Actress Tatiana Vilhelmová takes dance to drama


A novel theatre production where poetry meets drama, original music and modern ballet has just opened in Prague. Additionally, the big draw for many audiences coming to Posedlost, or Obsession, will be the continued transformation of one of the Czech Republic’s leading actresses, Tatiana Vilhelmová, into a popular and accomplished dancer. Christian Falvey was at the show’s premiere.

Star of the stage-cum-star of the dance floor Tatiana Vilhelmová appears with Petr Čadek in Posedlost, which premiered on Monday evening. Based on a short story by Danish writer Peter Høeg, Hommage a Bournonville, the scene drifts between the poetic meditations of two men on an eerily moonlit raft and a tale that plays out in the Royal Danish Ballet. In this, the story presents a novel opportunity to combine dance and stage drama, and it does so in a stylishly unique way that will no doubt make the performance one of the highlights of the Prague theatre scene this spring. Director Peter Butko explained it as being very much a personal endeavour among those involved.

“It was kind of a family project – not only because Tatiana’s husband is the producer – but because we used actors who we know very well and who we’re friends with, because it was very difficult work. We are working with poetry – stage poetry – and if you want to do poetry on the stage – to give form to poetry on the stage – you need people who can understand, who can feel the poetry, inside themselves.”

“I was quite taken with the story because it plays out in the world of dance, specifically in the Royal Danish Ballet. And it’s essentially a love story but it’s also about dance itself, so fortunately or not, if you want to make a play of it then the actors have to dance as well. But I was actually doing ballet before I started acting, so I had a special relationship to the story - it’s a tribute to ballet itself and to the dancers, their hard work and their self-abandonment.”

Posedlost, will be performed on select dates in May at the Ponec theatre in Prague’s Žižkov, and around the country through the summer.