Ten Choreographers of Slovak Contemporary Dance


The research carried out by the Theatre Institute into the most recent history of the art of dance in Slovakia is largely inspired by the intention to explore and archive the formative period and evolution of the contemporary independent dance scene. Within its research, the Theatre Institute maps Slovak choreographers and continuously augments its archival funds with comprehensive complex documentary material covering the works of individual artists.

Among the latest endeavours to create a platform for Slovak contemporary dance the work of the civic group PlaST – Platform for Contemporary Dance deserves particular mention. Founded in 2016, it aims to address issues related to contemporary dance in Slovakia in terms of its support and inclusion into cultural strategies.

Contemporary dance, as we know it in its current form, has evolved directly from the performative and creative potential of amateur companies of modern dance. They enjoyed their rise in the 1970s and 1980s. The fall of Communism in 1989 enabled influx of international foundations (such as the Open Society Foundation, Pro Helvetia, L’Institut français and many others) and thus opportunities to engage in international cooperation and dance education in contemporary dance as well. The support set the base for its further professionalisation: As the experience and knowledge grew, it also resulted in revising the teaching methods of this particular dance style and its inclusion in university curriculum.

Apart from the Theatre Dance Studio in Banská Bystrica, the independent contemporary dance scene in Slovakia has not, as yet, been given an opportunity to comprehensively work and grow in dance centres, houses or within the network of dance venues. Hence, most Slovak dance artists have been long based abroad. Internationally they enjoy exceptional acclaim. They tend to return to Slovakia, equipped with experience, in connection with their role in co-production projects, or with presentation of their work at seminars and workshops.

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 first phase of the project, which is presented here, identifies the creative style and analyses choreographical principles of the dance authors Tomáš Danielis, Soňa Ferienčíková, Lucia Holinová, Milan Kozánek, Andrej Petrovič, Radoslav Piovarči, Jana Tereková, Milan Tomášik, Jaro Viňarský, and, within the creative group Debris Company, Jozef Vlk and Stanislava Vlčeková.

Individual profiles are based on an analysis of three productions from different periods of the given choreographer. The method enables both identification and analysis of the distinctive features of each author, and an outline of their evolution.

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 potential continuously benefits from impulses that arise from collaboration with artists who work within the fields of drama, visual, art, music, literature and philosophy. Our dancers apply the impulses by different means. Their creative cooperation is the alchemy of smoothing the edges in the relationship between individual artistic media.

With their artistic projects, our dance authors respond sensitively to the current social impulses. They bring on stage courageous, often thought-provoking adaptations of the pressing themes. The confrontation of views or hyperbolisation of paradoxes and deviations of our era, they predict the destructive consequences of careless passivity or pragmatic subordination. The nature of their work at different levels contributes to the spread of tolerance and openness to reality and relationships. In their projects, they point out the fragility of fundamental cultural values in post-factual presence. They apply the notion of beauty not merely as an aesthetic category, but also as a universal bench-mark of value system. At times, they bend and polarise it, working, in a controversial manner, with its content. The formal and thematic diversity in the works of those choreographers reflects the generational cumulation of their creative potential and defined artistic signature style. In their portfolio one finds a colourful scale of style expression: from conceptual intellectual projects, through expressively set productions working with acrobatic elements, the fragile and intimate movement statements and sincere personal emotional stories, all the way to intermedia fusions of genres and new technologies used in dance performances.

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.

Monika Čertezni



Author of texts Monika Čertezni

Translation from Slovak Lucia Faltinová

Expert cooperation Tomáš Danielis, Soňa Ferienčíková, Lucia Holinová, Miroslava Kovářová, Milan Kozánek, Andrej Petrovič, Radoslav Piovarči, Jana Tereková, Milan Tomášik, Jaro Viňarský, Stanislava Vlčeková, Jozef Vlk

Technical cooperation Dušan Poliščák

Expert editor Dáša Čiripová

Language editor Zuzana Ferusová

Photographs / audio-visual recordings archive of Artyci; archive of bees-R; archive of BOD.Y; archive of Tomáš Danielis; archive of the Debris Company/Art and People!; Archive of the Theatre Institute, Bratislava; archive of the Theatre elledanse, Bratislava; archive of the Štúdio tanca dance theatre, Banská Bystrica; archive of the Liptov Dance Theatre, Liptovský Hrádok; archive of Milan Tomášik; archive of ME-SA; archive of Radoslav Piovarči; archive of RESERVA; archive of SKOK!; archive of the Slovak National Theatre, Bratislava

Authors of photographs / audio-visual recordings Marián Baláži, Maroš Baran, Filip Beniač, Hana Bi, Tomáš Bokor, Martina Bolebruchová, Peter Brenkus, Vojtěch Brtnický, Martin Čech, Tomáš Danielis, Stanislav Dobák, Matúš Druga, Michal Druga, Ermanno Foti, Vlado Holina, Ján Humaj, Juraj Chĺpik, Ján Chmelík, Richard Chomo, Viliam Jánošík, Alexandra Jitauriuc, Mária Júdová, Noro Knap, Lukáš Kodoň, Peter Kotrha, Eggor Kree, Katarína Križanovičová, NAT KUZ, Lea Lovišková, Martin Malo, Marek Moučka, Ľubomír Nikoli, Ivan Ölvecký, Marcel Pazman, Martin Piga, Martin Piterka, Linda Průšová, Elena Pushkina, Eva Racová, Peter Snadík, Igor Šmitka, Adam Šoltés, Roland Vančo, Katarína Vargová, Monika Vaškorová, Ján Viazanička, Drago Videmšek, Jaro Viňarský, Tomek Wierzbicki, Natália Zajačiková

Responsible editor Lukáš Kopas

Responsible publisher Vladislava Fekete, director of the Theatre Institute

All rights reserved. No part of this online catalogue may be reproduced, stored in research systems, or transferred in any way, including electronic, photographic or other recording, without the consent of the authors, publisher and co-publishers.

The publisher took all the steps towards finding authors of the used works and towards obtaining their publishing approval. In case you are the copyright holder to one of the used works, please contact the publisher.

© 2020 Divadelný ústav – Theatre Institute – all rights reserved.