The annual multi-discipline and multi-venue contemporary art festival called 4+4 Days in Motion begins in Prague this Friday. Now in its 18th year, the festival looks at some of the controversial and problematic topics surrounding the modern city, through dance and theater performances, an exhibition, public lectures and discussions. In today’s Arts, we speak to the festival’s producer, Markéta Černá, who talked about why they chose a vacant palace, situated on Wenceslas Square, as the main venue.
The National Theater in Prague has announced that it will present a special international project called 1914 on 30 April of next year to mark 100 years since the beginning of World War One. The play will be directed by the American director Robert Wilson and the script was inspired above all by Jaroslav Hašek’s novel The Good Soldier Švejk and the satirical play The Last Days of Mankind by the Bohemian born writer Karl Kraus. The creative team of the project also includes theater professionals from Slovakia and Hungary. The first round of rehearsals, which began in mid-September, will conclude this week, while the second round will take place next spring.
With barely a month to go until the New Scene theatre on Prague’s Národní třída turns 30, an art installation from Aleš Hvízdal, Marek Volf and Dominika Nettwallová has transformed the piazza underneath the theatre into a giant camera obscura. Until the 4th of October spectators can view the square and the surrounding street through a warped projection in which unassuming passers-by become the central characters of an impromptu virtual stage.
The renowned Brno theatre Husa na provázku has marked the 45th anniversary of its establishment with a nine-day festival that came to a conclusion on Sunday. A representative of the theatre said most of the events in the Theatre in Movement festival – including at unusual venues such as the Moravian capital’s Villa Tugendhat – had been sold out, adding that it was still pushing to have a nearby alleyway renamed after the late playwright and president Václav Havel, who had a long association with the theatre.
The Next Wave festival of independent theater and art is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Starting on Thursday, new and established performance groups and independent artists will show their works in Prague, Brno and Pardubice during the 12-day festival. The festival’s director, Jakub Matějka, spoke about some of the highlights for this year.
The month of August was nothing if not turbulent for the Czech National Theatre, which saw its new director recalled from his position on day one by the government, before uproar led to his hasty reinstatement. His return – and the guarantee the theatre will retain its independence – means most actors who quit in protest came back for the new season.
The Letní Letná international festival of new circus and theatre gets underway at Prague’s Letná Plain on Sunday evening. This year’s edition kicks off with a free show in which leading Czech artists in the field will come together for a one-off performance. Among the main attractions at the 10th Letní Letná, which runs until September 3, will be two circuses from France.
The Czech National Theatre has been guilty of financial irregularities for several years, Mladá fronta Dnes reported on Saturday, citing an audit completed under a former minister of culture. The institution’s new director, Jan Burian, told the newspaper that the theatre had broken the Labour Code with regard to the payment of taxes and health and social insurance. The National Theatre was recently in the news when Mr. Burian was sacked by the current minister of culture before being reinstated a few days later. A number of actors quit in protest, though most have since returned.
The majority of actors in Prague’s National Theatre who resigned in protest against the dismissal of the theatre’s director have withdrawn their resignations, the head of the theatre’s drama department said on Friday. Nearly half of the ensemble resigned after Culture Minister Jiri Balvin dismissed the National Theatre’s director, Jan Burian, earlier this month. But the decision caused outrage among the arts community and politicians, and the prime minister ordered Mr Balvín to reinstate the theatre’s director. Two of best known actors in the National Theatre, Miroslav Donutil and Richard Krajčo, have not withdrawn their resignations and will cooperate with the theatre as freelancers.
The director of Prague’s National Theatre, Jan Burian, has agreed to stay in his post after Culture Minister Jiří Balvín accepted his conditions. Those include no further changes in the management of the institution until after the next elections. Mr Burian was reinstated to the position on the prime minister’s request last week, a day after he was fired by the culture minister. His dismissal caused an outcry among the theatre’s actors, management and politicians.
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