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July 2019


Archa.Mag 4 - 06/07


At the beginning of June, Archa will present the performance Sudden Showers of Silence, jointly created by Josef Fruček and Linda Kapetanea, dancers, choreographers…..and partners.

Between 2002 and 2005 they were both members of the Belgian group Ultima Vez. They currently live in Greece and devote themselves to independent work and dance education. The choreography Sudden Showers of Silence is inspired by the tale of the last meeting between Hector and his wife Andromache from Homer’s The Iliad, a fight between a man and a woman, between love and death.

The choreography that you will be presenting with Linda Kapatanea at Archa Theatre deals with an ancient theme. What in the tale of Hector and Andromache, which the performance is loosely inspired by, is relevant today?

For us, it wasn’t necessarily a question of being up-to date and relevant. The way in which Homer wrote and the structure of his works are so brilliant that they are still used in literature today. It is the same with the story of Hector and Andromache. When we hear those names, we think of a conflict between man and woman, on the brink of a decision between life and death. It is a very intimate look at the differences between the sexes, which are created from one another and yet stand in such dramatic opposition. Homer depicted this relationship so dynamically that it doesn’t make sense to invent something ourselves. Genii have the ability to be timeless, and therefore relevant in every era.

Was you choice also influenced by the fact that you and Linda are life partners? How is this reflected in your joint work?
The choice of theme is very important for us. In the preparation phase we try not to leave anything to chance. We chose our themes in consultation with people who are well versed in literature and modern art. Of course we look for something which touches us personally and which we would like to talk about. In all honesty, during rehearsals we fight so much that it’s very hard. We try to be tolerant and polite, but it is actually impossible. It is much better for us when we do choreography for actors or dancers, or when we are being led by someone else.

How have Ultima Vez and Wim Vandekeybus contributed to your project?
Ultima Vez is a supportive organisation. Wim likes us, or at least I think so, and took an interest in our projects even when we were still in the group. In order to create bigger productions, however, we need to be outside of the group, because Ultima Vez really travels and works a lot.

How do you, as the creator of a performance, choose your collaborators – performers, composers, stage and lighting designers? Do you have very precise ideas?
One of the things that we are enjoying more and more is working with other artists, with people who understand their work and take pleasure in it. By this, I mean they take please in the suffering of creation. Finding a harmonious team is of course almost impossible and, I think, in many respects also unproductive. For us creation is always a sort of conflict. It is like a serious accident, following which we use all the deformed pieces to create a new unit, made up of our different worlds. That is to say that each person has their own idea (and usually the best one) of how something should look like. It is the poetry of egotism and violence, which works for the good of the whole project. And it should be like that. Everyone is his or her own creative god and the centre of his or her own universe, even if we obstinately try to be helpful and kind.

Do you follow developments on the Czech and Slovak dance scenes?
What is happening in Czech Republic and Slovakia really interests me. There are tremendously interesting and talented people here – I REALLY think so. There is nothing missing except the right external conditions. In this respect, I would like to emphasise that I don’t believe in sacred poverty. In order to create quality performances, performances able to stand up in a European context, you don’t just need an idea, but also professional production and everything that goes with it. You can’t forget that the people you work with should be paid. Alternative culture, to which dance is also considered to belong, is no ‘poor little thing’. Quite the opposite, in fact: it is bringing a new dynamic to stagnating theatre forms. On the other hand, I think that in Czech Republic and Slovakia we need more education and knowledge of what is currently happening in art. Not just cultural knowledge, but also political and economic. At the end of the day, all these things go together. Questions of money, audience and a supportive environment for creation are closely linked to the outlook and the understanding of the state and the people in it.  


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