Over 20,000 viewers and more than 550 performances. This is the current balance on the account of Bratislava’s elledanse Theatre, the result of five years of operations since its opening in the fall of 2007.
The historical site of a former slaughterhouse on Miletičova Street has become a permanent dance space in Slovakia. The founder of the theatre and its artistic director, the highly acclaimed choreographer Šárka Ondrišova, has succeeded in turning it into the professional elledanse Dance and Theatre School.
Statistics illustrate the five-year life of the space, its physical reconstruction, and the development of a performance and teaching program and other events: the theatre and dance school have been open for more than 1,500 days for five seasons, with 20,000 visitors, 550 performances, three of the highest level prizes in Slovakia, the equivalent of 500 square meters of posters hung, 240 laundry loads of costumes and hundreds of meters of fabric spent on those costumes.
During each theatre season, elledanse has developed at least one original dance performance, which enjoyed success both among critics and audiences. At the beginning of its current season, its sixth, it presented the premiere of a dance theatre piece entitled Long Night, written and directed by the well-known playwright and founder of GunaGU Theatre Viliam Klimáček. The main roles were performed by actors Csongor Kassai and Viktor Horján. During previous years, elledanse has created many other original dance pieces, including: Water from Water (Voda na vode), Quadrans, Silent Snow, Tribute to Cows (Pocta kravám) and Canto Hondo – a profound song about her..., which have been applauded at international festivals and on stages in the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary.
Right from the beginning Elledanse was lucky. Its masthead performance that helped it break into the Slovak theatre scene was Canto Hondo – a profound song about her... with Csongor Kassai in the main role. In 2008, elledanse won three of Slovakia’s top theatrical awards – the DOSKY – for best performance of the season, best direction and best music. Šárka Ondrišová also received the Slovak Minister of Culture’s prize for 2008.
Creation of new works at the elledanse Theatre is mostly focused on contemporary dance, music and physical theatre. It brings together the most diverse artistic genres and styles building on a global trend of combining artistic styles.
During its existence, elledanse has also collaborated with the Slovak National Theatre where it performed for the well-attended Contemporary Dance Mondays. Its company has also performed in Slovakia‘s top cultural events, such as the Divadelná Nitra Festival, the Touches & Connections festival in Martin and at the country’s largest summer festival, Pohoda.
The dance theatre has also become home for independent groups, such as P.A.T. and Debris Company, as well as the Bratislava in Motion and Nu Dance Fest festivals. It also supports work by artists who are just starting out.