European Art Commissioners 2019 – ICARUS

Two European cities, two artistic venues, two communities work together to commission an art work. The partners involved this year are Tanec Praha, in Prague (CZ), and Festival Divadelná Nitra, in Nitra (SK).

photo credit: Juraj Vavrovič


Concept: Marie Gourdain in cooperation with: Jaro Viňarský, Václav Kalivoda
Choreography and scenography: Marie Gourdain
: Jaro Viňarský & Barbara Beňušíková, Lea Hrušovská, Tamara Lacsná, Margaréta Hvozdíková, Janka Milová, Simona Horičková, Ladislav Bánovský, Hana Hvozdíková, Henrich Kudroč, Filip Mucha, Anna Strejčková, Leontina Foltýnová, Jaromír Korbel, Eliška Boloňská, Klára Vojtášková, Marie Zmátlíková, Marta Tučková, Linda Macková, Rozárka Čížková, Amélie Poledňáková

Music: Václav Kalivoda (live) 

Dramaturgical consultant: Jordi Galí
Technology: Štěpán Hejzlar, Zbyněk Opálka
Martina Stieglerová
Production & coordination
: Marie Gourdain / tYhle, Alena Brožová, Martina Filinová / Tanec Praha, Anna Šimončičová, Miro Zwiefelhofer / Divadelná NitraCo-producers: Tanec Praha z.ú. / TANEC PRAHA Festival (CZ), Asociace/ Divadelná Nitra / Medzinárodný festival Divadelná Nitra (SK) | Association / Divadelná Nitra / International Festival Divadelná Nitra (SK)

With the main support of:  Creative Europe programme of the European Union
Realized in the framework of the European project Be SpecACTive!

With support of: Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic,  Capital City of Prague, State Cultural Fund of the Czech Republic, Slovak Arts Council,  Ministry of investment, regional development and informatization of the Slovak Republic, City of Nitra, Nitra self-governing regionj,  Foundation SPP, LITA – author company, Tělovýchovná jednota Sokol 

Partners: Tanec Praha / PONEC –  dance venue,  Jozef Rosinský Elementary School of Art in Nitra,  Andrej Bagar Theatre in Nitra,  Tělocvičná Jednota Sokol Karlín

Special thanks: Marica Šišková, Ivana Beňušíková

photo credit: Adam Mráček

A dance performance facing themes as borders and freedom. The production, led by the international creative trio Marie Goudain (France), Jaro Viňarský (Slovakia) and Václav Kalivoda (Czech Republic) in collaboration with the festival TANEC PRAHA and the J. Rosinský Elementary Art School in Nitra, has been emerging for over a year. The cast and co-authors are teenagers from Nitra and Prague who attended creative workshops in the two cities, along with lectures on contemporary dance, and the very process of creation and rehearsals. The young performers, in conjunction with the three professional artists, share with the audience the imprint the current era and the approaching adulthood has left upon them.


tYhle is a collective of Czech and French artists based in Czech Republic. It is a platform for performance, dance, physical theatre and visual arts, created by four young artists. The collective was founded in Brno in 2015 after already three years of collaboration between Lukáš Karásek and Florent Golfier. They were later joined by lighting designer Zuzana Režná and scenographer/choreographer Marie Gourdain.

Marie Gourdain 

Marie Gourdain is a French choreographer, scenographer and visual artist. Since 2010 she has developed her artistic activities mainly in Prague (CZ). Her work merges her formation in the visual arts with contemporary dance drawing on the elements of graphic and sculptural composition and the detailed analysis of movement. She studied animation cinema at ENSAD Paris (École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs) and the VŠUP in Prague. She received the Frédéric de Carfort Prize (2011) and the ENSAD Sculpture Prize (2009) for her work in sculpture. As a scenographer she has worked with many choreographers, such as Karine Ponties, Rita Gobi, Andrea Miltnerová, Lucia Kašiarová etc. In 2015 she joined the French-Czech physical theatre and dance collective tYhle and began her choreographic work. Today Marie has three pieces in the collective’s repertoire: UN (2016), LEGOrytmus (2017) and Medúza (2018). She has recently created a new company in France called Matière Mobile.

Jaro Viňarský

Dancer, choreographer and performer, founder of the SKOK! civic association. Studied ballet choreography at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava and dance choreography at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. Between 1998 and 2000, he was a member of the professional Dance Studio Theatre in Banská Bystrica. In 2006, his solo performance The Last Step Before earned him the prestigious SAZKA Award in the Czech Republic, in the Dance Discovery category, and the Audience Award at the Czech Dance Platform. Since 2004, he has cooperated with a Belgian choreographer Karine Ponties. In addition to choreography, he currently leads creative dance workshops for non-professional dancers..He is a laureate of the prestigious New York Dance and Performance Award / The Bessies 2013 in the Outstanding Performer category for his project The Painted Bird / Bastard, by Pavol Zuštiak.

Václav Kalivoda

Trombonist, musical improviser and idea maker. Studied at the Prague Conservatory. In 2015, he graduated from the Bard College Conservatory of Music in the USA and then spent a year on a Darmasiswa internship in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, where he studied gamelan, traditional Indonesian music. In addition to playing classical music on trombone, both solo, chamber and orchestral, he also devotes himself to other genres (jazz, swing, klezmer, samba, etc.) and music for theatre and dance performances. He improvises with various dancers and musical groups (Voříšci, Moving Orchestra, Pražský improvizační orchestr, B4, etc.). He also focuses on improvisation for children with the aim of developing natural musical perception. He is a musician of the PONEC Theatre Children’s Studio and the Dance for Schools project.

Working with teens and the artist Marie Gourdain.

The steps of this process:

June 2019: Teens from Nitra came to Prague for festival Tanec Praha

September 2019: Teens from Prague travelled to Nitra for festival Divadelná Nitra

November 2019: Skype call Prague-Nitra, meeting and workshop with Marie Gourdain. European Spectators Day 2019 dedicated to the topic of Freedom.

March 2020 – September 2021 – online work and creative residencies

20th – 26th September – Divadelná Nitra
26th September 2020 – prèmiere at the International Theatre Festival Divadelná Nitra

October – December – feedback and reflection of the creation

2021 – premiere

26.9.2021, Praha/CZ, Festival TANEC PRAHA, 16:00

2.10. 2021, Nitra/SK, MEDZINÁRODNÝ FESTIVAL DIVADELNÁ NITRA | International Festival Divadelná Nitra