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Top Pick: Polylingual mime to play in Bratislava festival

Barbara Čurda, a citizen of both France and Austria, is a mime who draws her inspiration from Indian mythology, whose lore she absorbed during her eight years in the Asian nation. Although fluent in five languages, she said she preferred to portray her characters in silence.
"Silence allows me better to express the different feelings of my characters through my body movements," she says. "Indian literature is very rich, and has given me a wealth of characters to draw on."
She has made a believer of Slovak mime Milan Sládek, for one. Sládek, director of the Slovak pantomime theatre Aréna, invited Čurda to be among the 11 world-famous mime artists and troupes who have gathered in Bratislava for the 6th annual International Pantomime Festival, known as Kaukliar 2001. Playing from June 1 to 10, the festival opens with Sládek's latest play, "The Three Penny Opera", in which Aréna mimes make use of a giant puppet as a stage prop.


Barbara Čurda portrays characters from Indiam mythology during the Kaukliar Mime Festival.
photo: Courtesy Barbara Čurda

Barbara Čurda, a citizen of both France and Austria, is a mime who draws her inspiration from Indian mythology, whose lore she absorbed during her eight years in the Asian nation. Although fluent in five languages, she said she preferred to portray her characters in silence.

"Silence allows me better to express the different feelings of my characters through my body movements," she says. "Indian literature is very rich, and has given me a wealth of characters to draw on."

She has made a believer of Slovak mime Milan Sládek, for one. Sládek, director of the Slovak pantomime theatre Aréna, invited Čurda to be among the 11 world-famous mime artists and troupes who have gathered in Bratislava for the 6th annual International Pantomime Festival, known as Kaukliar 2001. Playing from June 1 to 10, the festival opens with Sládek's latest play, "The Three Penny Opera", in which Aréna mimes make use of a giant puppet as a stage prop.

The festival's last play, "The Strange Hood Story", is the first children's play ever to be included in the Kaukliar festival, and will also be performed by Aréna.


SCHEDULE:

JUNE 1 - 18:00 Maestro André (Germany): Street theatre solo performance, 19:06 Aréna Theatre (Slovakia): The Three Penny Opera

JUNE 2 - 19:06 Bernd Weckerle (Germany): Comic Heroes

JUNE 3 - 19:06 Gitanjalad Kolanad (China): Walking Naked

JUNE 4 - 19:06 Barbara Čurda (France/Italy): Odissi Dance

JUNE 5 - 19:06 Bambie 6 (Netherlands): (play to be announced)

JUNE 6 - 19:06 I Carrara (Italy): The Venetian Twins

JUNE 7 - 19:06 Contemporary Mime Theatre (Poland): Homo Sensibilis

JUNE 8. 19:06 András Kecskés (Hungary): Steps of the Tree of Life

JUNE 9 - 19:06 Violaine Clanet and Laurent Clairet (France): Mr. and Mrs. 'O'

JUNE 10 - 15:00 Theatre Aréna (Slovakia): The Strange Hood Story

All performances take place at the Aréna Theatre on Viedenská 10 - follow the Starý Most (Old Bridge) road around to the right on the Petržalka side of the bridge, and then again make the first right into a parking lot. Tel: 6225 0013. Tickets cost 100-150 Sk per performance, and can be bought in advance at the theatre itself, or at the Bratislava Information Centre on Klobučnícka 2 at tel: 5443 1707, PKO office at Hollého 3 at tel: 5292 5023, or Dr. Horák on Medená 19 at tel: 5443 5667.

By Zuzana Habšudová

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