Dramaturgy of the National Theatre once again stepped aside from its common concept because it staged the work by Jan Kodet as another premiere. The reason was not choreographer’s work but rather because of the chosen place for staging. The premiere of Camoufl•AGE with Jan Kodet’s choreography in the Kolowrat theatre on 15th January 2009 opened the door for staging of small dance-theatre forms under the heading of the ballet company of the National theatre.

Production of Jan Kodet has been very easy to decode over the years of his work concerning both the staging and movement part and even Camoufl•AGE is not the exception. We get to know his dancing dictionary, his sense of humour and his exaggeration. Probably thanks to the collaboration with the director Jan Růžička, Kodet’s choreography is deeper in philosophical terms if we compare it with his previous performances.

It hides (camouflages) real feelings of a person behind frothiness of the world of show business and gleam of celebrities for one evening. It tries to portray causes and consequences, it may picture this world in the mirror or it uses it to create a black-and-white film. The ninety-minute piece of dance work acts as a floorshow now and then to become almost an intellectual generational confession. However, it is difficult to find the end without a clear (non-camouflaged) aim and the final show from the last scene therefore becomes an empty cry to which the mouth kept opening during the last thirty minutes. A camouflaged hide-and-seek that should end with a revelation.

Six characters defined by Lucie Loosová’s costumes are separately in a kind of their own story and they function as a good group of friends in general. However, each of them follows their own way where they meet the others in episode roles to meet in their favourite bar after the end of the scene. Sexual harassment, desire to excel, fear from being lonely, narcissism, and voyeurism – all these things accompany acting of these non-specific people. All six dancers commit themselves to the performance with great energy, which is undoubtedly the basis for success of this staging. The role of a mysterious “jade” especially suits Klára Jelínková. A great advance can be seen in her interpretational skills as well as in Viktor Dyk’s and Tomáš Rychetský’s who are clearly excellent in their dancing universality. 

However, the second half of the actors was not left behind. Olexandr Kysil and Hana Turečková are a perfectly looking couple and Ivana Mikešová fully applies her expressive skills in a naive desire to become a star.

Opportunities the Kolowrat theare offers by the intimacy of space give audience the possibility to deeply perceive all means of expression that are used by the choreographer and dancers. Their proximity draws the audience to the plot and though it does not slip to frivolity of interactivity at any costs and we can point it out as a big plus for the director. The same applies to stage design that is not gaudy or a kitsch pile of various ideas despite the exuberance of attributes. Nevertheless, maybe this pile would deserve bigger space because the viewers from the 3rd row on would like to enjoy the staging without stretching their neck and body. The whole staging is a small form of dancing -performance by applied stage design means including video projection but nonetheless it is big for such chamber space. Anyway, there is no doubt about the fact that it would be lost on the stage of the Estates theatre, for instance.

Written after the second premiere on 16th January 2008.

Author: Zuzana Smugalová

Translation: Eliška Hulcová                                                     

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