Václav KunešArtistic director of 420PEOPLE, choreographer, dancer
Born in Prague, the Czech Republic, on May 19th 1975.
After finishing the Dance Conservatory in Prague in 1993 he joined the Nederlands Dans Theater 2. In 1998, he joined the main group, NDT 1 under the direction of Jiři Kylián. There he remained until 2004. During his years with the NDT he has worked with many choreographers, mainly with Jiří Kylián, Ohad Naharin, William Forsythe, Paul Lightfoot, Mats Ek, Nacho Duato, Johan Inger, Andre Gingras, Hans van Manen and many more. He has performed in many countries around Europe, Asia, North and South America, Africa and Australia.
In 2004, he decided to continue his career as a freelance dancer and choreographer. As a dancer he has worked, among others with Saburo Teshigawara, with whom he has created several pieces for the New National Theater in Tokyo 2005 & 2006. For one of his works, Scream and Whisper he was nominated for the Dancer of the Year 2005 Award in Cannes, France. He is frequently invited to perform at various gala performances in Europe (Roberto Bolle & Friends), USA and Japan. Kuneš is currently performing in a creation by Jiří Kylián and Michael Schumacher Last Touch First, a Holland Dance Festival production. Since 2012 he is also performing in Sylvie Guillem's feature program 6000 miles away.
For the Finnish Film Foundation he enacted and danced the role of young Nijinsky in the movie My Madness is My Love - Impressions of Vaslav Nijinsky. Since 2004, he is also active as an assistant to Mr. Kylián, setting his pieces with other companies, among them the Basel Ballet, the Finnish National Ballet, the Czech National Ballet, the Poland National Ballet, the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf, the Ballet of La Scala in Milano and more.
As a choreographer Kuneš has created several works for the Nederlands Dans Theater 2, the Copenhagen International Ballet, the Korzo Theater in The Hague (Dutch national tour in 2008) and for the Station Zuid production house in Holland (Dutch national tour in 2009 with full-length piece Ghost Note). In 2010 he created a new work for the l’Opéra National de Bordeaux entitled Temporary Condition. His piece Small Hour was staged for the Dominic Walsh Dance Theater in Houston, Texas and for the Skanes Dansteater in Malmö, Sweden (2011 & 2013).
In 2007 he co-founded a contemporary dance group 420PEOPLE in Prague, his hometown, where he assumes the position of artistic director. The first creation for the group, Small Hour gained several nominations and in 2008 garnered the Czech Theater Institute Award. As a coproduction of 420PEOPLE and the Dutch Korzo Theater, he created a feature piece A Small Hour Ago, premiered at the Holland Dance Festival in The Hague in November 2009 (on tour around the Netherlands in 2011).
Other works for 420PEOPLE include Golden Crock, Affordance and REEN (with live performance of the musician Amos Ben-Tal), performed e.g. at the Centre National de la Danse in Paris in 2011 among other places. At the beginning of 2012, Kuneš was asked to create and perform with 420PEOPLE at the Annual Czech Film Academy Awards ceremony, which was broadcast on national television. Together with the Drama Department of the National Theatre in Prague, he created a full-length work based on one of the most famous Czech poems MÁJ/MAY, under the direction of David Prachař.
The most recent piece he has created for the company, Wind-up was premiered in May 2012 in Prague. Within their quest to broaden the view of the Czech spectators in the field of contemporary dance, 420PEOPLE have managed to invite to Prague various artist, among them Abou Lagraa, Ohad Naharin, Crystal Pite, Jiří Kylián, Michael Schumacher, Saburo Teshigawara and Talia Paz.
The company has so far been invited to perform in France, Spain, Sweden, Poland, Germany, South Korea and recently in Moscow and Cyprus. 420PEOPLE will also perform at the Biennale de danse du Val-de-Marne in April, 2013.