The selection of productions for the 29 th annual Czech Dance Platform is out!

At each Czech Dance Platform (CDP), we attempt to create a unique poetic map of dance and performance art. We follow where inspiration has taken artists from this country, whether they follow trends or oppose them, how consistently they fulfil the defined research goals or change them over time and space. How they change space and time. How they change space and topicality.

This year, together with the registered works, the international network that people in the contemporary dance scene naturally move through and make excellent use of, was perhaps even more intense. This can be seen primarily in the unique spectrum of collaborations and co-productions, whether of individuals or ensembles with diverse artistic backgrounds, but also of personal, often moving life experiences that they put into their work. After all, they are also the most topical experiences, namely the current state of the war in Ukraine caused by Russia’s aggression and expansionist policy, which has brought to us personalities from the Ukrainian dance and performance scene. We also present two selected productions in which the reflection of this experience is very noticeable as part of CDP 2023 (Yana Reutova: Together Alone, and La Putyka Circus: Boom vol.2).

There were only a few projects that all of us unanimously agreed should be included. This shows the diversity of approaches to contemporary dance, but also touches on the issue of personal taste, which no jury can avoid and would be foolish to deny. One of the trends discussed this year was the inclusion of text, either reproduced or performed live on stage. We looked for productions that specifically belong at the CDP and selected works that we felt had the potential to explore dance as an expressive stage language; productions that trust the body and movement as a communication code, push its boundaries and experiment with them. Productions that are confident of the audience’s understanding without walking tried and tested paths.

We were particularly interested in productions that thematize the body itself in space and its means of expression, as well as productions boldly working with time and the audience’s connection to code (ME-SA: Adrienn Hód, Martina Hajdyla, Soňa Ferienčíková: Soft Spot, tYhle / Marie Gourdain & Felix Baumann: Seismic, Eliška Brtnická et al.: Thin Skin, mimoOS / Barbora Janáková: TETSU) in which, in addition to clever dramaturgy, there is also a pronounced and precise interpretative component, as well as attention to other elements of stage work (especially light, space, scenography). In them, dance itself becomes the theme, but also a thematic starting point. Movement is then a metaphor for other motifs that do not need to be explicitly “named” with a word. A special group consists of productions based on participation, whether during the preparation of the project (Viktor Černický & coll.: PRIMA) or during the performance itself (Jazmína Piktorová & Sabina Bočková: Microworlds). These projects are a wonderful way to introduce dance to children or to people who don’t have much experience of seeing it. We value the number of projects submitted by creators from the youngest generation. In the end, we chose the Anomalie project by the body22 association choreographed by Eva Urbanová over all of them for its “determination”, clear concept and courageously embarked on a path.

The project Temporary Collective / Tereza Ondrová & Silvia Gribaudi: INSECTUM… in Prague will not appear in the three-day program, as one of the performing artists has a prior commitment. This too is an aspect that affects how any event is put together.

We value the work of all the artists who registered, and we are aware of our responsibility. The CDP is an important festival, among other things because it is one of the gateways to the world for Czech dance. In addition to the main program, we also offer the Artists Trips format, in which artists have the opportunity to prepare “art walks” for foreign guests. We offered such a format to the following performing artists whose productions did not make it into the main program: POCKETART, Martin Talaga, SPOLK, Ostružina. For all other registrants, we open the opportunity to participate in group meetings with foreign promoters and audiences as part of Meet the Artists and, of course, Discussions & Brunch.

Every year, the jury’s selections give rise to disappointments and critiques. This, too, is a risk that the jury must accept and live with, just as artists are subjected to critical scrutiny every day. The selected works show the diversity and limitlessness of contemporary dance in the best sense of the word.

Although it is a “Czech” dance platform, our goal is to present the “Czech” cultural environment as open not only to formal experimentation, distinctive individuals or talented ensembles, but also as a welcoming space where values such as tolerance, understanding and belonging prevail.
On behalf of the Dramaturgical Council of CDP 2023

Martin Macháček, Jitka Pavlišová and Marta Ljubková

Members of the Dramaturgical Council:
Marta Ljubková, Martin Macháček, Markéta Málková, Jitka Pavlišová and one vote shared by Yvona Kreuzmannová and Markéta Perroud. Thirty-four submitted works were viewed and discussed.

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