Sabina Bočková & Johana Pocková / POCKETART
(The Czech Republic)
Big Pulse Scaling Up Artist
Sabina Bočková & Johana Pocková / POCKETART
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Sabina Bocková (*1995) is a choreographer and dancer based in Prague (The Czech Republic). She studied classical and modern dance and after dancing in ballet companies for three years, she decided to work as a freelance artist. In 2019, together with Johana Pocková, she created a duet The Lion’s Den, which has been nominated at the 26th edition of the Czech Dance Platform and it was selected for Aerowaves21. This work was inspired by mass media and political populism. The same year she created another duet in collaboration with Slovak performer Tomas Janypka songlines: expedition 97/18, a piece which delves into the loss of a close one. In 2020 together with Johana Pocková and Inga Zotova-Mikshina, she created another full evening piece Treatment of Remembering, which tackles the topic of environmental pollution. Treatment of Remembering won the International Jury Award and the Audience Award at the 27th edition of the Czech Dance Platform and was selected for Aerowaves22. Her work has been supported by the Big Pulse Dance Alliance, and in 2022 with the duet The Lion's Den she will be part of the European project for young audience Shape It!. She is a member of the POCKETART collective with which she produces her own creations. Alongside her own work she has also collaborated for a long time as a performer with the Tantehorse company, the company tYhle led by choreographer Marie Gourdain and most recently with Cirk La Putyka. Fascinated by simple and obvious body language, she transforms movement through choreographic structures while at the same time addresses topics and themes that echo social and cultural issues.
Johana Pocková (*1992) graduated from the Duncan Centre Dance Conservatory in Prague, completed a six-month internship at the Peridance Capezio Centre in New York and two years at the SEAD (Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance). She is currently devoting herself to auteur choreography. In 2017, she won the Jarmila Jeřábková Award for her choreography MURDER! A little comic book history. In recent years, she has also presented the productions Why Not Now?, Na Váhu! and Full Warehouses of Emotions and the dance film Folds of Touch. Together with Sabina Bočková, she is the creator of the performance The Lion's Den, which was selected for the Czech Dance Platform 2020, among the top 20 productions on the European platform Aerowaves21. Her work has been supported by the Big Pulse Dance Alliance, and in 2022 with the duet The Lion's Den she will be part of the European project for young audience Shape It!. Another full evening piece with Sabina Bočková and Inga Zotová-Mikshina called Treatment of Remembering won the International Jury Award and the Audience Award at the 27th edition of the Czech Dance Platform and was selected for the Aerowaves22. Her latest solo piece To the Madonna With Rust was nominated for 28th edition of the Czech Dance Platform and TANEC PRAHA Festival 2022. In 2019 she founded the dance association POCKETART and in 2020 she won the first Dance News Award for her contribution to the dance scene. As a performer, she collaborates with the Tantehorse and tYhle companies. In her creations, Pocková is interested in searching for an original form of lyrical and poetic dance language combined with absurdity and irony based on actual social and cultural topics. She is also interested in combining art forms with dance such as classical singing, acting and visual arts.
POCKETART collective is a team of creators working in the field of contemporary dance and physical theatre under the direction of the choreographers Johana Pocková and Sabina Bočková. As part of its projects, the team brings together artists from the fields of dance, music, scenography, fine arts, and light design.
The work of the team is characterised by tackling topics that go beyond the personal experience of the individual and touch upon societal issues such as manipulation through media, global environmental threats, stress in a competitive environment, or the position of an individual in the corporate work system. The creators try to approach these topics comprehensively through detailed work with all theatrical components. For each of their works, they always look for a new stylisation of physical expression unique to the topic at hand, creating dance images from specific body references. Through their distinctive poetics, visual purity and strong original music, the performances aim to give birth to a spiritual experience, compelling the audience to reflect on our society.
In 2018, the team introduced their first performance, Warehouses Full of Emotions, inspired by intergenerational views of femininity and the authentic memories of an old lady. Under the choreographic direction of Johana Pocková, four dancers collaborated on this work, as well as Pockova’s 89-year-old grandmother and an 8-year-old girl. This performance was later transformed into the dance film Folds of Touch. In 2019, POCKETART introduced Onto the Scale! – Johana Pocková’s duet with the central theme of stress in a competitive environment.
In 2019, having previously collaborated on several projects, Sabina Bočková and Johana Pocková created Lion's Den, a duet pondering the themes of media manipulation and political populism. This work was selected for the Czech Dance Platform 2020, included in Top 20 of the choreographic platform AerowavesTwenty21, and the duet was performed at Festival TANEC PRAHA in 2020 and 2021, Kenya International Theater Festival, New Baltic Dance Festival, Malá Inventura, and the Flora Theater Festival in Olomouc.
In the following years, the performance Lion's Den was transformed into two other projects. One of them is the outdoor performance the Lion`s Den UNLIMITED, which involves 14 professional and 14 non-professional dancers, who together create and subsequently perform choreography based on the original duet. This project was part of the Festival TANEC PRAHA 2021 and was shortlisted for the European platform Big Pulse Dance Alliance. The Lion's Den was also included in the project Shape It!, which gives artists an opportunity to collaborate with children and adapt their work for young audiences. The partners of Shape It! are The Place London, Comune di Bassano del Grappa, Tanec Praha, and Annantalo.
In 2020, the team premiered Treatment of Remembering, a performance created by Sabina Bočková, Johana Pocková, and Inga Zotova-Mikshina. It touches upon the topics of the global threat to the environment and the disappearance of nature from our world. This piece won the International Jury Prize and the Audience Award at the Czech Dance Platform 2021, as well as being included in AerowavesTwenty22.
The latest POCKETART piece is To the Madonna with Rust, a solo performance by Johana Pocková, which was nominated for Festival TANEC PRAHA 2022.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
Scaling Up Co-Production
For the new project with working title Fairy Tales, we would like to give focus to a position of women in our post-modern world and through a choreographic research uncover which contradictions and inner struggles for freedom of choice are still present in our societies and therefore in our bodies. Even though the topic of womanhood is present in the public discussion for some years now it is still not clear what is actually the legacy that women`s essence can bring to the world and it is not clear even for us – women. What is the role of woman in today`s world? How do we fulfill our potential? Until which point are we supposed to realize our talents individually and how do we cope with a role of a woman as a mother? How do we deal with the biological instinctive calling versus our ambitions within the society we live in and countless possibilities we have? Do we all have countless possibilities? What are the emotions and feelings that attend these questions? The working title Fairies Tales plays with naive idealistic stories about women`s purpose, which can be transformed into ironic and absurd situations and therefore reflect the ambiguity of the women`s place in our world.
„We want to create a fairy tale for ourselves. A space where we can look at all these different aspects of women`s search for freedom and fulfillment to find (at least for a little moment) a happy ending. We are wondering what role the fairytales and fantasies - clear stories where everything end`s well, play in our crazy and multi-layered world. What is today`s woman`s happy ending?“
Within these thoughts we would like to explore how a simple and clear narration can be transformed into a dance piece approaching the story in an experimental way. We would like to proceed from our own authorial text, our own new fairy tale based on fantasies about looking for an ideal world, which does not judge, limit or scare. In a way the creation will follow the tradition of fairy tale ballets that create theatrical actions based on the order of the written stories. We are interested in finding ways to transform these principles, to break them and give them relevance for reflexion of our times. We do not want to describe the story but rather create atmospheres based on the essence or emotions of single scenes.
The stage vision incorporates eight dancers - women and one scenographic object: an over life size woman puppet. Together they create different relationships. The puppet can be viewed as the essence of womanhood, the one mother Earth that we all turn to with our questions and insecurities and the dancers are the ones living the story. Together they create relationships that reveal the tension between the idealization of womehood and its real experience. We imagine the puppet also as a means to create different stage architectures - by changing her positions we change the whole scenographic landscape for dancers and for the audience.
„Our intention towards the audience is to build up a narrative story transformed into poetic images, different emotional states and atmospheres that reveal something from a woman`s secluded inner places following a path to the ideal world. We want this complex world to be composed from dance, scenography, authorial music, spoken word, light design and costume design.“
Can we give an audience the same feeling as if someone reads a fairytale to you before you go to sleep? And can this fairytale in the same time reflect our world as a place of absurdity and contradictions?
CO-PRODUCTION & CREDITS
Concept, choreography: Sabina Bočková & Johana Pocková
Performing: Aneta Bočková, Jitka Čechová, Michaela Dzurovčínová, Tereza Holubová, Karolina Graca (PL), Tereza Krejčová, Eva Mora (ES), Monika Szpunar (PL)
Dramaturgy: Viktor Černický
Choreographic coach: Peter Šavel (SK/BE)
Music: Lukáš Palán, Sára Vondrášková
Scenography: Vendula Tomšů, Jan Tomšů
Light design: Eliška Kociánová
Production manager: David Ostružár
Produced by: POCKETART collective
Fairy Tales is a Big Pulse Dance Alliance co-production, co-produced by International Dance Festival TANEC PRAHA (The Czech Republic), Julidans (The Netherlands) and Sismògraf Dance Festival (Catalonia - Spain), co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.
Presenting partners: One Dance Week, Torinodanza festival, Dance Umbrella, New Baltic Dance and CODA Oslo International Dance Festival
Supported by: SE.S.TA – center for choreographic research, Plum Yard Malovice, Moving Station Pilsen, REZI.DANCE Komařice
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