The Dance and Motion section will be extraordinary this year. The programme promises the participation of an ensemble which will certainly define the date of the climax of the contemporary dance season (not only) in Brno by its performance. We have managed to attract one of the most important and famous world-class dance ensembles to the festival as one of its highlights. However, there will also be a strong and numerous Czech contingent in the motion section that will form a counterweight to the only foreign dance ensemble by presenting exceptional domestic productions that were mostly shown as premieres over the last year.

The Dance and Motion section will be extraordinary this year. The programme promises the participation of an ensemble which will certainly define the date of the climax of the contemporary dance season (not only) in Brno by its performance. We have managed to attract one of the most important and famous world-class dance ensembles to the festival as one of its highlights. However, there will also be a strong and numerous Czech contingent in the motion section that will form a counterweight to the only foreign dance ensemble by presenting exceptional domestic productions that were mostly shown as premieres over the last year.

The main magnet for lovers of dance will undoubtedly be the greatest Israeli dance ensemble the Batsheva Dance Company, which will appear at the festival with its long-time artistic director and choreographer Ohad Naharin. This famous ensemble was founded by the legendary Martha Graham and the baroness Batsheva de Rothschild, after whom it was also named. In 1990 Ohad Naharin became the artistic director, taking the ensemble in a new direction and influencing the contemporary dance world not only through his choreographies but also and mainly by creating a new movement language called Gaga. This language gives his dancers the same feeling of motion, unifies their technique and places emphasis on natural movement and emotions. The application of this specific language in his choreographies through his dancers makes each interpretation of any work unique. In Brno the famous ensemble will present the choreography Venezuela. As a tireless innovator, Naharin applies a non-traditional choreographic approach to his work and promises viewers that their impressions from the performance will last long after they leave the theatre. The live appearance by “Batsheva” for only the second time ever in the Czech Republic is literally the event of the year, and it will certainly attract the attention of the whole Czech dance community and its supporters to Brno.

But even the domestic part of the festival´s motion section will certainly not be just filler added to achieve the desired number of performances. It will offer the very best in Czech independent dance, new circus and non-verbal theatre. It is not without interest that the artists we will be presenting are all members of one creative generation. Two of them, Lenka Vagnerová & Company and Václav Kuneš with the ensemble 420PEOPLE, partially address a similar theme through their dance projects, seriously as well as with exaggeration, which is the violence of humans against other members of their kind. Lenka Vágnerová´s Amazonky has collected, alongside the Divadelní Noviny Award, many nominations both for its choreography and for individual dance performances. Lenka Vágnerová, undoubtedly our most prominent choreographer, will leave us in no doubt as to why that is so in her wild and brutal Amazonky. Václav Kuneš and 420PEOPLE are a major force on the independent Czech dance scene. The autumn premiere of Panther, inspired by the bestseller by Yuval Noah Harari Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, is a choreographer´s reflection on the history and role of man as the highest predator on Earth. And – at last – let’s move onto new circus. Heroes is a production that has brought together several prominent personalities. Directed by Daniel Špinar, the ensemble Losers Cirque Company will perform this time alongside our absolute master of pantomime Radim Vizváry. He is our guest every year for a quite logical reason – he is tirelessly innovative and has the ability to continuously push the boundaries of his genre. As far as children are concerned, this year we have prepared the interactive Carnival of the Animals (Karneval zvířat) by Barbora Latalová and her team. It connects the fantasy world of children with the world of animals and music by Camille Saint-Säens.

And we also mustn’t forget the opening of the festival, which will take place at the piazzetta in front of the Janáček Theatre. In choreographies by young creatives interpreted by members of the National Theatre Brno’s Ballet ensemble, we will perform the original site-specific project The Noosphere, or Ice-Cream Andante for Dancers and a Fountainto music composed specially by František Chaloupka for the occasion. The multimedia fountain will be an integral part of the performance, and not only as a backdrop, but also as an active partner for the dancers and musicians.

Karel Littera, dramaturge for the Ballet at National Theatre Brno