Czech Center New York’s flagship project in 2016 entitled Prague-New York Effects epitomizes our mission towards creating enduring transatlantic collaborations. This project brought renowned Czech and American artists together, unifying them in the common dialogue of the creative process to birth original performance duets. These performances had their world premieres in both countries.
One Czech artist and one American artist, from different sides of the ocean, each of them from a different cultural context, each of them from a different social class, from different ethnicities, from different traditions, and different stereotypes. They met on one stage and created performance dialogues in the middle of a circle face to face. They met in New York.
Prague-New York Effects demonstrates how the arts transcend borders and cultures, and helps reaffirm the belief that forces uniting us are stronger than those that divide us. Audiences got to witness the special alchemy that results when American and Czech talents come together through the power of the arts, to educate and enlighten.
The First Effect saw the creative collaboration between five-time Angel award winning singer-songwriter Lenka Dusilová and Brooklyn based jazz singer, dancer and actress- Tendayi Kuumba. The World Premiere of this piece took place at Jack, a theatre complex in Brooklyn, on February 6, 8pm and February 7, 3pm. The show then moved to Washington, DC to Georgetown University’s Gonda Theatre on February 8, 8pm before moving to Palác Akropolis in Prague.
The Second Effect featured Doris Duke Award winner and experimental jazz vocalist, composer, multi-instrumentalist, dancer, producer, Fulbright scholar -Jen Shyu –and Petr Zuska, Artistic Director of the Czech National Ballet (Czech) European-format creator, an eminent choreographer and world-renowned ballet dancer. Their performances were held in the Ballroom of the Bohemian National Hall on April 21, National Gallery in Washington, D.C. April 23, and Palác Akropolis in Prague on April 27, 2016.
The Third Effect featured Helga Davis actress, singer, and Robert Wilson’s muse with Jiří Bartovanec –Czech dancer & choreographer and member of Sasha Walsh Dance Company. They started with a performance at the Dance Loft in Washington, D.C on June 24, the New York premiere took place at Jack, in Brooklyn on June 22, the Czech Premiere was on the Mystery Boat of Forman Brothers in Prague on June 29 and final performance at the Moving Station in Pilsen on July 2, 2016.
The Fourth Effect boasted the artistry of Tami Stronach-actress, dancer & choreographer and Tomáš Dvořák (Floex) – clarinetist, composer; producer & multi-media artist who engaged in a cross cultural dialogue about where their artistry intersects. This bridge building conversation led to the start of an original performance using sound sensors and dance ion a unique and inspiring way. Their New York premiere took place at the Bohemian National Hall on September 15 and at Palác Akropolis in Prague on September 29.
All of the artists were involved with workshops for the public during their residency where they imparted their skills and knowledge to the participants. These workshops occurred both in New York City and Prague.
The Wrap Party took place on September 20 on four floors of the Bohemian National Hall. There was site specific dance performances by Tami Stronach Dance, a gallery exhibition of the projects photographs and video footage, a repeat performance of the Fourth Effect in the Ballroom, a Q+A panel discussion with artists from the project, a celebration of Dance for Camera Films in the cinema introduced by dance journalist Jana Navratova and a jazz concert on the rooftop by Tendayi Kuumba and Gerry Eastman.
This was the culmination point of a year of successful artistic collaboration between Prague and New York artists spear headed by Czech Center New York.
At the final wrap party Barbara Karpetova, the Czech Center Director, announced the open call for submissions from visual and performing artists to take part in the Thomas M. Messer Creative Hub project entitled, “The New Bohemia.”