WHILE Slovakia is no stranger to dance festivals and the variety of dance styles that they offer, the Chorea 2014 festival will bring to Bratislava something unique: a presentation of modern ballet.
“We have been toying with the idea of organising such a festival in Slovakia for several years,” Ján Ďurovčík, the choreographer and head of the Slovenské Divadlo Tanca (Slovak Dance Theatre, SDT) and festival organiser, told The Slovak Spectator. He added that “travelling around many countries worldwide, we have the chance to see contemporary modern ballet in various forms, and we wanted to do something that would also give Slovak audiences the possibility to watch top global dance ensembles”.

The festival, which will take place between May 29 and June 1 on the home stage of the SDT, the Divadlo (Theatre) Tower Stage near the Eurovea shopping centre, offers a taste of Shakespeare with Richard III by the Ballet of the Opera Graz; Búrka (Tempest) by the host SDT; Carmen, also by the SDT; the GuanDong Modern Dance Company from Beijing with VoiceAfter, Mustard Seed; and Siddhartha by the Tanz company Giessen from Frankfurt.

When asked by the weekly about the selection of the participants and the works, Ďurovčík said, “I saw some of the ensembles in person, and with some this is already a continuation of previous cooperation (with Ballet of the Opera Graz). We tried to choose troupes that would make the festival’s offering rich and varied, so that the audience can watch world-renowned ensembles of modern ballet....”

As for the Slovak performance and its selection, Ďurov-čík explained that “Carmen is a current piece of the Slovak Dance Theatre with which we did a world tour. Thus, we have not had many opportunities to play it in Slovakia and so we decided to include it in the festival’s programme”.

The theatre has cooperated with dance ensembles throughout the world, informed Martin Kováč, the SDT art director. However, this is the first time in its history that it has attempted to cooperate in the genre of modern ballet. The SDT’s only plan is to assure the high quality of Slovak dance and to bring it to Slovak audiences through top troupes from China, Germany and Austria. The weekend festival aims to create a good portfolio for future foreign cooperation between Slovak dancers and choreographers, he added.

“We lock onto the festival immediately, as we travel in July with Carmen to Beijing,” Ďurovčík said about the festival’s future. “In October, Seoul should follow…. We definitely would like to continue the idea of this festival, at least once a year. But this depends on many factors, so we’ll see what the future brings. ”

The full festival programme can be found at heinekentowerstage.sk and tickets can be bought via ticketportal.sk.