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Jan 13, 2014

The Slovak Performing Arts at Bohemian National Hall and APAP 2014

Stage Reading at the Bohemian National Hall of two plays about the Slovak Republic and its history during the World War II.


January 13, 2013
6:00 pm

Stage reading
Anna Grusková: The Woman Rabbi
Viliam Klimáček: The Holocaust

"Rabinka" and "Holokaust" are two plays about the Slovak Republic and its history during the Holocaust, to be produced and directed in New York by artist Anabela Zigova.

The Woman Rabi (Rabinka) was written by Slovak playwright Anna Grusková.

The life of the Jewish activist Gisi Fleischmann (1892–1944) was full of paradoxes. She was born to an orthodox Jewish family in Bratislava. For her, Eretz Israel, formerly Palestine, was the promised land for her fellow Jews. She worked in the official Jewish Council which was forced to co-organize deportations of Jews while also acting as the head of the illegal Working Group that was trying to stop the same deportations. Her noble goal was tempered by the use of pragmatic solutions, as she used bribery to free Jews from the threat of deportation. She helped Jews throughout Europe, but in the end was unable to help herself.

Anna Grusková is Czecho-Slovak theatre, film and radio author and director. She graduated from Theatre and Film Studies at Charles University in Prague. She initiated and led many domestic and international projects with both an artistic and social dimension (America, Brides / Brides, Sarcophagi and ATMs), on others she participated as author (Donaudrama, Chance ‘89). Her drama The Woman Rabbi  about the fate of the Bratislava Jewish activist Gisi Fleischmann was staged in the Slovak National Theatre and the Theatre Reon in Bologna. Among others, she also directed the theatre and film installation Danube Drama, or Filthy Coffee, Cheap Cigarettes, the documentary film The Rabbi Woman, Return to the Burning House (opening 2014), etc. She lives in Bratislava and enjoys cycling.


The Holocaust (Holokaust) by Viliam Klimáček is based on the memories of Hilda Hrabovecká who survived the first transport of prisoners from Slovakia to the Auschwitz (Oswienczim) concentration camp in 1942. During this significant period of Slovak history, two things were happening at the same time: the ratification of the constitution of the first Slovak state in history, and, at the same time, a great  tragedy – the mass deportations of Slovakia’s Jewish citizens. This paradox is aptly described by Viliam Klimáček, the playwright. This play recently won the prestigious Slovak Theatre Award Dosky 2013.

Viliam Klimáček is a theatre director and theatre author. In 1985 he co-founded the GUnaGU Theatre in Bratislava which was one of the most important alternative theatres in Slovakia in the 1990s. Since its establishment the theatre has presented more than 60 original plays and projects reflecting the human experience and Slovak reality. He works in the theatre as its artistic head, director, writer and actor. A number of Klimáček‘s plays won prizes at home and abroad – he is a seven-time holder of the Prize of the Alfréd Radok Foundation, and a two-time laureate of the DRAMA competition of best Slovak drama. Since 1993, he has worked as a freelance writer and manager of the GUnaGU Theatre. His extensive dramatic work makes him one of the most prolific playwrights in Slovakia, and many of his plays were staged on Slovak as well as international stages. The Bratislava-based Arena Theatre commissioned him to write the play The Holocaust. After Communism it was his second play written for The Arena Theatre.

Anabela Žigová intends to stage excerpts from both plays in a ninety-minute visually compelling event produced in collaboration with young Czech artist Radka Salcmannova (author of set design visuals). New York Theatre Consultancy is provided by Marcy Arlin of the Immigrant Theatre. The event is supported by Harvestworks Digital Media Arts Center and Materials for the Arts.

Texts will be read by actors Judy Rosenblatt (who just wrapped a movie with Dustin Hoffman,and Steve Buschemi and is also known from Sopranos), Rosalba Rolón (holder of Ford Foundation Visionaries Fellowship, Gina DiDonato(recipient of Hunter College’s John Goldman Award),and with support of Tibor Feldman(Devil Wears Prada, House of Cards), and Kathryn Kates (Orange is New Black, Seinfeld.)

Director & Producer: Anabela Žigová and  INSIDE OUT MEDIA PRODUCTIONS LLC  www.anabelazigova.net

The event will start with a short lecture by Anna Grusková on the context and history of Slovakia during the time depicted. There will also be a discussion about the problem of withholding this issue and period of history from public discourse in Slovakia. The performance will be followed by Q&As with the audience.


8:00 pm
A visual solo performance, inspired by the work of Francesca Woodman and the sensation of impermanence evoked by  photography.

With photography, we observe something already gone, and what hurts us about this is the suggestion of our own mortality. As Roland Barthes had put it, we “shudder over a catastrophe which has already occurred. We are already dying within our life.” Miroslav Petříček

Our lagging behind the world, caused by the normalization period, is presently compensated by a number of original artists, among which Sláva Daubnerová – the founder of the P.A.T. collective – cannot pass unnoticed. She usually composes her work as solo performances, although she occasionally chooses partners, such as in the productions of Polylogue, Some Disordered Interior Geometries or Iluminarium. In orthodox practice, performances are created solely from personal material as pure authorial opuses, but Sláva Daubnerová treads her own, original path. In her performances, she doesn't probe into life's truths and her personal desires autobiographically, in her own name – she rather delves

into the lives and work of other artists. Be it visual artists, such as the French Louise Bourgeois in Cely (“Cells”), the Norwegian painter Lars Hertervig in Polylogue, and most recently the American photographer Francesca Woodman; she also finds artists in other media: Inge Müller – a poet and wife of the well-known playwright Heiner Müller – whose destiny she had reflected upon in Some Disordered Interior Geometries, or Magda Husáková-Lokvencová, “the first lady of Slovak theatre directing”, to whom she had dedicated her performance M.H.L. Daubnerová, a Cultural Studies graduate, is in her own way an autodidact. Perhaps that's why she's so interested in artists' destinies. She observes them as potential colleagues in line of work, to engage in a dialogue with them, find with them answers to her own, undoubtedly tormenting questions on creativity and existence. She is inspired by their artifacts in order to arrive at her own conclusion, her personal, authentic message. In her stage compositions, she raises (and in unique ways develops) questions of identity, limits of life, relationships, loneliness, an outsider's position, saving graces of the art, and a slew of other similar themes. It seems that for her, the creative process is a kind of ritual and magic, she steps into the realm of her own universe through the world of another artist. And it is, too, a therapy and a laboratory: to peek inside is a delight for all those who like new discoveries and poetry in space.

Her newest solo performance, inspired by the work of a talented photographer, looms on Sláva Daubnerová's path as a climax of her striving for an unadulterated message and unique form.

Soňa Šimková: The unique way of Sláva Daubnerová, or the magic of theatre in kød – monthly about the Slovak theatre, Vol. 7 (2013), Nr. 4, pp. 13-17  


La Mama Theatre
January 12-13, 2013 – 11:30 am

a dance creation inspired by Laszlo Krasznahorkai’s and Max Neumann’s book of the same name. A suite of poem-like stories by a figure who seems to be able to augment the dimension of himself in time and in space, which drastically shifts his relationship to the material world, larger than all things, caught in a tautening moment. But then there is the suffering demon’s relationship to men which adds a psychological layer to the shifting axis of its capability.

is a display of the understanding of two humans who share the acceptance of one’s power that is even stronger than the domestication one of them must impose on himself as a desire to be among others. It is a belief in this deeper power, a dark magic in the play of sublimation. At its core, it is a faith in the body’s ability to speak a true language.

is an investigation of extreme states of a man’s relationship to his own body in relationship to another man and in relationship to viewers.


Body language painting called forth by the apocalyptic battle with memory thoughts ideas and imaginations on human kind on power on God on senses on beauty on dreaming on love wolves and other animal forms inside us the howling in bodies in the space of a cruel time.

Physical images from fine arts and a textual world of the unspeakable emotional states of mind languages and bodies pushed over the borders of their own comprehension the game of arresting the audience’s nervous system.

Premiered on the 13th and 14th December 2012 at Záhrada – Centrum pre nezávislú kultúru / Garden – Centre for Independent Culture (Banská Bystrica, Slovakia)

Running time: 70 minutes / no interval

Conceived, choreographed and directed by Jaro Viňarský (also performing), one of the recipients of THE BESSIE AWARD 2013 for OUTSTANDING PERFORMER

In collaboration with performer Marek Menšík, light design: Tomáš Morávek, original score: Ján Burian, costume design: Martin Kratochvíl, recorded text and voice: Henrietta Rab & Matthew Rogers
Production: SKOK! o.z. / non-profit organization
Co-production: Záhrada - Centrum pre nezávislú kultúru (Banská Bystrica, Slovakia), Stanica Žilina-Záriečie (Žilina, Slovakia), Archa Theatre (Prague, Czech Republic)

More information:http://physicalarts-sk.com/121519/jarospring-vinarsky


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Jan 13, 2014


Czech Center is a coorganizer of the event

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