Noted choreographer turns 85

ŠTEFAN Nosáľ, the choreographer of the Lúčnica folklore ensemble, tells an amusing story. After one show, a man from the Upper Hron region, a Horehronec, entered the dressing room and asked: “Which one of you is Nosáľ?” Nosáľ was somewhat afraid as the man was loud and big and it was not clear what he wanted. After Nosáľ had been identified, the man grabbed him by the lapels, shook him and shouted: “You are doing a good job, now I feel like going to work tomorrow.”

(Source: Sme - V. ŠImíček)

ŠTEFAN Nosáľ, the choreographer of the Lúčnica folklore ensemble, tells an amusing story. After one show, a man from the Upper Hron region, a Horehronec, entered the dressing room and asked: “Which one of you is Nosáľ?” Nosáľ was somewhat afraid as the man was loud and big and it was not clear what he wanted. After Nosáľ had been identified, the man grabbed him by the lapels, shook him and shouted: “You are doing a good job, now I feel like going to work tomorrow.”

This tale is an apt reflection of the choreographer’s talent, as Nosáľ has led the renowned Slovak ensemble ever since the communist era. The ensemble is considered Nosáľ’s spiritual and choreographic child to a large extent, with stylised folklore adapted for the stage. Nosáľ turned 85 on January 20, 2012 and Lúčnica prepared a retrospective programme with tributes to its choreographer by several Slovak personalities, along with video footage and an interview with him.
The story told above comes from this video, as does another one narrated by Lúčnica’s current manager, Marián Turner. Turner said that he and Nosáľ try to meet each new Slovak culture minister and Turner related that Nosáľ had once looked at all the portraits of past ministers hanging in the ministry’s lobby and then happily told the new minister: “I have survived all of them and I will survive you as well.” And you can bet on this, at least when it comes to stamina and seniority in the job, as Nosáľ has been with Lúčnica for more than 60 years, most of the time as its main choreographer and artistic director. He and the ensemble have grown quite intertwined in all those years.

When asked about his inspiration and plans for the future, Nosáľ said he drew inspiration not only from Slovak folklore but also from the Slovak people, their strength and purity of character, especially those coming from around his native region of Poľana. He also mischievously said he might work some more with Lúčnica, though added that there are younger people who are real prepared to take the baton from him.

Nosáľ celebrated his birthday with a show that he had choreographed, directed by Ján Ďurovčík, with music composed or adapted by the late Svetozár Stračina. Lúčnica môj život (Lúčnica My Life) was staged four times at Istropolis in Bratislava from January 18 to 21. The ensemble’s PR manager said that performances at other venues had been considered but the possibilities were limited because of the technical demands of such a big show.

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