Petra Fornayová, Bratislava, 2016
Author: Petra Fornayová
Directed by Petra Fornayová

about the production

The ball in Vienna, as the traditional annual showcase of famous and prominent people in cultural, social and political life in Vienna and Austria, draws major attention by the media. The people in Austria (and Slovakia) regularly follow the ball in live broadcast. This spectacular event – the highlight of the ball season, is, paradoxically, distant from the reality of ordinary people and especially of the present-day that faces the threat of war. The artificial world that gives an impression of grandeur and luxury referring to the era of the famed Monarchy, pretends to be perfect. With its fairy-tale like robes and play on happiness, however, it draws many people. It has also become the temptation for a performer, choreographer and conceptual artist Petra Fornayová. Together with three other dancers she comments with wit and mockery on the phenomenon of mass culture, mass fanaticism and social values turned upside down. With critical distance and oversight, and self-mockery the artists capture and identify contemporary phenomena in our society and the dilemma of our lives.

The pointless address by the hostess who seems to have fallen out of a film screen which shows the recording from the Viennese Opernball is replaced by the introduction of dancers strictly in the spirit of the Vienna event, as major personae and socialites. Meanwhile the performers wittingly comment, highlight or mock the concrete creative principles, as well as their creative beginnings or integration in dance communities. The individualism is in contrast with mass culture, independent art struggles with consumerist art and entertainment. Gradually chaos, confusion and anxiety rise on stage when we don’t know to which side of the world to turn and where our place is. The impression the carnival performance Opernball gives is panic – a feeling that should awaken our conscience and consciousness.

Opernball poses a question about the meaning of art, human existence and its core. Panic cries alternate with alarming signal and are complemented with the song Elimination by Michal Habaj. Whoever failed to join the society, who stands outside merely by trying to make quality art instead of entertaining pieces, has to be eliminated, removed, expelled. The answer to whether it is art or entertainment that makes sense, whether it makes sense to join the socially given system where the majority is accommodates, or to remain a solitaire without status and money, is to be found within the artists themselves.

Petra Fornayová again combines dance, music, poetry and video art. We find here plenty of references and allusions to Slovak poetry (Peter Šulej, Peter Macsovszky, Michal Habaj) and to the global music pieces in combination with original music by Martin Burlas. The incorporation of Slovak art contexts into the dance elements is a characteristic feature of the work by Petra Fornayová. She thus reveals the quality of Slovak art for dance and theatre.
Dáša Čiripová



concept and direction: Petra Fornayová
dramaturgy: Peter Šulej
video: Adam Hanuljak, Jakub Pišek
sound direction, VJ-ing: Jakub Pišek
light design: Ints Plavnieks
costumes: Iveta Haasová
used texts:
Michal Habaj – anthology Capuut Mortum
Peter Macsovszky – anthology Santa Panica
Peter Šulej – anthology Nódy
 music: Martin Burlas, Antonio Vivaldi, Jamka, Casi Cada Minuto, George Bizet, Phillip Glass
production: Association of Contemporary Dance
creation, interpretation: Péter Cseri, Soňa Ferienčíková, Petra Fornayová, Monika Haasová, Adam Hanuljak, Richard Imrich, Jana Štefániková


Petra Fornayová (1972) graduated in law from the Comenius University and in dance at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava. She works in the field of contemporary dance and engages in interconnection of different types of scenic art in her own choreographies. She worked in Germany, France and The Netherlands. The productions in which she participated were presented at festivals Festival d´Otoño in Madrid, MediaWave in Györi or the Ars Cameralis in Katowice. In 2006 she featured at Divadelná Nitra with her original production Deeply Affected Epidermis. Fornayová performs with the SkRAT Theatre, and is also dramaturge, teacher and publicist. She organizes the Nu dance fest, is President of the Association of Contemporary Dance and co-founder of A4 – The Space for Contemporary Culture in Bratislava.


Materials available

Video of the production: yes
Script of the production: SK

If you are interested in these materials, write to archivy@nitrafest.sk