 a medium-length dance film Day was made about his directorial work. The film featured within the category of dance for camera at a number of festivals (International Film Festival and Azyl in Bratislava, Artfilm in Trenčianske Teplice, Cinedans in Amsterdam, Antimatter in California, etc.). In 2013 Radio Devín premièred Mr Vlk’s adaptation of the James Joyce novel Ulysses, for which he also composed the music. The play was nominated for the 2014 PRIX EUROPE in the category Radio Fiction in Berlin. In 2014 he made another radio play, Wryneck's journey to the moon based on the title by Gustáv Reuss, pioneer of Slovak sci-fi.
As stage director and author Mr Vlk received a number of awards: the 2008 DOSKY for Best Stage Music for Canto Hondo (elledanse, 2007), the 2012 the same award for the production of Rose/3Balet (Ballet Bratislava, 2011). In 2013 he was nominated for the Tatra Bank Prize for arts in the category Theatre for Best Director and concept of the project Debris Company EPIC, and, in 2014, in the same category for Best Director of the dance production The Tempest (SND Ballet, 2014).
Jozef Vlk’s signature style
Mr Vlk’s directorial works are essentially connected to the Debris Company (formerly Hubris Company). The special poetics and untiring creative experiment of the company, quite extraordinary for Slovak stage context, are based on specific gesture, mimics and dynamic choreography that draws from physical theatre. Every stage production is a powerful story, be it inspired by the classics such as Ulysses (based on J. Joyce), 1992; Ubu celzia krona (based on the J. Jarry play), 1993; Murphy (based on S. Beckett), 1994; Epic (inspired by B. Brecht), 2012; Clear (inspired by R. Descartes), 2014, or original statements (Loud Horns of Nothingness, 1991; Soliloquy, 2006; Dolcissime sirene, 2007 etc.). In his productions, Mr Vlk features as stage director, as well as dramaturge, choreographer or composer. He creates his works as music-movement compositions complemented with powerful light and visual elements, whilst understanding music and set design as equal to dance. Within the line of post-dramatic theatre he fragments text, essentially seeking movement behind a word, emotion behind motivation, and an association or image behind a story. It is particularly by combining word with movement and using new media that he creates pieces to react critically and unconventionally to current issues. His method of working with movement and space, and reflecting new trends in contemporary dance and performance make him one of the foremost figures on home and international stage.
Mr Vlk works largely with the performers Martin Ondriska (the stage director and dramaturge at Hubris until 1995), Martin Piterka, set designers Ján Ptačin, Tom Ciller, playwright Peter Lomnický, dramaturges Dáša Čiripová and Martina Vannayová. In 2006 the creative team brought in new staff member, the choreographer and dancer Stanislava Vlčeková who is now behind most choreographies at the Debris Company. Her unremitting interest in physical theatre, language of movement, explorations of the limits of human body, and discovery of new opportunities in linking movement and expressions of emotions shape the poetics of the group.
A list of directorial works – productions:
1990 / Hubris Company, Bratislava / Jozef Vlk, Martin Ondriska: Comic Mirror
1991 / Hubris Company, Bratislava / Jozef Vlk, Martin Ondriska: Loud Horns of Nothingness
1991 / Hubris Company, Bratislava / Jozef Vlk: Genius Loci
1991 / Hubris Company, Bratislava / Jozef Vlk, Marta Poláková: Point on the horizon
1992 / Hubris Company, Bratislava / Jozef Vlk, Martin Ondriska: Ulysses
1992 / Hubris, a dato, Bratislava / Marta Poláková: Something in the way
1993 / Hubris Company, Bratislava / Jozef Vlk, Martin Ondriska: UBU – celzia krona
1994 / Hubris Company, Bratislava / Jozef Vlk, Marta Poláková: Murphy
1995 / Debris Company, Bratislava / Jozef Vlk, Martin Piterka, Monika Čertezni, Martin Burlas: Code: QUTNXZ84 / 8Y
1995 / Debris Company, Bratislava / Jozef Vlk, Martin Piterka: Nobody Knows
1995 / Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart / Jozef Vlk: Beethovenhelikopter
1996 / project Flash / Taking a risk, Amsterdam / Loyd Nielsen, Jozef Vlk: Connecting Meaning
1997 / Debris Company, Bratislava / Ivan Fujak, Martin Piterka: Biology of an Obstacle
1997 / Theatre La Fabriks Marseille, Dakar, Senegal / Jean Michel Bruyère: Odes to Filth
1998 / Debris Company, Bratislava / Jozef Vlk, Martin Piterka, Monika Čertezni, Martin Turčan, Roman Pikaly: Cosmidiot
2006 / Debris Company, Bratislava / Jozef Vlk, Stanislava Vlčeková: Soliloquy
2008 / Debris Company, Bratislava / Jozef Vlk, Daniel Raček, Stanislava Vlčeková: Hexen
2008 / Theatre Dance Studio, Banská Bystrica / Stanislava Vlčeková: Be Bop
2010 / Debris Company, Bratislava / Stanislava Vlčeková: Between a rock and a hard place
2010 / Debris Company, Bratislava / Jozef Vlk, Peter Jaško, Stanislava Vlčeková: Mono
2011 / Debris Company, Bratislava / Stanislava Vlčeková, Peter Jaško: Private prisons / site specific
2012 / Debris Company, Bratislava / Stanislava Vlčeková, Jana Bodnárová: The Cradles
2012 / Debris Company, Bratislava / Jozef Vlk, Stanislava Vlčeková: Epic
2012 / Ballet Bratislava / Stanislava Vlčeková, Jozef Vlk: Rose / 3Balet
2012 / Debris Company / VerTe Dance, Divadelní Flora, Olomouc / Jozef Vlk: Power, power dance
2014 / Slovak National Theatre, Bratislava / Stanislava Vlčeková, Andrej Petrovič, Jaro Viňarský: The Tempest (Prospero, Caliban and The Lovers)
2014 / Debris Company, Bratislava / Peter Lomnický: Clear
2015 / Theatre Dance Studio, Banská Bystrica / Stanislava Vlčeková: Roots
2017 / Debris Company, Bratislava / Jozef Vlk, Stanislava Vlčeková: WOW!
2017 / Debris Company, Bratislava / Peter Lomnický, Stanislava Vlčeková: The Abduction of Europa
2017 / Theatre Pôtoň, Sláva Daubnerová, Honey and Dust, Debris Company / Michal Ditte, Iveta Ditte Jurčová: Miracles
2019 / Debris Company, Bratislava / Peter Lomnický: Job
2019 / Debris Company, Bratislava / Jozef Vlk, Alex Zelina: Glitch
2008 / DOSKY for Best Stage Music, Canto Hondo, elledanse
2011 / Jury Prize OST-RA-VAR for Best Music in the Season, Cenci, Moravian–Silesian Theatre Ostrava
2012 / DOSKY for Best Stage Music, dance production Rose / 3Balet, Ballet Bratislava
2015 / Jury Special Prize at the 2015 Nová dráma / New Drama festival for innovative work with text and utmost quality of the production Clear
2018 / Grand Prix at the 2018 Nová dráma / New Drama 2018 festival, WOW!
Foreign languages: English, German
Videos from productions:
archive of the Debris Company, Bratislava
archive of the Debris Company, Bratislava
archive of the Debris Company, Bratislava