AMU prepared a new scope of its internal grant competition in 2020, focusing on encouraging inter-faculty creative student collaboration. Seven theatre, dance, music, and film projects were produced in cooperation between students from all three Faculties as part of the competition.
Students of DAMU, FAMU, Charles University’s Department of Theatre and JAMU got together under the Akolektiv Helmut moniker to create a documentary/theatre show, S chaganem lamag nohy in which WW II guerrillas, robbers, gamekeepers, bears and tourists wake up amidst the Beskydy wildlife during the visitation of a comet to meet across space and time. The troupe presented the show at several theatre festivals and reaped numerous awards, including the nomination for the participation in Jirásek’s Hronov, the premier Czech amateur theatre festival.
Back to Antwerp, another supported project and a dance show crated by Eva Rezová, HAMU’s choreography student, premiered at DISK Theatre on 6 September 2020. The project is based on the author’s experiences from her six-month stay in Antwerp, Belgium. They provided the inspiration for choreography for three female and two male dancers. The show is ingeniously supported by music written by Jakub Domorád and video art by Adela Križovenská (FAMU).
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Antonín Dvořák’s The Water Goblin was staged in Prague’s Letná quarter in August 2020 (on 6 August to be precise) as part of a large open-air opera production. In addition to AMU students, the project also involved other art schools – JAMU, UMPRUM and UJEP. The goal of the project was to present the opera and Dvořák’s work in general to a young audience of almost two thousand. The Water Goblin was abbreviated to two hours and the choir was replaced by electronic means involving extras (volunteers). This take on the piece was reminiscent of horror films, approaching a modern psycho-thriller in places, with the desired atmosphere illustrated by pyrotechnics and mountain climbing stunts. The opera’s premiere was eventually rewarded with several minutes of a standing ovation.
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Effugio, a dance installation and another project supported by the grant that involves a team of HAMU and DAMU students, premiered at AMU Gallery on 25 September. The chief theme of the project was self-injuries and the mental condition of persons that leads to such self-destructive behaviour. Effugio has two parts – a dance show inspired by elements of physical theatre and a multimedia exposition that includes the screening of a video recording of the performance.
Images and video
The grant also gave rise to Suburbia, a travelling dance performance intended for staging in various city quarters and villages that purports to connect everyday life with art in order to develop people’s aesthetic perceptions. The authors, DAMU and HAMU students, conceived Suburbia as a contact project that aims to truly get to know – including through a sense of touch – the architecture and the rhythm of the environment, and connect it to the human body.
See a video recording of the performance
Vrány (Crows) by Holektiv is the next inter-faculty grant project. Its premiere had to be rescheduled for the online environment due to the pandemic measures; what was initially a motion/dance show effectively became a dance film. Its authors and performers, Andrea Vykysalá and Karolína Křížková (both HAMU students), work in specific non-theatrical space and use an object, which offers entirely new options for movement. Music written by cello player and singer Terezie Vodička Kovalová is an integral part of the project. The object was designed by the award-winning designer studio Herrmann & Coufal, and costumes came courtesy of the talented Michaela Čapková. Anežka Vránová and Tereza Chudáčková filmed and edited Vrány in its film guise. The dance performance’s theme focuses on the relationship between crows and the human society.
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The last project supported by the grant is Zahrada ráje (Garden of Eden), a Bachelor graduation film made by Vojtěch Novotný, a student of FAMU’s Department of Directing that involved Jan Vaniš, a student of HAMU’s Department of Sound Design. Zahrada ráje tells the story of Matys, a thirty-something outsider who comes to the Czech Republic longing for a better life but fails to find his purpose. One day, he gets a job working at a distant chalet amidst magical nature that charms him. The film was shot during the summer of 2020 and is currently in post-production.