Premiere: 19 November 2021 at the New Stage
The New StageApproximate running time
1 hour 50 minutes, 1 intermission 25 minutesPremiere
November 19, 2021
The Czech National Ballet has afforded scope to young talent systematically and over the long term. We consider it to be the best way for the dancers to gain experience in choreography, to delve fully into this singular art form, to give free rein to their imagination and to bring their creations to fruition on the stage. Dance Lab transforms the young Czech National Ballet members into choreographers and provides them with a unique opportunity to embrace in an unconventional manner a variety of approaches and trends, resulting in the origination of a new work of art, choreography, ballet.
Dance Lab produced by The Czech National Ballet
Dance Laboratory? A chance for Czech National Ballet members to present their creations … To formulate their ideas and visions of art, to flesh them out. Dance Lab is a platform whose aim it is to discover promising new choreographers, to detect latent talent. And what does it offer theatre-goers? The opportunity to witness the unique moment when a dancer becomes a creator. Many a time such moments are watersheds that are never forgotten.
The Czech National Ballet has afforded scope to young talent systematically over the long term. And we are happy to have been able to include in the programme of the current season two exceptional Dance Lab performances.
The premiere will take place on 19 November 2021 from 8 pm at the New Stage. On 20 November there will be the second, and final, show, starting at 3 pm.
The programme comprises seven brand-new original works. The choreographies created by Marco Accardi, Abigail Bushnell, Rebecca Mabin, John Powers, Fraser Roach, Basil Schwerzmann and Matej Šust will be performed by soloists and members of the Czech National Ballet.
Marco Accardi said about Viral: “A blank canvas is a virgin, harmonic, pure surface that represents a concept of innocence and unawareness of the unknown of the future; but what happens if a red dot lands in the centre of the canvas?” Noteworthy is that he invited to work with him Theodora Lehu, a fellow Czech National Ballet member, who will appear in the role of the DJ.
Abigail Bushnell will present Edges of the Present, a piece for three women and two men who dance alone, in duets, and altogether reflect the exploration of the self, who we are to others, and who we are with them … The music from Attacca Quartet’s album Real Life blends classical strings and electronic music, a combination that evokes movement, discovery and energy.
Rebecca Mabin drew inspiration for her Nervous Walls in the Bible: “Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one’s life for a friend.” (John 15:13) She asks: What does it mean to truly be free? What does love really mean? Where did love come from? Who do you love to the point of laying down your own life?
In his contribution to Dance Lab, Carpe Diem, to Yann Tiersen’s music, Fraser Roach ponders the encompassing idea of an aura watching you physically and emotionally, having complete possession of you without your permission, a nightmarish reality one cannot escape.
Basil Schwerzmann will present Pictures from Chronos, a dance suite consisting of different moments from the opera Chronos, arranged together in a journey of love, life and ecstatic joy, but also fear, guilt and death. Just like the choreography, the music has yet to be experienced by an audience. It was specifically written for dance by the renowned Swiss composer Matthias Mueller. He uses for the first time his soundfield composition technique, which allows him to evoke the different emotions expressed in Gudrun Orlet’s poetic libretto.
John Powers has set his Only Sometimes to the legendary Texan country-folk-rock singer-songwriter Townes Van Zandt’s To Live's To Fly. “My wish is that what ends up onstage as Only Sometimes will reflect the process of creating it. The aim is for process and product to concord and allow me some moments to reflect on my life. At the same time, I hope that it can represent something for the audience members from their own lives.”
The one and only Czech among the choreographers featured on the programme, Matej Šust, was inspired by Czech poetry. His truly singular Crystal Spring is based on J. V. Sládek’s eponymous poem. Matej points out that “repetition is the mother of platitude”, adding: “Sládek’s moving poem has been recited and presented in many places and in many styles. Today it will be heard in a variety of ways, ranging from the sincerely felt, through the enthusiastically zealous to the mechanically slapdash, entirely withering away the meaning.”
photo of visual: Filip Šlapal
photo: Zdeněk Sokol
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Photo and video gallery
Where to buy tickets
The National Theatre sells tickets up to 6 months in advance. On 1 May at 9am we started selling tickets for performances of Drama, Ballet, Opera and Laterna magika until the end of October 2022.
What to wear?
By their appearance, attire and behaviour, the audience is obliged to adhere to the accustomed practice expected from them when attending a theatre performance.
Parking at the National Theater
Buffets on the New Stage
Use Café Nona for refreshments on the New Stage.