Slovak dance film

Lately the dance film scene in Slovakia has become significantly more vibrant and visible, partly due to the NU VIDEO DANCE competition held during the NuDance Fests organised in Bratislava, which also features workshops and masterclasses run by international artists. Young filmmakers without previous experience of dance have also become increasingly interested in making dance films, drawn by new programmes, run jointly by the Music and Dance Faculty at the Bratislava Academy of Performing Arts and the Academy’s Film and Television Faculty, as well as by a growing number of international co-productions. The selection presented here focuses on films produced in recent years, two of which – Personal Pronouns and Move My Shoes – will be receiving their international premieres.

S kožou na trh (2015) 3 minutes
(Risking The Skin on The Market)

Concept: Zuzana Sehnalová
Dancers: Zuzana Sehnalová, Michal Heribán, Pavol Kovalčík
Music: Octopusic
Sound: Michal Sekera
Camera: Jozef Pajerský
DOP, editing and direction: Martina Slováková

Martina Slováková and Zuzana Sehnalová’s short film is a witty, hyperbolic take on the Slovak idiom for taking a risk – “take one’s skin to market”. The dancers’ bodies and exposed skin, representing their intimate sphere and vulnerabilities as well as their vitality and ferocity, are displayed on a shop counter as goods for sale. That which is most intimate, intangible and non-pecuniary is presented in a symbolic public space intended for buying and selling, and also in the context of other edible fare, such as fruit and vegetables. The film received the main prize at the national dance film festival NU VIDEO DANCE 2015.

TSE (time, space, energy) (2015) 4 minutes

Director: Richard Chomo
Camera: Ivo Miko, Martin Čech, Nikodém Násada
Sound: Martin Králik
Dancer: Soňa Ferienčíková
Drums: Matej Ruman

This short film juxtaposes the static appearance of a former Czechoslovak radio broadcasting studio with the movement of the camera, as it follows the endless stream of movement by the dancer and drummer. The resulting sequence of images generates a sense of contiguity and continuity between elements that seem unconnected at first glance.
Personal Pronouns (2015) 15 minutes

Concept and choreography: Ján Ševčík
Music: Ivana Mer, Hokiko, Sisa Michalidesová
Sound: Adam Kuchta
Editing: Lucia Kopačková
Script, camera, direction: Andrea Sudorová
Performers: Valéria Stašková, Vladimír Frištik

Personal Pronouns is a dance film based on two dance compositions portraying the extreme forms love can take. The first tells the story of a pathological love, a relationship in decline, in which violence against a woman has become firmly routinised. The other story follows a young woman yearning for beauty and love, looking for a way out of her loneliness. Taking their inspiration from folk culture the authors debunk domestic violence and alcoholism as phenomena that are inherent to traditional culture, yet rarely acknowledged as such.

Conflicts of Apathy (2014) 8 minutes

Direction: Matej Matejka
Choreography: Matej Matejka, Milan Kozánek
Script: Matej Matejka, Adam Hanuljak
Music: Adam Hanuljak, Dušan Kozák
Performers: Magdalena Koza, Zuzana Kakalíkova, Katarína Brestovanská, Natalia Pieczuro, Zuzana Burianová, Teodora Grano, Alexandra Kassina Kazazou, Agnieszka Ćwieląg, Giuomarc Frodraux, Marek Gluzinsky, Daniel Han
Camera: DogDocs
Production: Nový Priestor, Studio Matejka

This film is the result of cooperation between the performers of Studio Matejka, led by actor and director Matej Matejka, and choreographer Milan Kozánek, as well as of their creative research. It was also performed live at the Marianka monastery in Slovakia, one of Europe’s oldest pilgrimage sites. The film was created jointly with Nový priestor, the International Center For Education, Research And Creation Of New Dance And Physical Theatre, who have also co-produced it. It received the main prize at the national dance film festival NU VIDEO DANCE 2014.

Move My Shoes (2016) 30 minutes

Script, camera, direction: Richard Chomo
Camera and editing: Peter Kotrha
Sound: Miloš Hanzély
Choreography: Soňa Ferienčíková
Creative producer: Zuzana Nemethová

This documentary film follows Slovak dancer Soňa as she criss-crosses Europe in a caravan visiting her colleagues from various renowned dance schools. The film records the lives of a generation of artists balancing social issues and their work, contemporary dance. On the one hand, dance brings variety and freedom into their lives while, on the other, they have to grapple with the practical challenges of finding work. In addition to presenting the art of dance itself the film focuses on the theme of movement in general and its primacy in our everyday lives.