Czech-French Dance seminar underway in Prague's Duncan Centre

Prague's Duncan Centre - a well known private dance school in the Czech capital - is currently hosting a seminar of contemporary dance for dance students, teachers and graduate dancers, who are interested in learning more under the leadership of Marie Kinski, a famous French pedagogue. Alena Skodova has the details:

The seminar started last week, and I spoke with one of the organizers, Ewan McLaren, who first introduced me to Mrs. Kinski's project:

"Her project which she founded three years ago, is called in English Czech-French contemporary dance meetings or seminar, she's a woman who has much experience in contemporary dance over twenty years and when she moved with her husband to Prague, she learned very soon that Czech dancers have a lot of talent and a lot of potential but they don't have much opportunity to improve their skills and work on themselves after they finish their schooling, and so she decided that she would found an initiative that would bring choreographers and dance pedagogues or dance teachers from abroad who could teach these dancers and choreographers something that they would otherwise not experience."

My next question for Mr. McLaren was whether Czechs considered the form a completely new style of dance?

"The Czech dancers I've spoken to participating in the courses told me that very much so, that it's very different. The emphasis is not much on technique and form, as it is on personal development, as it is on learning ways of how to be on the stage, how to be true and how to express very personal feelings through your body."

And do you think one week is enough to learn this?

"Well no, of course not, but almost all people attending these courses are coming again and again. It's not the only purpose of the organization to bring foreign dance teacher here, also the organization sends Czech dancers and choreographers abroad, and lastly - and this is very interesting, I think - it's encouraging several new dance creation projects, which are going to be Czech-French cooperative projects."

As Ewan McLaren told me, the highlight of the seminar will be two public performances:

"In fact the first one takes place in the middle of the project, and it's very interesting because it's a Czech-Nepalese dancer, her name is Sangita Srestova, and she's going to be showing traditional Indian dance, and also her mother will be explaining the meaning of the dances. The last day of the course there will be a very interesting performance - first of all the students from the classes at the seminar will show some of the work they've been developing, and then the professors who have come from France and Japan are going to dance their own solo works, and these are very nice pieces which we are looking forward to very much."