Dance theatre of two archaic forms of the struggle of life and death. The first is traditional folk culture, with images of calendar customs associated with the cycle of alternating winter and the arrival of a new, life-giving spring.
The second form is represented by the biblical New Testament story of the betrayal, persecution, capture, martyrdom and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Both forms are still relevant today and can be experienced in parallel in many places in Slovakia.
The intention of the author of the program is not to rewrite the tradition, nor to confront the Easter liturgy. The purpose of our presentation is to interpret the history of man and the earth, living tradition and biblical motifs with contemporary artistic tools.
Alena Lelková graduated in a double major in aesthetics and the Slovak language from the Faculty of Arts, Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Prešov.
After she completed her studies, she worked as a pedagogue at the literary and dramatic department in the Elementary Art School in Humenné. It was in this period when she founded the Children’s Theatre Ensemble called Masks which ranked among the top groups in Slovak national competitions of theatre ensembles every year. It also successfully represented Slovakia at international festivals in the Czech Republic, Poland, Italy, Lithuania, Finland, Germany and Japan. In 2008, Lelková graduated from the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava where she majored in theatre direction and dramaturgy. While still a student, she successfully produced such plays as Yurga’s Hana, Farms and Mayhem, and Eldorado. Yurga’s Hana was co-produced by the Bratislava-based Studio 12 and the Theatre Studio of the Academy of Performing Arts.
At the 2007 Nová dráma/New Drama festival, it won the Award for best production of a contemporary Slovak play. In 2007, the production was included in the main programme of the Divadelná Nitra International Festival. For her direction of the production Silver Bowls, Excellent Vessels Lelková was nominated for the season’s theatre award Dosky 2015 in the Discovery of the Year category. As a director, she worked as a guest artist in several Slovak theatres (ASTORKA Korzo ’90 Theatre, Alexander Duchnovič Theatre Prešov, Jonáš Záborský Theatre Prešov, Puppet Theatre Žilina, Aréna Theatre, the Drama Department of the Slovak National Theatre).
Description of her work:
Director and dramaturg Alena Lelková is part of the middle generation of contemporary Slovak directors. While still a student, she directed the awarded production titled Yurga’s Hana that intrigued audiences mainly thanks to Lelková’s remarkable directorial method and ability to communicate both with the text and the actors. The thorough work with the ensemble of actors is a direct result of her experience with children’s ensembles – an intense experience of several years. As a director, Lelková gives the actor space for essential expression and gathers inspiration from the actors’ personality traits and distinct strengths. In her productions, stage settings and dramatic situations which make use of irony and humour are clean and natural. Even though her stage design is not complicated and spectacular, but rather the other way around – it allows flexibility of acting and almost always brings in meaningful symbols and legible metaphors. Many of Lelková’s productions are characteristic for their light expressivity – both formal and interpretational. The dialogue lines always hit the target and are comprehensible despite metaphors and allusions to the current world. A specific attribute of Lelková’s direction is a sensitive coordination of the production elements of music, stage and costume design.
A separate chapter in Alena Lelková’s professional theatre work is dramaturgy which she does for other directors – Petra Fornayová (Girl From the Bed of the Sea, Studio 12), Anna Petrželková (Hedda Gabler, Academy of Performing Arts) and Michal Vajdička (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, State Theatre Košice). In recent years, she has invited visual artist Juraj Poliak to join her in a dramaturgical and directorial creative dialogue. When selecting texts, Lelková prefers Slovak drama, in particular contemporary plays.
List of directed productions: