Dance Review: Czech National Theater Ballet

Works inspired by Australia's Aboriginals; rich use of props.

The National Theater Ballet, Prague Suzanne Dellal October 7 The National Theater Ballet of the Czech Republic, directed by choreographer Petr Zuska, opened this year’s DancEuropa festival. The company opened the evening with ‘Stamping Ground’ (1983), an old signature work by his Zuska’s compatriot Jiri Kylian. The work’s unique body language sums up the strong impact of Kylian’s first encounters with the Aboriginals of Australia. The dedicated dancers of this company followed the difficult basic ‘script’ but often missed the inner intensity which charged the stage when it was first introduced more than twenty years ago. The other two performances were dance theater works, choreographed by Petr Zuska; “Les Bras de Mer” and “Maria’s Dream” indicated a partiality toward using props, such as a table and bench which enabled the dancers to widen their range of kinetics. The first was a duet with few lyrical moments of great beauty that unfortunately were limited by a simplistic narrative. The second work took on gender-changing options, trips in and out of reality, humor, and terrific jumps, dives and rolls, as a group of men frolicked by a lake, envious of a beautiful swan.