Culture shorts

Slovak painter exhibits in Madrid

SLOVAK AMBASSADOR to Spain Ján Valko opened an exhibit of paintings by Slovak artist Peter Pollág called Fragments of Continuity in Madrid on January 19. The ceremony, which took place at the Alfredo Kraus Culture Centre and was attended by representatives from social and cultural life, artists, journalists, diplomats, and representatives of the local Slovak community, highlighted the importance of bringing Spanish and Slovak societies closer by means of arts and culture. "Art connects us in many ways and even though Spain is a power in the field of culture, Slovak artists would feel at home here," Valko said. The exhibition will last until January 31.

Táňa Pauhofová named Shooting Star

Táňa Pauhofová holding the Doska (Board) Theatre Award.
photo: SITA

THE EUROPEAN Film Promotion, a network of organizations that promote and export films, has chosen Slovak actress Táňa Pauhofová as one of the 25 up-and-coming young European actors and actress.

Along with other promising stars, the 23-year old Pauhofová will take part in a series of events at the Berlin International Film Festival between February 10 and 12 designed to encourage the international film industry, media and public to acknowledge the incredible screen talent that lies within Europe.

She started her career with the role of Valentína in Kruté radosti (Cruel Joys) alongside director Juraj Nvota during her studies at the Academy of Music and Performing Arts for which she won the IGRIC Award in 2003. The role of the Princess in the fairy tale Čert ví proč (The Devil Knows Why) by Roman Vávra followed in 2003. Two years later, she was cast in the lead role of Dana in the 1950's romance Kousek nebe (A Little Piece of Heaven) by Petr Nikolaev. Most recently, she can be seen in one of the main roles in the second feature film by Juraj Nvota, Music, which is expected to open early in 2007. Last year she was awarded the Doska Annual Theatre Award and the Slovak Literary Fund Award as Best Actress for her performance in Manon Lescaut.

Slovak CD in ECM catalogue

PROMINENT GERMAN publishing house ECM has included Mater, the latest CD by Slovak composer Vladimír Godár, in its catalogue.

The album contains performances of Godár's compositions by Czech violinist and singer Iva Bittová, violin and viola player Miloš Valent, the Bratislava conservatory choir, and the Solamente Naturali Chamber orchestra under the baton of Marek Štryncl in 2005.

The inclusion puts Godár in the company of such contemporary masters as Arvo Pärt and Gija Kancheli.

The individual pieces, composed between 1997 and 2005, are all linked by the theme of "woman" and "mother": protecting, consoling, mourning, but also as an object of praise and adoration.

A 28-page booklet illustrated by František Lipták with the composer's note in English is part of the CD package, which Pavian Records, Bratislava, released in spring 2006.

Letters to Ježiško gain popularity

THE CRAZY laboratory of Master Horibilus, HotWheels cars, washable teddy bears and various books on witchcraft were among the most popular presents children wished for in their Christmas lists to Ježiško (baby Jesus) in 2006. Slovenská Pošta received the letters as part of the eighth year of its Christmas Mail project, which allows children to write to Ježiško using the zip code 999 99.

Children and adults sent more than 85,000 letters, paintings, and self-made presents to the special address between October and December.

"This program is so popular, it received almost 14,000 letters in a single day last year," Christmas Mail project manager Svetlana Vallašeková from Slovenská Pošta told the TASR news wire. "The baby Jesus also received nearly 200 wishes from abroad, almost one half of which were sent by children from the neighbouring Czech Republic. Children from Australia, Canada, Lebanon and Kuwait wrote him too." The Christmas Mail project sends a response to any letter received by December 15.

by Jana Liptáková

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