Les SlovaKs Dance Collective [BE]
20.11 – 21.11.2009
Polyphonic dance, virtuoso and full of humour
They were already dancing at the Banska Bystrica dance academy in Slovakia when they were children. Later they moved to Brussels and met one another at Rosas, Ultima Vez, Akram Khan and other select companies. They founded Les SlovaKs in 2006 and made a powerful impression during our Long Night of Dance in 2007. In 2008 we presented their first production, Opening Night.
Les SlovaKs present energetic ‘new-traditional dance’. The guiding principal is dynamic, free dance. By dancing without rules, they discovered the rules they actually needed to give one another’s special qualities a place within the group and to strengthen the group. The result was one simple guideline: the dancer can do what he likes, and freely, within the context of the dance. As there are no rules or limitations they named the piece Open Dancing.
Open Dancing soon led to Full Dancing, when Les SlovaKs incorporated the difference between dancing for each other and dancing for an audience, and created a fusion of the roles of viewer and participant. Full Dancing means that you always know what the other dancers are doing and so find your own place between them and the audience. We are presented with a polyphonic dance that is expressive, emotional, virtuoso and full of humour, with references to personal stories and their own culture.
In Opening Night (2007), Les SlovaKs play with the contrasts between abstract and concrete, chance and calculation, pleasure and boredom, on and off, dance and non-dance, together and in opposition, inside and outside.
In Journey Home they use a storyteller, characters, tradition and elements of play to create a narrative structure. The whole is made up of various smaller components and stories, each with its own beginning, middle and end, and a specific style and atmosphere. Charlie Chaplin and Laurel and Hardy films are a source of inspiration. Journey Home is built up around each of the six performers (five dancers and one musician) as if they were a character in their own film. The inspiration for this type of structure comes from Slovak tradition in which a dance evening is like a puzzle of different dances from various regions of the country.
Music is an essential element in Les SlovaKs’ performances. The references inherent in the dance are translated into a powerful soundtrack. To this end they have once again engaged the help of the musician and composer Simon Thierrée. His starting point, however, is the clash between folk and modernism. He makes recordings of both classical and modern instruments (drums, electric guitar, folk and pop singing, accordion) beforehand with a small chamber orchestra. On stage, live and recorded music alternate. The dance is created together with the music.
choreography, dance Milan Herich, Anton Lachky, Milan Tomasik, Peter Jasko, Martin Kilvady | live music Simon Thierrée | scenography Les SlovaKs Dance Collective, Joris De Bolle | light design Joris De Bolle | costumes Mat Voorter, Pepa Martinez | technical director Joris De Bolle | production Phileas Productions | co-production Kaaitheater, Charleroi/Danses (as part of the Charleroi/Danses Biennale), Mercat de les Flors (Barcelona), European Center for the Arts Hellerau (Dresden) | partner DCJ – Dans Centrum Jette (Brussels) | support Ministerie van de Vlaamse Gemeenschap