Ballet The National Theatre
The Wayward Daughter
The famous ballet of Sir Frederick AshtonBuy tickets
17. 5. 2019
The third premiere of the Czech National Ballet in the season 2018/2019 is a modern production created by a renowned Italian choreographer Mauro Bigonzetti. He draw inspiration from the famous novel The Trial (Proces) that Franz Kafka wrote in 1914.
Fascinated by the irresistible language of the novel, its traumatizing plot and still valid message as well as by the visual appeal of the Orson Welles film, Bigonzetti entered the dark world of Josef K. The Czech National Ballet presents a work of art that reminds us of the personality of Franz Kafka but also resonates with current political situation in the world.
The German-speaking Bohemian Jewish writer Franz Kafka is closely connected with Prague. Genius loci of the Old Town where he spent a great part of his life had a crucial impact on his work. His letters, diaries, short stories and existential novels belong to the most influential artworks of the 20th century. Franz felt estranged from his family, his health was poor, he was tortured by doubts and lack of self-esteem. His novels reflect this inner fight and open up profound existential questions. His characters find themselves in absurd situations they cannot control, become victims hopelessly searching for their true self and sense of security.
Kafka: The Trial (Kafka: Proces)
Choreography: Mauro Bigonzetti
Music: Antonio Bononcini, Dietrich Buxtehude, Henryk Górecki, Carlo Gesualdo, Tarquinio Merula, Claudio Monteverdi, Modest Mussorgsky
Sets: Carlo Cerri
Costumes: Mauro Bigonzetti
Light Design: Carlo Cerri
Czech Premiere: June 13, 2019
The Estates Theatre
Further performances: June 14, 16 and 18, July 1 and 2, 2019
Photo of the visual image: Anna Rasmussen
Hats for Kafka: The Trial from company TONAK a.s., traditional producer of hats already 220 years.
Live the story of Josef K.
"Kafka’s Trial is monstrous. Nothing is normal there, nothing is easy. We can concentrate on the history of the origin of the novel, the style of writing, the plot or meaning – it always leads to the same conclusion: There is darkness everywhere, no matter where you look." (Reiner Stach)
Josef K. is also a victim. He is arrested but is not present at his own trial, he has no idea what the charges are about, the dark game devours him and he cannot extricate himself. In an atmosphere of madness and horror where light alternates with darkness the dancers express the agony of characters thrown in a sheer nightmare symbolizing a downfall of a man destroyed by regulations he cannot understand, rules he cannot fight.
The famous Italian choreographer Mauro Bigonzetti took the novel (one of the three novels of Franz Kafka concerned with “the tragedy of loneliness”) and transformed it into a dance performance. Would you like to feel the mystery? Come to The Estates Theatre.
"The character of Josef K. touched me, it talks about a man feeling lonely in the world. I saw and felt the body of this sad, alienated human being. This is what Kafka’s work is about – loneliness. Not simple detachment but insurmountable inner estrangement. Doubt, superficiality, misunderstanding. Those are the themes he offers." (Mauro Bigonzetti)
10. 5. 2019
Interactive installation by Frantisek Pechacek – The National Theatre, The New Stage Videogallery – 14th May 2019, start at 18.00 pm
The Czech National Ballet with its artistic director Filip Barankiewicz introduced the new season 2019/2020 under the slogan CONTINUOUSLY MOVING. One of the first projects reflecting this principle is an installation connecting movement and dance with technology.
František Pecháček created a multigenre project combining live dance, technology and visual art – it employs the idea of interaction in all respects. By recording the movement of viewers in real surroundings it brings about the movement of dancers in virtual space. Time frame collapses, dancing takes place here and now, without the limits of time. The viewer stops being a passive onlooker and actively co-creates the performance. The author explains: “What is important to me is the continuous process that does not put an end to things, does not provide answers, does not have any beginning or end.”
New season 2019/2020 – Continuously Moving / Stále v pohybu
Interactive installation Continuously Moving / Stále v pohybu
Choreography: Ondřej Vinklát
Dancers: Kristina Kornová, Minhee Kang, Roger Cuadrado
The New Stage Videogallery
14th May 2019, start at 18.00 pm
photo: František Pecháček
6. 5. 2019
We are seeking: Corps de ballet – female professional dancers (max. age: 25) Height: min. 164 cm, max. 170
For the 2019/2020 season,with contracts starting on 15 August 2019.
Artistic Director: Mr. Filip Barankiewicz
Strong classical and contemporary technique required.
Audition by invitation only and will be held during this season.
Address: Czech National Ballet, Anenske namesti 2, Prague 1, Czech Republic
Applications should include a CV, pictures and a short video link (dancing). Please mention your height and weight, age and professional stage experience, including current company and education.
Please send your application to the address:
The Czech National Ballet
Anenské naměstí 2, 112 30, Praha 1
Tel.: +420 224 902 526, Fax: +420 224 902 539
Email: [email protected]
photo: Younsik Kim
3. 5. 2019
“When do I feel happy? After the performance when I know I have done all I could and saw it as a gift to the people. That is beautiful.”
An interview with the member of The Czech National Ballet Olga Bogoliubskaia who was born in Moscow, loves fashion and design, gets inspired by Russian literary classics and Remarque – and is a talented dancer.
You dance the main role of Lise in The Wayward Daughter (Le Fille mal gardée)… “This ballet is my favourite one even though it is so hard. As Lise I can play, make fun. Every performance is different because the ballet is full of acting and you can experience each scene in a different way every time. You can improvise a lot.”
If readers wanted to go with you to your favourite place, where would you take them? “In the Czech Republic I fell in love with Vyhlídka Máj (the May viewing point). Once I sat there for fifteen minutes and felt very peaceful. I guess that would be the place I would take them to.”
Come and watch Olga as Lise in the classical comic ballet situated in the picturesque English countryside. The Wayward Daughter (La Fille mal gardée): May 18, 2 pm.
photo: Aleksandre Katsapov
30. 4. 2019
First soloist Nikita and demisoloist Evgenia are saying goodbye and coming back to Russia to continue dancing there.
Evgenia and Nikita are returning back tu Russia and start next chapter in their dancing career at Mikhailovsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg. We wish them all the very best.
29. 4. 2019
“Dance is a healer. Dance is where humanity can meet.” Message from International Dance Day 2019 ambasador – Egyptian choreographer and dancer, Karima Mansour.
Parts from International Dance Day 2019 Message:
“Movement is a language spoken by us all. Movement is a universal language that belongs to everybody If only we open our senses and listen. Listening is what is required, listening without interference, listening without judgment, listening in silence and allowing the movement to pass through the body in the moment, because everything inside us and around us is in motion, constant motion. This is when the body doesn't lie because it is listening to its truth and manifesting it.
Dance is a healer. Dance is where humanity can meet. I invite people to go beyond borders, beyond identity crisis, beyond nationalism and beyond frames. May we free ourselves of those limitations and find the movement and momentum in that universal language. I invite everybody to dance to their heartbeat, to their inner truth because it is from these internal movements, that lead to internal revolutions, where real change happens.”
Message from International Dance Day 2019 ambasador – Egyptian choreographer, dancer and educator, Karima Mansour.
Complete messeage you can find on website of International Theatre Institute.
Vertigo produced by The Czech National Ballet will be perform today
Performance is dedicated to celebration of International Dance Day 2019
The New Stage of the National Theatre, 20.00 pm
Rain – Vertigo – Cacti
Poklitaru – Bigonzetti – Ekman
Beware of dizziness – VERTIGO!
The Czech National Ballet is celebrating International Dance Day 2019
There is changed location and event is moved from Střelecký Island to club/venue Klub Lávka.
The Czech National Ballet is participating on program of event:
15.30 pm Ballet Workshop with demisoloists Marina Zhukovskaya and Veaceslave Burlac
16.30 pm Ballet Training with ballet mistress Tereza Podařilová
photo: Martin Divíšek
25. 4. 2019
Three contrasting styles: lyricism, nostalgia, humor. Beware of dizziness – VERTIGO at the New Stage!
Production Vertigo with three diferent choreographyes created by three original personalities and artists is possible to see at the New Stage again. Rain from Moldavian Radu Poklitaru, Vertigo created by Italian Mauro Bigonzetti and Cacti choreographed by Alexander Ekman from Sweden.
Vertigo Thursday 26 April: Lecture for public at 7.30 pm in foyer of the New Stage today
Vertigo Monday 29 April: performance is dedicated to celebration of International Dance Day 2019
photo: Pavel Hejný
23. 4. 2019
The Czech National Ballet celebrates International Dance Day on Střelecký ostrov in Prague. On Monday April 29 you can look forward to ballet workshop, open air training and duet from Rain.
As usual we join the International Dance Day celebration on Střelecký ostrov during the afternoon and evening on Monday April 29. You can take part in a Ballet workshop with Veanceslav Burlac and Marina Zhukovskaya, or enjoy a classical ballet training in the open air lead by our ballet mistress Tereza Podařilová. Our company will also participate in the closing GALA – you will see Louise Corpechot and Tudor Moldoveanu dancing a duet from the choreography Rain.
3.30 pm – Ballet Workshop with Veanceslav Burlac and Marina Zhukovskaya
4.30 – 5.30 pm – Public ballet training in the open air
6.45 – 8.00 pm – Duet from the choreography Rain (part of GALA)
Střelecký ostrov, Prague 1
Photo: Martin Divíšek
12. 4. 2019
The first soloist Nikola Márová will perform role of Odette/Odile in Swan Lake tomorrow, because the first soloist Alina Nanu has gotten sick.
The first soloist Adam Zvonař will be her dance partner as Prince Siegfried. The demisoloist Marek Svobodník will perform role of Rothbart. We wish to Alina get better soon. Moreover, we wish to audience beautiful art experience, what Nikola and Adam will bring without doubts.
photo: Serghei Gherciu
10. 4. 2019
It keeps surprising us how many forms the art of ballet can assume, how inspirational it is, how inventive the choreographers are and what rich array of works they are able to produce. Then ballet dancers step into the process and add their creative touch and original interpretation…
The very same choreography, the very same steps have a very different hue when interpreted by different dancers. This is the case not only with great classical ballets with a clear story line where the protagonists have to be dancers as well as actors, but also in more contemporary works. Our ballet evening entitled Timeless comprises three parts – neoclassical Serenade by G. Balanchine, contemporary Separate Knots by E. Gat and the final gem of Le sacre du printemps by G. Tetley.
You can look forward to several casts and on April 21 a special surprise will come – Daniel Camargo. Thanks to The National Theatre Benefactors' Club this phenomenal dancer has become a permanent guest of the Czech National Ballet. In Timeless you will see him as The Chosen One in Le sacre du printemps and will have the opportunity to admire his virtuoso technique as well as undeniable charm that is well known throughout Europe. We are very pleased we can enjoy his charisma in Prague now.
Apart from Timeless he will dance on June 1 in La Fille mal gardée as Colas (with Alina Nanu as Lise).
Photo: Sergei Gherciu
8. 4. 2019
On March 28 the Czech National Ballet premiered the famous Swan Lake created by the legendary choreographer John Cranko. The team of professionals preparing the performance involved Reid Anderson, Birgit Deharde, Andria Hall and Filip Barankiewicz. Shortly before the opening night we had the opportunity to talk to Andria Hall.
Andria, you look very calm and composed even though the premiere is drawing near…
Yes, I am incredibly calm. When I came to Prague I already knew the Czech National Ballet company because I had worked with them on La Fille mal gardée. At that time I felt very good with them and knew the collaboration would be smooth. The dancers tend to help each other and high spirits prevail. Our time spent on Swan Lake was joyful too, without problems.
Swan Lake is one of the most often staged classical ballets. In what way is John Cranko’s version different?
Cranko’s Swan Lake carries a strong message. It is not only a beautiful choreography. It tells a story and is emotionally deep – a real gem. Think of the role of Odette/Odile. It is technically very demanding. You feel quite naked when you walk on stage in the white tutu – you have to be a very confident dancer. As Odette you express total innocence and purity. As Odile, the Black Swan, you have to be exciting and quick, you have to fascinate the audience as well as Prince Siegfried whose character is well depicted in John Cranko’s adaptation.
The Czech National Ballet has three casts of Odette/Odile. What are the dancers like?
All three of them – Alina Nanu, Nikola Márová and Miho Ogimoto have danced in Swan Lake before. Nevertheless, is was necessary to discuss expression, the way emotions should be communicated, and to make sure they understand John Cranko’s version properly. Alina likes to try different approaches. Her body moves lightly and it is easy to work with her. Her White Swan is genuinely pure. At the same time her Black Swan is very strong. Miho is incredibly deep and her Black Swan is passionate. Nikola is relatively tall and her body is elegant. It is exciting to watch her dance. All three will be stunning.
Text: Markéta Faustová
Photo: Martin Divíšek
28. 3. 2019
Exhibition at National Theatre foyer – Come to the first balcony of the National Theatre and visit our new exhibition showing the history and context of the ballet Swan Lake.
Interesting photographs, documentary pictures and precious engravings will tell you more about this production connected with the National Theatre itself as well as many famous personalities.
Our exhibition uncovers various sources of inspiration of this renowned ballet – for instance the symbol of the swan in ancient mythology, visual art and literature or in the night sky. Also the personalities of P. I. Tchaikovsky and John Cranko are introduced.
25. 3. 2019
We all know that the National Theatre is a place full of mystery. Reality mingles with imagination here and anything can happen once you walk through the magic door. The little boy Toník will enter the realm of fantasy while watching Swan Lake! What will he encounter?
We have published a booklet for children, an illustrated Swan Lake programme where Toník and his family experience the fairy tale of the Tchaikovsky ballet. Join them! Learn more about the ballet and the historical building of the theatre. See what happens if you walk through the magic door…
The story is written by Kateřina Hanáčková and illustrated by Pavel Hudec.
Get the brochure from the theatre personnel before the performance or during intermissions (as well as regular adult programme booklet), at our box offices or online. The National Theatre e-shop.
20. 3. 2019
Official inauguration of choreographer Jiří Kylián to Académie des beaux-arts. By becoming a member of this prestigious French institution Jiří Kylián has been awarded one of the greatest prizes in the field of arts and culture.
The ceremony took place in the Coupole of the Palais de l’Institut de France and many famous personalities from the world of ballet and dance were present: Nacho Duato, Mats Ek, Jean-Christophe Maillot, Reid Anderson, Aurélie Dupont, Paul Lightfoot or Ivan Liška. They all came to congratulate Jiří Kylián.
Watch the video: An official footage broadcast in the Czech television news.
At the inauguration every new member is presented with a sword that is supposed to symbolize his profession. The sword, as attribute of the newly elected member of the Academy, is a weapon to be used in defence of arts and culture. Furthermore, it should express the specific universe of the artist.
Caroline, the Princess of Hanover, handed Jiří Kylián the sword of his own original design. The handle of the sword portrays a female dancer – a „bird lady“– standing on silver bird wings constituting the guard: The art of choreography has been elevated to a new level.
The Czech National Ballet rejoices with Jiří Kylián. Congratulations!
18. 3. 2019
Růžena Mazalová died on March 13, 2019. The late ballet mistress, teacher, choreographer and former ballerina would turn 93 this summer. Undoubtedly she was one of the greatest experts and most fervent propagators of classical ballet and her enormous élan vital, perfectionism and dedication inspired several generations of dancers at home and abroad.
She was born to a big music-loving Czech-Russian family. After short engagements in Tyl Theatre in Nusle, German Theatre and State Opera (after the war) she came to the National Theatre in 1947. Under the tutelage of Saša Machov, ballet master, choreographer and artistic director of the Czech National Ballet (since 1948), she was lucky to take part in the creation of the post-war ballet scene. Already in her first season 1947/48 at the age of twenty she danced successfully the role of Step-mother in Prokofiev’s Cinderella.
She studied ballet in Prague and experienced her first success here, later she went to Moscow. After studying there for five years she returned to Prague in 1956 as choreographer and ballet mistress. She became the soloist in the National Theatre and danced there until 1968, she also worked as choreographer and teacher at the Prague Conservatory.
In 1969 she became a part of the German Oper am Rhein in Duisburg and spent sixteen years working there as ballet mistress, choreographer of mostly classical works and since 1970 as assistant to the artistic director Erich Walter. One of the greatest German ballet companies of the time flourished under her influence, she left an indelible mark there. The creative duo Walter–Mazalová became legendary.
In 2008 Růžena Mazalová received the Thalia Prize for lifetime achievement.
Rest in peace, Růžena!
13. 3. 2019
With my inauguration as a new member on the 13th of March 2019, the Académie des beaux-arts recognizes the importance of a new section for Choreography. This makes me obviously extremely proud, because the art of dance has been a grossly neglected art form for a considerable time.
Jiří Kylián will become member of the Académie on April 25, 2018 in the seat of painter Leonardo Cremonini.
During the ceremony which will take place in the hall of the Institut de Franc, Hugues R. Gall will announce the installation of Jiří Kylián but before inviting the latter, according to custom, will praise his predecessor.
On this occasion, William Christie, member of the section "membres libres" of the Académie des beaux-arts, will conduct the ensemble Les Arts florissants.
During this proceeding, Her Royal Highness Caroline, Princess de Hanover will hand over the sword to the academician.
photo: Dasa Wharton
At the inauguration every new member is presented with a sword, symbolizing his profession. The Sword, as attribute of the newly elected member of the Academy, dressed in his fine costume, is a weapon to be used only in defence of arts and culture. Furthermore, it symbolizes the specific universe of every artist who is admitted to the Academy. But how to make a sword that symbolizes the art of dance and choreography?
"It was not an easy task. After contemplating many different possibilities, I came across an image of a beautiful small statue of a female dancer. This statue, which looks like it was created by Matisse or Picasso, is in fact a work of art created 5,500 years ago in Egypt. She was excavated by Henri de Morgan in 1907 from Tomb 2 at the site of Ma’mariya in Egypt. This statuette is from the pre-dynastic period. It is much older than the pyramids and the hieroglyphics, which means that nothing is known about her. The only obvious fact is, that she is a dancer. She is also known as the « Bird lady », because instead of a head she has a beak, and her arms resemble wings. The meaning and significance of this occasion is, that the art of choreography is elevated to a new level. That is why I decided that this « Bird lady » should stand on wings, taking her to new adventures.
And here is a small tragi-comical anecdote connected to this: I have telephoned a man who has a large collection of stuffed animals and asked him if he had a pair of small bird wings, which could be scanned and recreated in metal. As he explained to me that unfortunately he didn’t have anything which I could use, just in that moment a dead bird fell from the sky, and landed right in front of my feet (?!). I took this bird, a finch to this man. He prepared them with love and care so that the wings of this bird could be «immortalized» as part of my sword.
Another difficult task was to obtain a perfect 3D digital scan of the ancient Egyptian sculpture. I have found out that she «lives» now in the Brooklyn Museum in New York. I have asked a very talented photographer, Jason Akira Somma, whose mentor I was a few years ago, to try to organize the scanning. By strange coincidence the space in which the « Bird lady » enchanted thousands of viewers for many years, had to be restored, and the « Bird lady » had to be removed from public view. Jason took this opportunity and scanned her in a « Chambre séparée ».
Having obtained the most essential parts of the handle of the sword, I needed to find a black smith to assemble the parts and make the sword. Two friends, graphic designer René de Haan and painter Ilya Walraven, were instrumental in finding the very best black smith in the Netherlands to actually physically make it. His name is Dave Wijngaarden from Alkmaar."
7. 3. 2019
Lecture for public with Ballet Mistress Tereza Podařilová and first soloist Ondřej Vinklát in main role first time. Sunday 10 March 2019
The last production Brel – Vysotsky – Kryl / Solo for Three in the Estates Theatre are the last performances by which we close the dramaturgic line of Petr Zuska’s ballets this season by which we commemorated his milestone birthday.
Moreover, Sunday’s productions of this legendary work will be a great surprise! The main role will be danced by the first soloist Ondřej Vinklát. Are you looking forward to this exceptional evening?
If you happen to come to the Estates Theatre early enough, come to Mozartův salonek on the first balcony. At 6.30 pm there will be a public lecture for you to learn more about Solo for Three. Tereza Podařilová will be present to talk to you about the performance as it was one of her important roles while she was still a primaballerina. Now she teaches new dancers as ballet master.
Part of The Czech National Ballet’s season 2018/2019 is dedicated to Petr Zuska – to his 50th birthday!
Tramble – Romeo and Juliet – Brel–Vysotsky–Kryl / Solo for Three – Solo for Two of Us
photo: Serghei Gherciu
1. 3. 2019
It is our great pleasure to announce that principal dancer of Dutch National Ballet Daniel Camargo became permanent guest of our company.
Daniel Camargo was born in Brazil. He went on to train at the John Cranko School in Stuttgart in 2015. In 2009, Camargo joined Stuttgarter Ballett where he danced leading roles in ballets by John Cranko, Jerome Robbins, George Balanchine, Maurice Béjart, Kenneth MacMillan, Glen Tetley and Hans van Manen.
Since the 2016/2017 season, he has been a principal dancer with Dutch National Ballet.
New works were created on him by such renowned choreographers as Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Wayne McGregor, Jorma Elo and Marco Goecke.
He received prestigious prices: the European Most Promising Award from the European Cultural Foundation (2019), the German dance prize the Future Award (2010/2011), Prix Benois de la Danse (2018).
Daniel Camargo as a guest in Timeless on 21. April 2019
photo: Sebastien Galtier
13. 2. 2019
Legendary Petr Zuska’s ballet is on again. She: first soloist Alina Nanu and He: soloist Matěj Šust
This piece of dance theatre with the subheading “Solo for Three” is a ravishing performance inspired by the lives and songs of three singer-poets of the 1960s and 1970s – Jacques Brel, Vladimir Vysotsky and Karel Kryl.
Heroism. How many forms can a heroic act assume? It may range from a discreet and soft word to a proficient physical performance. You can be a hero amidst a turmoil, yet you need just as great a degree of personal courage in everyday life. Sometimes it suffices to add one’s signature …
Petr Zuska, the creator, choreographer and director of the production, has always been one of those willing to step out of his comfort zone for the sake of truth and human ideals, always ready to cry out: People, wake up!
When in 2007 Zuska was conceiving his now cult production Solo for Three, he spoke through the voices of Brel, Vysotsky and Kryl, while also being shattered by the untimely death of another bard, his friend, the Czech actor Boris Rösner. Yet he imbued with truth every movement, idea and sequence of scenes.
A during these days? Where are you, heroes?
23. 1. 2019
Two of our first soloists will perform leading roles in Valmont for the first time. Nikola Márová will dance the self-indulgent Marquise de Merteuil and Miho Ogimoto will turn into the innocent Madame de Tourvel. Moreover, Adam Zvonař – also first soloist – as Valmont.
The repeat performance of Valmont by Libor Vaculík on Friday January 25 will be very special. The favourite story of love and intrigues of the 18th century French aristocracy will have a new cast – an unusual one. The leading parts will be played by our prominent dancers – first soloists Nikola Márová (Marquise de Merteuil) and Miho Ogimoto (Madame de Tourvel). Both women are great artists and exceptional personalities.
Nikola Márová (performing the role of Marquise de Merteuil for the first time) expresses her feelings:
“As far as acting and artistic expression is concerned, Valmont is one of the most noticeable productions in our repertoire. Libor Vaculík, the choreographer, worked with us on every look and gesture. I dare to say now that the role of Marquise de Merteuil is dear to my heart – I will enjoy my premiere. I am truly looking forward to Valmont – and to the ballet lovers who will come to see the new cast.”
Miho Ogimoto (performing the role of Madame de Tourvel for the first time) shares her views:
“Working on Valmont was a bit difficult for me because the role of Madame de Tourvel is all about partnering – technically, artistically. It is about mutuality. I could not train things alone as I am used to. However, it was very interesting to work with Mr. Vaculík, he knows how to express his demands clearly and we quickly understood everything. The key word for me is “balance” – to act persuasively so that my expression is not too dramatic but not too neutral either. That is the point.”
And that is not all! The part of Knight Danceny will be performed – for the first time as well! – by a very talented young dancer Federico Ievoli, a demisoloist.
Last but not least: The first soloist Adam Zvonař as the cynical pleasure-seeking seducer Valmont will certainly fulfill your artistic desires and bring joy to your ballet-loving hearts.
Valmont – Friday January 25 – 7 pm – The Estates Theatre
Get tickets here.
Photo: Serghei Gherciu
21. 1. 2019
John Cranko’s choreography, to music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, is a breath-taking spectacle. The Czech National Ballet is the very first large company to have been granted the approval to stage the piece beyond the Stuttgarter Ballett.
Swan Lake ranks among the most celebrated of all classical ballets, the most frequently performed and the most popular among audiences all over the world. Although at first glance coming across as depicting anything but the prosaic reality of everyday life, the ballet has never failed to touch the hearts of audiences, which has applied to virtually every earnest production. To date, the National Theatre has staged twelve adaptations of Swan Lake.
Number thirteen, the new Czech National Ballet production will be a revival of the immortal story’s version created by the world-renowned choreographer John Cranko, the founder of the Stuttgarter Ballett, shortly before his premature death. His aim was to render a romantic atmosphere and to incorporate into his dramatic piece both the splendour of the concept and a certain degree of intimacy. A true master of epic ballet, in his Swan Lake Cranko provides the dancers with the great opportunity to develop the characters, while placing emphasis on acting and individual freedom of expression.
Even though closely linked with the milieu and ballet in Germany, which he himself formed, John Cranko is not unknown in the Czech Republic. His dance idiom was clearly influenced by his having studied at the Sadler’s Wells School in London, as well as his initial professional experience gained at the Sadler’s Wells Ballet. One of the world’s most distinguished choreographers, his accomplishments while serving as the artistic director of the Stuttgarter Ballett have been included in all ballet textbooks, with the company during Cranko’s era having been referred to as the “Stuttgart ballet miracle”. The charismatic artist got together and nurtured a number of young dancers, who went on to become renowned ballet figures: Marcia Haydée, Egon Madsen, Richard Cragun, Birgit Keil and Susanne Hanke, as well as, later on, such renowned choreographers as Jiří Kylián and John Neumeier.
John Cranko was a master of storytelling, capable of working with and rendering emotions, which he blended with magnificent dance passages and virtuoso solo performances, bringing great artistic experiences to the audience. The Czech premiere of his Swan Lake will indisputably be a major ballet event in the Czech Republic and within the European context alike.
We are the first big company that obtained permission to stage this ballet outside its home scene in Stuttgart. It is the first time, too, that the Swan Lake of John Cranko will get a new visual form: Foreign rights owners allowed us to create new costumes and set. Two Czech artists will be involved in devising the new scene elements: Josef Jelínek, the costume designer, and Martin Černý, the set designer.
Swan Lake – second premiere of season 2018/2019
Czech premiere: March 28th 2019
The production’s partner is Preciosa Beauty, s.r.o., a company adorning the dancers with its jewellery.
photo: Alexandre Katsapov
7. 1. 2019
The Czech National Ballet is leaving for Spanish Andalusia today. Destination: Seville, production: La Byadère.
On the second Sunday of the Advent last year the lush classical ballet La Byadère was performed in the National Theatre in Prague. The house was full to the last seat and it was the last time the audience had the opportunity to see the production in the 2018/2019 season.
Prague will not see it any more this season but the beautiful fairy tale about Nikia, the temple dancer, and Solor, the noble prince, will come alive in Spain in January. Our dancers will travel to the south of the country and perform in the city of Seville in Andalusia. The favourite and successful Javier Torres version of La Byadère will be staged four times from January 9 to January 12 in the local Teatro de la Maestranza and accompanied by the Real Orquesta Sinfónica de Sevilla.
Spanish ballet lovers will get the chance to see three different casts of the main roles and will admire six Czech first soloists: Nikola Márová, Alina Nanu, Miho Ogimoto, Nikita Chetverikov, Giovanni Rotolo and Adam Zvonař and four soloists: Sophie Benoit, Magdaléna Matějková, Kristýna Němečková, and Aya Watanabe.
photo: Younsik Kim
2. 1. 2019
We are seeking: Corps de ballet - male professional dancers (max. age: 25) Height min. 180 cm
For the 2019/2020 season, with contracts starting on 19 August 2019.
Artistic Director: Mr. Filip Barankiewicz
Please prepare a classical solo variation for the audition.
Strong classical and contemporary technique required.
Official dates: Sunday 20 and Sunday 27 January 2019
Address: Czech National Ballet, Anenske namesti 2, Prague 1, Czech Republic
Registration of applicants: from 8.00 till 9.30 am
Audition by invitation only!
Applications should include a CV, pictures and a short video link (dancing).
Please mention your height and weight, age and professional stage experience, including current company and education.
Please send your application by 16 January 2019 to the address:
The Czech National Ballet
Anenske nam. 2, 112 30 Prague 1
Tel.: +420 224 902 526, Fax: +420 224 902 539
Email: [email protected]
photo: Younsik Kim
23. 12. 2018
photo: demisoloist of the Czech National Ballet Younsik Kim
19. 12. 2018
She would rather die than kill her beloved. With the first morning sunrays she enters the sea, ready to diffuse into sea foam… The tragic fate of the Little Mermaid whose love for the earthly prince was stronger than her own life still inspires us and touches our hearts deeply. The Czech National Ballet stages the story of Hans Christian Andersen at the Estates Theatre and this version of the famous fairy tale is now on DVD.
The Czech National Ballet in collaboration with the Czech Television and Les Films Figures Libres publish the Little Mermaid on DVD.
“We captured live performance. It was crucial to place all the cameras carefully but the most important task was the final editing.” Jan Kodet
This version of the beautiful romantic story is choreographed by Jan Kodet and accompanied by the music of Zbyněk Matějů. Stage direction: SKUTR (Lukáš Trpišovský and Martin Kukučka), sets: Jakub Kopecký, costumes: Alexandra Grusková.
Czech artists created a dark blue and green world of the deep underwater realm that merges organically with the earthly kingdom of humans. Fascinating surreal scene arises thanks to minimalist set and colorful costumes – a dream coming alive!
Buy the Little Mermaid ballet production on DVD in our e-shop or in the stores of the Czech Television. Price: CZK 199.
If you want to see the Little Mermaid on stage, come to the Estates Theatre in January 2019: Saturday January 19 at 2 pm and 6 pm, Saturday January 26 at 2 pm and 6 pm. Last tickets available!
photo: Martin Stranka
13. 12. 2018
These numbers do not indicate different levels of quality – on the contrary, they confirm that the quality is always guaranteed – it is unchangeable and has reached the highest possible level. With every single production.
Every production of the Czech National Ballet is staged in several casts – each leading role as well as each minor part is performed by more than one dancer. What does that mean exactly?
From various interviews with Alexey Afanasiev, ballet master of the Czech National Ballet.
During the preparations of the premiere of a new ballet a cast is created by the choreographer or ballet masters. For the main roles there are usually three different casts, sometimes four. All of the dancers involved rehearse their roles attentively so that they master it both technically and artistically. Such preparations take two months or even less and so the authors of the piece concentrate mainly on the casts that they designated as first and second. The third, fourth (whatever the number) casts also take part in the rehearsals and try to do their best.
After the opening nights where the first and second casts excel there comes a time for the ballet masters who begin to devote themselves to the supporting dancers. They work hard with them so that they are fully prepared to perform their roles and offer a flawless interpretation once the first and second casts did their job during the premiere nights. This means that the casts designated as third and fourth appear on stage later, not during the opening series. However, they must be fully trained and ready to “steal the show” later.
The following season when the production is still on, the artistic director does not designate the casts as first, second or third anymore and so there is no given hierarchy of the dancers. Thus, the casting of the roles depends on the overall programme of the company and aims at retaining the highest quality of all the shows in repertoire.
The Cast for The Nutcracker – A Christmas Carol is “higher combinatorics”.
One of the interesting examples of “higher combinatorics” is the casting of the Christmas productions of the Nutcracker – A Christmas Carol. First suggestions as for who should dance what are born as early as September but everything changes in the course of the weeks to come. The casting is affected by varying physical condition of the dancers, injuries and pregnancies. Sometimes the situation is not clear even in December. No wonder! There are more than fifty dancers on stage in every production, there are five different casts for the leading roles and two for the minor parts. Last but not least – there are ten children from the Ballet Preparatory School of the National Theatre. This year we plan to stage eighteen performances altogether – and so it is a very long process, never-ending hard work that requires constant attention and concentration as various unexpected accidents get in the way.
At the same time the casting influences other people that take care of various technical issues connected with the production – costume and wig makers and stylists, dressers, milliners, shoemakers, make-up artists but also public relations staff and production managers and sometimes even property men or lightning technicians. All of them strive to make the performances flow smoothly.
And we, the ballet masters, simply love our work with the dancers – we handle each single cast carefully and sensitively and are very proud of them every time they appear on stage. No production is “better” than any other, they are all equally perfect. Moreover, the mood of the evening differs with every cast and so it can certainly be enriching for spectators to return to the theatre to see different dancers performing the same role. A new dancer always interprets the character in a new, original way. Yes, come and see several different productions – it is certainly worth it!
photo: Martin Divíšek
3. 12. 2018
The romantic ballet Valmont in new cast! This new “premiere” of the favourite piece is accompanied by a lecture for public and by the autograph signing of the new ballet calendar.
“Come and see Valmont, the great work of art! It is created by Libor Vaculík, a Czech choreographer who put his heart into it. It has been on for several years, people love it, they come again and again and always look forward to new cast,” says Adam Zvonař, the first soloist of the Czech National Ballet.
For the first time this week: Adam Zvonař as Valmont, Kristýna Němečková as Marquise de Merteuil, Irina Burduja as Cecile de Volanges and Jonáš Dolník as Knight Danceny.
“This role is a challenge for me! As I study the character of Valmont and spend time with him in the dance studio I realize how hard it is not to overact. To find the right measure and balance is a difficult task for me as the role requires considerable acting skills. I am lucky to have great ballet masters who trust me and support me. I appreciate the opportunity to work with Alexandre Katsapov, the “real Valmont” who danced the premiere in 2014 and for whom the character was created. He stands by me and tries to get the best out of me so that I am a good Valmont too,” says Adam Zvonař.
Lecture for public – Valmont
Did you know that the ballet Valmont was inspired by the novel in letters written by Choderlos de Laclos in 1782? The Estates Theatre opened only a year later and thus is a great place to display the morals of the libertines: Seduce but never fall in love! On stage as well as in life.
The lecturer Kateřina Hanáčková will tell you more about this dramatic ballet in the Estates Theatre foyer at 6.30 pm, half an hour before the performance. A special guest: ballet master and former first soloist Tereza Podařilová, the first Marquise de Merteuil.
Ballet Calendar autograph signing by Valmont soloists
A great opportunity to buy a new wall calendar with beautiful photographs and have it signed by the dancers. A great Christmas present! Come to Mozartův salonek after the performance. All four ballet dancers from the new cast of Valmont will be present – plus Magdaléna Matějková (Madamme de Tourvel).
photo: Martin Divíšek
29. 11. 2018
Michal Štípa has been the first soloist and member of the Czech National Ballet for many years. In January 2019 he starts a new career as artistic director in Moravské divadlo Olomouc.
The National Theatre wants to express deep gratitude to Michal Štípa for his beautiful and important work and great artistic contribution. Thank you! However, he is not leaving the Czech ballet world. Good luck in Olomouc and congratulations!
Would you like to admire Michal Štípa on the stage of the National Theatre in Prague and say good bye to him? Come and see Timeless on February 2019 the first and second at 7pm. He will dance in Svěcení jara with his beloved ballet partner of many years, the first soloist Nikola Márová.
Don’t hesitate and support the last performance of Michal Štípa, the legendary artist.
photo: Pavel Hejný
28. 11. 2018
The game of seduction has only one rule: Never fall in love! Valmont – the Czech National Ballet December 2018 – three performances – NEW CAST!
The romantic story about cynical hedonists has been adapted by the Czech choreographer Libor Vaculík to Franz Schubert’s and and Pēteris Vasks’s music (arranged by Metr Malásek). The chamber production oscillates between dance theatre and drama. Libor Vaculík does not overwhelm the audience with spectacular show – he concentrates on delicate, sensitive depiction of the protagonists’ nature.
“I am very happy that this ballet is still alive and you – the ballet lovers – still want to see it. We prepared a brand new cast for you and are looking forward to your visit. Sincerely, Libor Vaculík.”
Adam Zvonař will play Valmont for the first time, Kristýna Němečková will be Marquise de Merteuil, Irina Burduja will dance Cecile de Volanges and Jonáš Dolník will become Knight Danceny.
The premiere of this new cast will take place on December 4 and on December 7 you will have the last opportunity to admire Adam Zvonař as Valmont. On December 8 another first soloist, Giovanny Rotolo, will try to seduce you.
Elegance and decadence in The Estates Theatre: „Love devoid of emotions becomes a cold strategy calculated to the very last detail...“
Make your December special by visiting Valmont – the galant romantic ballet. Tickets.
photo: Serghei Gherciu
12. 11. 2018
The Czech National Ballet travelled overseas to extraordinary exotic destinations – the Central American Costa Rica and also Cuba, the heart of the Caribbean. Artistic director Filip Barankiewicz picked twelve soloists for this trip and devised a full evening Gala comprising both classical and more contemporary duets and solos.
The first stop on this special tour was San José, the capital of Costa Rica. Teatro Nacional de Costa Rica hosted our Gala two times. The journal La Nación in it's special edition Viva endowed the Czech National Ballet with the attribute legendary and offered its readers a two page interview with Mr. Filip Barankiewicz.
After the success in San José the company flew to Cuba to the magical city of Habana where it took part in the famous Festival Internacional de Ballet de la Habana „Alicia Alonso”, a well-known cultural event founded in 1960.
“It is for the first time in history that the Czech National Ballet brings its own original evening programme to this legendary festival. The outstanding quality of our performance was confirmed by an excited and warm reaction of Cuban audience and especially by the standing ovation at the end – we were honoured,” says Filip Barankiewicz who saw both performances in Habana in the Teatro Nacional de Cuba.
Cuban ballet is famous worldwide and Cuban dancers are known to be outstanding. The greatest personality that has made Cuban dance shine is Alicia Alonso, the prima ballerina assoluta who celebrates 96 this year and who set up the Festival Internacional de Ballet in 1960.
Michaela Černá, the ballet master of the Czech National Ballet, met Alicia in person twice.
“In 1986 I had the opportunity to dance at the Habana festival for the first time – it was in pas de deux with Ján Němec – and that is when I met Alicia Alonso. Two years later in 1988 Alicia invited me to Cuba again, this time I danced as soloist with the Cuban National Ballet. I performed the part of Myrta in Giselle and Odette/Odile in Swan Lake with the Cuban dancer Rodolfo Castellanos. It is great that the Czech National Ballet was invited to Habana – a true honour. I am glad I could come with our dancers and show them the magical, indescribable atmosphere of the celebrated Cuban festival.”
Toni Piñera for the Cuban site granma.cu
“Our company, the Cuban National Ballet, celebrates its 70. anniversary – and this was a great opening! On the first evening of the 26. year of the Cuban dance festival we could see mastery, physical excellence, perfect technical skill and wild rhythm. The audience was excited and rewarded the dancers with spontaneous applause. Every single part of the Gala was performed with precision and elegance – typical traits of the Czech company. The Czech National Ballet lighted up the Cuban stage for the first time and they brought various styles that represent their rich repertoire. The dancers were perfectly able to move among many different styles.”
Yuris Nórido for the Cuban site cubasi.cu
“Vertigo by Mauro Bigonzetti creates cycles of darkness and light and the dancers (Kristýna Němečková and Giovanni Rotolo) are engaged in constant intensive dialogue. The best piece of the evening – standing ovation.”
The name of the famous ballerina Alicia Alonso is connected not only with the Festival Internacional de Ballet de la Habana but also with the historical theatre stage Gran Teatro de La Habana Alicia Alonso. This was the place where the international Gala took place and the two Czech soloists – Nikola Márová and Adam Zvonař – were part of it. They danced the pas de deux from La Byadère (in Prague you will have the opportunity to see this ballet at the end of November and the beginning of December).
“It is admirable that the Czech National Ballet is able to send so many soloists abroad to Central America and at the same time bring to the Prague stage the fascinating ballet Kylián – Bridges of Time which is technically highly demanding and requires great skills of interpretation or stage the new contemporary ballet Slavic Temper in a completely new cast,“ says the artistic director Filip Barankiewicz.
Congratulations to all our soloists – Evgenia Chetverikova, Alina Nanu, Kristýna Němečková, Nikola Márová, Magdaléna Matějková, Nikita Chetverikov, Mathias Deneux, Younsik Kim, Giovanni Rotolo, Matěj Šust, Ondřej Vinklát and Adam Zvonař. Thank you!
Photo: Younsik Kim
In order from left to right: Alina Nanu, Matyáš Rytina (pyhsiotherapist), Matěj Šust, Giovanni Rotolo, Nikola Márová, Adam Zvonař, Ondřej Vinklá
6. 11. 2018
Romeo and Juliet – the romantic story by Shakespeare accompanied by the music of Sergei Prokofiev and performed by The Czech National Ballet in The Music Theatre Karlín. Four times only in 2018, starting November 12.
The famous love story written by William Shakespeare inspired the great composer Sergei Prokofiev in the 1930s and the Czech choreographer Petr Zuska in 2013 – his neoclassical version shines on the stage of The Music Theatre Karlín and waits for your visit. The State Opera Orchestra, the Czech National Ballet dancers and young talents from the Ballet Preparatory School create an unforgettable atmosphere. For the first time Romeo will be played by the Italian dancer Federico Ievoli who will fall in love with his Juliet Magdaléna Matějková.
“Romeo has always been of my most favourite characters – I am delighted I have the opportunity to dance this part. Moreover, Magda is a real star, an experienced dancer, and I am learning a lot from her. It is hard to be a dancer and actor in one, to dance and to act at the same time so that Romeo is persuasive and believable. But I will give all I have in me so that the audience can enjoy the magic of the evening fully.” (Federico – Romeo)
“I am looking forward to our new Romeo very much. I sense that Federico will not only bring exceptional dance aesthetics to the stage but also lots of love. And I will share this love with him gladly!“ (Magdaléna – Juliet)
Don’t miss the love of Romeo and Juliet and come to Karlín! November 12 at 7pm for the first time.
Photo: Serghei Gherciu
25. 10. 2018
DANCE EUROPE, the prestigious international magazine dedicated to dance and published in London elected Filip Barankiewicz among the best artistic directors of ballet companies around the world for the 2017/2018 season. „Filip Barankiewicz, inspirational new director of the Czech National Ballet.“
In the October issue the results of the CRITIC’S CHOICE poll were printed. The well known dance theater critic Mike Dixon chose Filip Barankiewicz as the artistic director of the year.
„Fourteen critics share their personal highlights and disappointments from the last dance season.“
The same critic mentioned the Czech National Ballet in two other cathegories – exceptional male performance and exceptional female performance. Two names of the CNB appeared – Alina Nanu (in the role of Lise in La Fille mal gardée) and Ondřej Vinklát (in the role of Colas in the same piece).
Congratulations to all – our boss and our dancers! Come and see La Fille mal gardée in May 2019!
photo: Martin Divíšek
17. 10. 2018
The Czech National Ballet goes on two weeks tour to the exotic Caribbean. The dancers will perform Balet Gala on four occasions. Two times they will dance in Costa Rica – at the National Theatre in San Jose, twice in Cuba at the National Theatre in the Covarrubias Hall, Havana.
The first soloists of the Czech National Ballet Nikola Márová and Adam Zvonař will perform at the famous Festival Internacional de Ballet de la Habana “Alicia Alonso”. They will dance the pas de deux from La Bayadère by Javier Torres.
This legendary ballet festival first saw the light of day in 1960 and its birth was inspired by Alicia Alonso, the prima ballerina assoluta and a great personality of art and culture. It will be the first time since the 1980s that Czech dancers will take part in this exceptional cultural event.
You can look forward to news and updates under the heading Czech National Ballet on Tour – Caribbean Tour 2018. Stay tuned to our social media!