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Slovak culture travels abroad


BRUSSELS will host a Slovak Days festival starting April 24 to celebrate the second anniversary of Slovakia's entry into the European Union and NATO and the first anniversary of the opening of the House of Slovak Regions in Brussels. The event is organized under the patronage of Slovak Deputy Prime Minister Pál Csáky and Ján Figeľ, a member of the European Commission.

The festival opens with a performance by Slovak opera singer Adriana Kučerová and soloists from the Košice State Theatre Ballet. The next day, two events will take place - a conference on opportunities for economic and employment growth in Slovak regions, attended by Csáky and the Graham Meadows, the Director-General of the DG REGIO of the European Commission, and an art exhibition entitled Slovak Art from Regions.

The festival takes a light-hearted turn on Friday, April 28, when Brussels' famed Manneken Pis sculpture is draped in traditional Slovak clothing, accompanied by the singing of JORS, an a capella quartet from Prešov, and the Odborárik children's choir from Žilina. Slovak beer and food will be on hand as well.

On April 30, organist Ján Valach will play works by JS Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven in the Sacre Coeur Church. Information on Slovakia and its regions will be distributed from the premises of European Union institutions between April 25 and 27.

Two movies will also be screened - Slnečný štát (The State of the Sun) and Utekajme, už ide! (Run, He is Coming!). The festival will conclude with a photo exhibition at the European Parliament showing Slovak participation in NATO peacekeeping operations, the EU and the UN, which will run from May 10 to 12.



Slovak arts arrive in Poland


STODOLA, the largest student club in Warsaw, will be the site of a joint concert by the rock-pop Slovak Grammy Award-winning band Peha and Polemic, which plays ska style, on April 25. The concert is part of the Week of Slovak Culture that started on April 19.

Also showing are the photo exhibitions Poetic Bratislava and Visegrad - Regions and their Capitals. Sculptures by Milan Lukáč and artworks by Katarína Kuzmová will also be shown.

Blues lovers can listen to Boboš & the Frozen Dozen and theatregoers can watch Viliam Klimáček's Hypermarket from the repertoire of the Slovak National Theatre Drama department.



Celebrating cultural heritage


THE INTERNATIONAL Day of Monuments and Sites opened the sixth annual Month of Cultural Heritage in Slovakia on April 18, a celebration initiated by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and organized by the Slovak Culture Ministry.

The event aims to promote the country's historical and cultural values by, according to ministry employee Zuzana Mistríková, pushing citizens, in particular the young, to appreciate the huge cultural, technical and artistic value that monuments and sites hold.

Museums, galleries and institutions will contribute throughout the month with exhibitions, lectures and tours meant to acquaint locals and tourists with sites of national heritage.

The Month concludes on May 18, which is the International Day of Museums. Galleries and museums across Slovakia traditionally observe this day with rich programmes on attractive historical venues and extended opening hours.



SND Drama receives new director


The new SND Drama head, Polák.
photo: Courtesy of SND

ROMAN Polák was named head of the Slovak National Theatre Drama department on April 18. He succeeds fellow stage director Martin Huba, who stepped down to devote more time to acting and directing.

After graduating from the Academy of Performing and Drama Arts in Bratislava, Polák worked with Huba's SNP Theatre and the Košice State Theatre, where he directed operas and plays to great success.

He spent the 1990s for ming the Astorka Korzo 90 theatre in Bratislava. Since 2001, he has directed six plays for the SND Drama, the most recent one being Viliam Klimáček's Hypermarket, which premiered on April 16, 2005.

Altogether, Polák has directed over 100 performances and cooperated with ensembles in Estonia, the USA, Paris and the Czech Republic. He has received several awards for his work, which includes collaborating on TV projects.

Polák told the daily SME that he wants to continue the department's positive direction and add such works as Goethe's Faust and Don Quixote to its repertoire, which have not been staged there yet and have the potential to attract large audiences.



Learn salsa and Irish dances


DANCE remains a popular hobby that does good to the body and the soul. Aware of that fact, the Bratislava Culture and Information Centre has opened new courses on salsa and Irish stepdance.

Salsa is a dynamic, passionate style rooted in African and Latin American rhythms that is said to be formed of relatively simple steps. Successful dancer and choreographer Mário Kovács will lead sessions in Bratislava for beginners aged 9 to 20. A party will be held at the end of the course in June.

Irish stepdancing gained popularity thanks to the Lord of the Dance show that excited audiences around the world. The style requires dancers to hold their body straight while they perform fast, precise movements with their legs and feet. Experienced dancer and choreographer Marek Grega will lead the lessons, which will also end with a party in June.


Prepared by Jana Liptáková
from press releases

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