about the production
Although combining contemporary dance with saturated textual content is rather uncommon, such concoctions have been characteristic of Debris Company in the recent years. It is no different with WOW!, inspired by a poetic composition of the same name written by Slovak journalist, political scientist and playwright Eugen Gindl. Much is said about the poem (it was published in the collection A Picnic on a Magic Carpet) and the intention behind it by the author himself, who called it ‘a budget report on the short guest performance of the Homo sapiens sapiens company on planet Earth.’ This ‘panoramic civilizational slapstick’ (as it was called by reviewer Peter Macsovszky) uses rich and often intricate but powerfully evocative metaphors to convey Gindl’s sceptical and critical view of the diseases of the Anthropocene.
Gindl’s poem was an excellent point of departure for Debris Company, who produced WOW! as the first instalment in a planned trilogy on the state of the world. Shortly after its premiere followed the second instalment, titled The Abduction of Europe. And even though these productions differ considerably, both present a meditation on the crisis of the civilisation we currently live in and form a bridge between the past, present and towards the looming apocalyptic future. The recapitulation of history and response to the current state of events begins with the Big Bang in the midst of the infinite universe and continues through to the dizzying distance of the virtual world. The authors compare the primordial chaos to the current civilizational disorder, in which the human being has almost managed to destroy everything that had purpose and value and reached a fundamental crossroads about the possible visions of a future world. The piece also indirectly adverts to the environmental and mental limits of the destructive presence of Homo sapiens sapiens on our planet. The world needs to recycle and repair the damage done.
In an eminently poetic and simultaneously cynical language, Gindl’s poem creates images that the creators whisper in the ears of the audience through the voice of actor Braňo Mosný. On top of that, they also serve them a rich cocktail of various other stimuli. On the background of a distinctively visual experience, produced by the video art of Alex Zelina, word and image are forged into a layered chain of associations and impulses. The senses also delight in music created by director Jozef Vlk, the choreography of the dance company of Stanislava Vlčeková and Peter Cséri and last but not least also the visual lighting concept authored by Jan Ptačin and the costumes of Katarína Holková.
This piece is a perfect representation of the distinctive aesthetic of Debris Company, blending each element in a synesthetic experience that is complex and exacting of the audience. The qualities of WOW! and the specific position of Debris Company in the context of the Slovak contemporary dance and new drama scene are confirmed by the Grand Prix from the festival Nová dráma/New Drama 2018; this year, the company also performed this piece in New York, USA.
MLOKi Culture Society
“The overall composition of WOW! underscores the style of Debris Company, makes copious use of the musical and visual element combined with precise movement, but also offers audiences the possibility to go deeper, to the heart of the problem. Scene by scene, the whispered commentary first identifies by word and then unfolds in movement, music and image. Is this a theory, a conspiracy, a frivolous act or a real danger impending on civilisation?”
(Marek Godovič, monitoringdivadiel.sk, 11. 1. 2018)
“WOW! could be most readily described as a slightly meditative expression of astonishment at the fragility, perfection and uniqueness of life. (…) The visual concept and work with video art is traditionally a strong aspect of Debris’ productions. (…) WOW! is likely the most audience-oriented work created by Debris Company.”
(Miro Zwiefelhofer, devin.rtvs.sk, 14. 6. 2018)
concept and directed by Jozef Vlk
choreography: Stanislava Vlčeková
dramaturgy: Dáša Čiripová
music: Jozef Vlk
set design: Jan Ptačin (JaOnMi CreatureS)
costumes: Katarína Holková
audiovisual media: Alex Zelina
assistant director: Braňo Mosný
cast: Peter Cseri, Stanislava Vlčeková
Jozef Vlk (1961) is an author, director, composer, musician, performer and producer. After founding Debris, a company focusing on physical theatre, in 1991, he completed several musical-dramatic scholarship programs (Graz, Amsterdam, Stuttgart). For Debris Company, he has directed and authored music in more than 25 productions choreographed by Stanislava Vlčeková, staged all around the world. Besides contemporary dance and theatre, his collaborations with prominent artists have also been in the fields of music, visual art, literature and film. He was active in several musical ensembles, he has composed film scores The Tango with Mosquitos, Good Night and in 2014 the dance feature film Day. He organises many of theatrical events and festivals (Pool, Space 98, Prosthesis). He is a winner of the two DOSKY Awards, for the Best Theatre Music of the Season (Cando Hondo – a deep song about her... – 2008 and Rose/3Balet – 2012). His production of WOW! earned him the Grand Prix at the New Drama Festival in 2018.
Stanislava Vlčeková (1981) is an independent choreographer, dancer and dance pedagogue. She graduated from the J. L. Bella Conservatory in Banská Bystrica and the Music and Dance Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava. She has collaborated with several important local and international choreographers and performed in a number of European countries. Along with the dance group MY3, she received the Special Prize of the Jury at the Saitama International Dance Contest 2002 in Japan. She is active as a teacher in Slovakia an abroad; since 2011, she has been teaching contemporary dance techniques at the Acting Department of the Academy of Performing Arts. As a choreographer, she collaborates on various theatrical productions and multi-genre events. She is currently active in Debris Company, for whom she choreographed Soliloquy, Dolcissime Siréne, Orthopoeticum, Hexen, MONO, EPIC. She collaborates with Theatre SkRAT and the elledanse Alternative Theatre. In 2009, she received the TAOS Award for the Dance Figure of the Season (The Apple, Hexen) and third place at the Festival of Choreographic Miniatures in Belgrade (Rose).
Video of the production: yes
Scripts of the production: SK, EN
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