Contemporary Slovak Directors
Contemporary Slovak Directors is a project in which the employees of the Centre for Theatre Research decided to look at Slovak theatre direction. The project’s initiative has resulted from the absence of a comprehensive charting of the outcomes of art activity by contemporary directors in Slovakia, as well as from the effort to bridge the ruptures in the presentation of their work in Slovakia and abroad.
In the first stage of the project, the panoramic reflection on the art of Slovak directors took the shape of a bilingual, representative online catalogue created as part of the Theatre Institute’s efforts to do research in the area of performing arts and to present theatre art to the general public. The virtual catalogue Contemporary Slovak Directors captures the work of twenty artists in profile texts that also include a number of photographs and other audio-visual material (short videos from productions). The catalogue is accessible to the public in Slovak and English at: www.theatre.sk/projekty/sucasni-reziseri-slovenska and www.theatre.sk/en/projects/contemporary-slovak-directors.
In the second stage of the project, the online catalogue of contemporary Slovak directors was published in book form and was also transformed into a DVD (in English).
The project contains texts about the work of Slovak directors until the 2016–2017 theatre season. The virtual catalogue will be gradually updated by adding more profiles of representatives of contemporary Slovak theatre direction.
Theatre Critics’ Dictionary
The research and publication project Theatre Critics’ Dictionary aspires to provide information – in the form of encyclopaedic name entries – about personalities connected with theatre criticism and writing in Slovakia.
The project’s objective is to create an encyclopaedia consisting of name entries – a dictionary of theatre critics and writers – intended for the general and expert public. The final encyclopaedia should contain around 200 names ordered alphabetically.
At present, the Centre for Theatre Research managed the production of an electronic version of the encyclopaedia that will then be put online on the Theatre Institute’s web page. Ultimately, the many years of research should result also in a print version of the dictionary.
Owing to its broad scope and horizontal structure, the lexicon should become a useful tool for all those working with theatre critiques and reviews, as these are an important primary source of information for research purposes.
The Present of Theatre Past
The Present of Theatre Past is a project prepared by the Centre for Theatre Research offering a series of interactive multimedia DVDs with the aim to mediate information about the past in theatre using a modern and attractive approach to communicate it to as many recipients as possible. Via productions that significantly shaped the history of theatre, the project presents the richness of the archive, museum and documentary funds and collections of the Theatre Institute, as well as the methods used to preserve the theatre past.
The project aims to mediate to the public as much of the available knowledge about theatre and its time as possible, and also to present the results of theatrological research using model productions.
Until now, the project gave birth to three interactive DVDs Herodes and Herodias (2013), The Forest (2014) and The Shepherd’s Wife (2017), in which the employees of the Centre for Theatre Research assembled archive materials on all Slovak professional productions of Hviezdoslav’s tragedy, Ostrovsky’s social comedy and Stodola’s drama.
At present, the Centre is conducting systematic research with the goal to prepare a fourth DVD titled Reconciliation or Adventure at Harvest Time, aspiring to present to a broad group of recipients what would be so far the most comprehensive picture of the stage versions of Ján Palárik’s comedy.
Golden Collection of Slovak Professional Theatre
The ambition of the project called Golden Collection of Slovak Professional Theatre is to highlight the remarkable results of Slovak theatre producers by presenting the best work of Slovak professional theatres in the 1920–2017 period.
The project aims to analyze, describe and present selected productions which are considered – in terms of their ideas and aesthetic features – to be the best and most beneficial for the overall development of Slovak professional theatremaking.
The objective of the Centre for Theatre Research is to include the best of each theatre genre – drama, opera, ballet, puppet theatre, mime, contemporary dance and musical. It relies on the effort to capture productions that resonated not only at the time of their origin, but that also left permanent traces in the history of Slovak dramatic art for many years after their last performance.
The international project titled Reclaimed Avant-garde is organized and administered by Instytut teatralny im. Zbigniewa Raszewskiego (Theatre Institute of Zbigniew Raszewski) in Warsaw.
Apart from the Theatre Institute, the project’s participants include theatrological and art history institutions from countries of Central, Eastern and Southern Europe (Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bulgaria).
The objective of the international project is to explore and present European avant-garde tendencies in theatre art of the first half of the 20th century and thus raise the awareness of theorists and theatremakers of avant-garde art notions and movements in our geo-cultural area during the period in question. It is a period of the so-called historical avant-garde during the first decades of the 20th century, approximately delineated by the year 1939, when – besides the well-known western and Russian avant-garde movements – new aspects were introduced also to the local thinking about theatre art.
Contemporary Slovak Dance
Research of the most recent history of dance art in Slovakia is motivated mostly by the effort to explore and record the period in which the contemporary dance scene was shaped.
In collaboration with the Theatre Institute’s Department of Theatre Documentation, Information and Digitalization, collections are being complemented by material that maps the most recent history of dance in Slovakia. It includes mainly video recordings, photographs and press promotion material. At the same time, information is being completed and corrected in the existing registers according to unified terminology. Furthermore, an independent, comprehensive register of dance art productions after 1991 is being prepared – particularly work of artists who created and presented their art outside of repertory theatres.
Thanks to the cooperation with PLaST (Platform for Contemporary Dance), data is being acquired to map the situation, funding and conditions for contemporary dance art in the 2010–2018 period.
Fund of Slovak Artists Abroad
As part of the project titled Fund of Slovak Artists Abroad, the Centre for Theatre Research is preparing and completing the documentation for detailed research of the art and interpretational work of Slovak dance artists abroad, offering also a parallel reflection of their work in Slovakia.
The project includes several areas. One of these is the work of the Les SlovaKs dance group in Brussels. The members of the group (Anton Lachký, Peter Jaško, Milan Herich, Martin Kilvády, Milan Tomášik) currently do their own artistic work worldwide. The project reflects not only their art performed as part of Les SlovaKs, but also presents individual profiles of each of the artists which capture their independent creative and interpretational activities on a global scale.
Another area of the project is a reflection of the art of Pavol Zuštiak, who is currently working in New York.
So far, the project has helped create basic profiles of the following representatives of contemporary dance: Peter Šavel – Brussels; Lívia Balážová – Brussels, Costa Rica; Eva Klimáčková – Paris, Riga; Jana Tereková – Paris; Tomáš Danielis – Graz, Brussels, Moscow; Michaela Hulvejová – Linz; Jozef Fruček – Athens; Peter Mika – Palamos; Soňa Ferienčíková – Prague; Lucia Kašiarová – Prague; Zdenka Sviteková – Prague; Anna Caunerová-Línová – Prague; Mirka Mechelová – Ostrava; Viliam Dočolomanský – Prague; Andrej Petrovič – London.
Similarly, profiles of ballet artists working for prominent European ballet stages have been created: Nina Poláková – Vienna; Roman Lazík – Vienna; Roman Nowitzki – Stuttgart; Mário Radačovský – Haag, Prague, Montreal, Bratislava, Brno; Lukáš Timulák – Monte Carlo, Amsterdam; Natália Horečná – Haag, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Košice, Bratislava Slovak National Theatre; Jozef Varga – Amsterdam; Michal Zabavík – Graz; Martin Blahuta – Prague, Munich, Zaragoza, Haag; Boris Nahálka – Viseu (Portugal); Jozef Goga – Berlin; Thomas Shramek – Montreal.
These artistic profiles chart the interpretational and pedagogical work, as well as creative devising work, of Slovak dance artists abroad. They are continually updated and supplemented by new specialized material and documentation. The profiles provide a basic idea about the success of our dancers and choreographers in the highly competitive international theatre environment and about their strong influence on the professional dance scene in Europe.