The contemporary dance company 420PEOPLE was founded by Václav Kuneš and Nataša Novotná at the turn of the years 2007/2008, after returning from a stint with one of the world’s most prestigious dance theatre companies – Jiří Kylián’s Nederlands Dans Theater. 420PEOPLE, which is currently celebrating its 15 th year on the Czech and international dance and theatre scene, was created as a result of their shared vision to establish their own contemporary dance company in Prague.
The company presents a unique contemporary dance vocabulary in performances and original choreographies by contemporary artists (Václav Kuneš, Sylva Šafková) with a modern interpretive and professional level. 420PEOPLE is a collective of artists who insist on the values of exceptional quality of performance and professionalism. Their pieces are playful and courageous, bringing on stage a wide vocabulary of contemporary dance. Improvisation is a natural part of their creation and so is informal dialogue with the spectator in the form of after-show discussions.
420PEOPLE that is, above all, Václav Kuneš together with his colleagues from diverse art‘s fields they carry out their artistic vision and effort to produce works of the label Made By Czech that are nevertheless proud and integral parts of the international dance scene.
SHORT BIOS OF MEMBERS INVOLVED IN THE PROJECT
Choreographer, dancer and founder & artistic director of 420PEOPLE.
Václav graduated from the Dance Conservatory in Prague in 1993. He then became a member of the Nederlands Dans Theater contemporary dance company; having stayed with NDT for 11 years, he had an opportunity to work with some prominent dance personalities, such as Jiří Kylián, Ohad Naharin, William Forsythe, Paul Lightfoot, Mats Ek, Nacho Duato, Johan Inger, or Hans van Manen. He also worked as an assistant to J. Kylián. Since 2007, Václav has been the artistic director of 420PEOPLE, the dance company he founded together with Nataša Novotná. He has created numerous choreographies for 420PEOPLE that have been co-produced by many theatres and festivals.
Václav has brought many contemporary dance stars to Prague, inviting them to collaborate with 420PEOPLE, including, among others, Crystal Pite, Ohad Naharin, Sabur Teshigawara, Jiří Kylián, Michael Schumacher, Jo Strömgren, Ann Van den Broek or Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui; under the direction of Sidi Larbi, and together with his dancers, 420PEOPLE created a show premiered in Prague.
The company has performed in France, Spain, Sweden, Poland, Germany, South Korea, Russia, Slovakia, Cyprus, Mexico, Italy, Finland, Holland, Norway and Japan. Václav has also directed and choreographed several dance films and a musical. He appeared on the panel of judges in StarDance, the Czech version of the popular TV series Dancing with the Stars, and, as a choreographer, is currently involved in the show The Beauty and the Beast at the National Theatre. He is a notable figure in dance and culture in the Czech Republic and abroad. As a co-author and artistic supervisor, he regularly participates in artistic projects that cross over to other sectors and artistic genres.
Artistic Assistant, choreographer, dancer
Sylva Šafková is a choreographer and dancer performing a wide repertoire of classical, neoclassical and modern choreographies. She has been a member of La Compagnie M of Maurice Béjart, Prague State Opera, National Theatre, Prague Chamber Ballet, and 420PEOPLE. Her main focus besides performing is choreography: Cumbia, Simple symphony for three, Fuga, Zinin, Ciacona, Záměna. In 2004, she won the 2nd prize in the senior category at the International Dance Competition Premio Roma in Italy and in 2007, the award for the best choreographer at the International Choreographic Competition in Pilsen. Since 2015, she has collaborated with the Dance Company of Nanine Linning. From 2016 to 2017, she was a rehearsal director and assistant choreographer at Theater Heidelberg. She is currently a member of the contemporary dance company 420PEOPLE as a choreographer and rehearsal director and is pursuing her PhD at the Department of Dance at HAMU. In recent years, the professional public has been particularly impressed by her choreography “Inspirace”, created in collaboration with Orchestra Berg and Archa Theatre. The audience also enjoys her latest performances, “Why things go wrong” & “HeArt of Noise”, which are gaining popularity.
Management, director 420PEOPLE z.ú.
Graduated at the High School of Pedagogy in Prague, the Music faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague/ Dpt. of Dance theory/; she studied 5 semesters of supplementary studies of dance pedagogy for elementary artistic schools at Duncan Centre conservatory in Prague. In 1997, she became a coordinator of the free association of non-profit artistic and cultural organizations, which cooperated on establishing the first conception of national cultural policy. The same year she began her long-lasting cooperation with the association TANEC PRAHA. She first worked as a Documentary Centre manager and since 1999 as a production manager of the festival TANEC PRAHA. In 2000 she was appointed as co-director, in autumn 2006 as the director of the festivals TANEC PRAHA and Czech Dance Platform festival. As a deputy of TANEC PRAHA – civic association, she cooperates with some important international networks, above all IETM (Informal European Theatre Meeting), Aerowaves or TDE (Trans Danse Europe). Along with all mentioned activities, since 1998, she works mainly as project manager for dance and music. In 2007 became a member of the movement Vize tance. Since 2009 Marta has worked for The Theatre Institute as a project coordinator, directing the festival of Dance Movies and managing production for 420PEOPLE.