Canto Hondo deep song about her…

elledanse, Bratislava, 2008
Author: Šárka Ondrišová, Kamil Žiška
Directed by Šárka Ondrišová, Kamil Žiška

about the production

An old house, the furniture is covered by white linen, a whiff of nostalgia and secret around. In the background there is a magical wall with the view from the window into an open land which suddenly, by the roll-door movement, disappears and the space becomes anxiously enclosed. A young woman comes to this place to get rid of old traumas from the past and to solve the pains of the present instead. “The one who is unable to leave is being left. She keeps silent. She dances a deep song.”

The production Canto Hondo, subtitled as deep song about her..., is the first project of the new dance theatre and dance school ElleDanse (the founding of new independent dance groups is an answer to the unsuitable conditions for modern dance in the official structures of theatre art in Slovakia). Its protagonists are artists of different age and professional provenience, among dancers there is also actor Csongor Kassai (Divided We Fall, Landscape, Cruel Joys, The Devil Knows Why). Despite this fact the production does not look incompact. Its authors were successful in connecting dance art, live or reproduced music and the word quite easily and without disharmonic tunes. They do not persuade the audience; they give it enough space for its own interpretations.

A rich ballet apparatus reflects the individual technical and visual orientation of each of the performers. The moderate speech of the father, movement of the frustrated mother changing in impetuous dynamic breaks, emotionally bursting dance of the daughter in which the development of her relationship with her husband is reflected – from passionate love to the wrath because of her partner’s betrayal. In the contrast with their modern, often quite informal motion vocabulary, there stands a highly stylized performance of the third woman of the story – the ethereal ballet-dancer dancing on her tiptoes.

A strong side of the production is absolutely theatrical, emotionally charged music which oscillates between southern tunes of the Balkans and local folk inspirations. It does not make only the background to dance parts, it is an equal expressive part of the staged whole – the violinist and accordionist not only accompany the story but by their presence on the stage they develop it in its mood and style. In the sample of Slovak productions of the last season, often moving from a commercial attraction on one side to shallow speculativeness on the other side of the spectre, the Canto Hondo sounds remarkably refreshing, simple, pure and honest.

“Even tough the first production of the ElleDanse is not innovative in choreography, direction or music, it brought a lot of positives to Slovak dance surroundings. At least it offers professional dance performances, compact staging and qualitative dramaturgy.” (Eva Gajdošová: Passionate Quiet Voice kød, 2 – 3/2008).
Michaela Mojžišová



directed by: Šárka Ondrišová, Kamil Žiška
choreography: Šárka Ondišová
dramaturgy: Lucia Blašková
stage design: Miro & Jaro Daubrava
costume design: Lea Fekete
music: Kamil Žiška, Jozef Vlk
cast: Stanislava Vlčeková, Ján Hromada, Anna Sedláčková, Csongor Kassai, Miroslava Klementová, Kamil Žiška, Ján Kružliak


Šárka Ondrišová (1971)
Studied ballet choreography at the Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Bratislava. During her studies she founded and led the Nasty dance group, she taught jazz dance at a conservatoire in Bratislava, she received a scholarship in Leare, Belgium. As a dancer she worked in the VUS (Army Artistic Group), the ballet ensemble of the Nová scéna Theatre and for one season in a Sorbian ensemble in Bautzen, Germany. Later she founded a professional dance group, Kabaret, focusing on musical and entertainment theatre and she has been oriented on the genre since. She systematically gains knowledge about jazz and modern dance and other styles, modern technique, yoga etc.

Kamil Žiška (1978)
Studied theatre directing and dramaturgy at the Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Bratislava. His graduation production was Fernando Crommelynck´s farce A Magnificent Cuckold which was nominated for the DOSKY Awards. As a director, artistic editor, composer, lyric writer and actor he co-operated with various Slovak theatres: The Radošina Naive Theatre, Trnava Theatre, Slovak Chamber Theatre Martin, Ludus Theatre, Bratislava Puppet Theatre, L+S Studio. Presently he focuses on physical theatre.