Culture shorts

Benka painting fetches Sk840,000

THE REGULAR summer auction of artworks held by the SOGA auction house on June 12 in Bratislava brought in almost Sk10 million (€292,000). The painting At Woodcutters by Martin Benka drew in Sk840,000 after starting at Sk1.05 million.

This was not the first Benka work auctioned by SOGA. The painting Slovak Family was sold for the highest sum, Sk1.550 million, in 2003.

A sculpture by Salvator Dalí was the highlight of the auction, in which SOGA offered almost 300 paintings, drawings, sculptures and other works of art. It sold for Sk175,000, up from the starting price of Sk160,000. The most interesting works were paintings by Jan Hála, Ladislav (László) Mednyánszky, and Anton Jasusch. But the auction was not only about expensive artworks, as the price of some paintings started at just Sk1,000.

Japanese film festival in Bratislava

THE EMBASSY of Japan to Slovakia and the Japan Foundation are organizing the third Japan Film Festival in cooperation with the Mladosť cinema.

Director Shinobu Yaguchi's Swing Girls (Swingu Garuzu), a story about girls deeply fascinated by jazz, will open the festival, which starts at the cinema at Hviezdoslavovo Square 17 on June 18 at 20:00. The next day at 18:00, the festival will go on with a moving love story in the style of road movie, Kaza-Hana by Shinji Somai. Sorry (Gomen) by Shin Togashi, a movie about a boy's coming of age, follows at 20:15. Aiki, the story of Taichi, a high school drop-out hoping to be a professional boxer when a road accident leaves him paralyzed from the waist down, completes the festival on June 20 at 18:00.

All the films will be screened in Japanese with English subtitles. Admission is free.

Almost 200 events set for summer festival

The Spanish Harlem Orchestra opens the Summer of Culture on June 18.
photo: BKIS

THE 32ND Summer of Culture Festival and Castle Plays will offer almost 200 events in 25 cycles at 21 venues in Bratislava from June 17 to September 20.

"This includes a lot of art at public as well as more hidden spaces, from which people can take their pick," Bratislava Mayor Andrej Ďurkovský informed the press on June 13.

As well as in traditional places like the Main Square and the courtyards of the Old City Hall and Bratislava Castle, events will also take place in Čitáreň Červený Rak, the Pavilion of Liszt, and the Partizánska Lúka meadow in the Železná Studnička recreation area, where a three-day country, world, ethno and Roma music festival will happen between July 13-15. Among the new cycles of performances are the Theatre at City Hall and Chamber Orchestras at Hviezdoslavovo Square. Cooks and pastry chefs will demonstrate their arts at the Main Square on August 11.

Some of the traditional cycles will return, such as the Jazz under the Tower and Viva Musica festivals, and performances by folk music and dance ensembles.

The Summer Shakespeare Festivities that take place in the courtyard of Bratislava Castle from July 1 to August 15 offer four plays this year - A Midsummer Night's Dream, Othello, As You Like It, and The Tempest - to be performed by Czech and Slovak actors

The Ship of Hope on the Danube

TWELVE actors from various European countries will take part in the America - Ship of Hope project based on the Franz Kafka novel, America. The actors will perform the shows in Bratislava from June 22 to 24 in an untraditional space - the underdeck of a ship anchored at the Petržalka side of the Danube. It is part of the European theatre Magic Net network, Andrea Dőmeová from Astorka Korzo '90 Theatre told the SITA news wire.

The project's story is taken from Franz Kafka's 1912 novel, in which a character named Karl Rossmann emigrates to America, the Magic Net website reads. Together with the actors, the audience goes on a tour of the world.

The play is the product of a joint effort, both in its idea and how it's created. Each actor speaks in his own language, just as immigrants to America do. Slovak actor Lukáš Latinák will help Slovak viewers understand the play by explaining each conversation.

The play has been touring Europe, starting in Norway and continuing to Germany, Estonia and Poland.

The Magic Net network is comprised of theatres from across Western and Central Europe, Russia, and Turkey.

By Jana Liptáková

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