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Press Releases Walker Art Center and Link Vostok Present Midwest Premiere of Global Dance Company Deja Donne as Part of Central European Dance Exchange

Sex, Agression, Vice, and Power of the Human Spirit Collide in Company’s In Bella Copia

“Filled with slapping, slashing, and kicking moves, the choreography matched the acting in emotional heat, and both expressed the sense that fury lies at the core of desire.” —Los Angeles Times

In Bella Copia‘s gritty mix of sex, power, and obsession “packs a visceral and psychological wallop” —New York Times

Working with a cast of contemporary dancers from across the globe, Prague-based Deja Donné’s exhilarating dance-theater is rich with incendiary social, political, and metaphorical content. With an intense physicality and explosive style, the company performs In Bella Copia Thursday–Saturday, September 29–October 1, at 8 pm in the Walker Art Center’s William and Nadine McGuire Theater. The performance suggests that human relationships are a power game—our basic impulses fueling fantasies that are seductive, humbling, and ugly all at once. Contains adult content.

Copresented with Link Vostok as part of the Central European Dance Exchange—a two-week residency featuring artists from central/eastern Europe, which continues with performances at the Southern Theater October 13–16.

Choreographers Lenka Flory (Czech Republic) and Simone Sandroni (Italy) founded the international Deja Donné in Prague in 1997. Since its first production, the contemporary dance-theater company has worked with multinational dancers and artists and created commissioned performances for companies, theaters, and festivals around the world. Deja Donné is renowned for its exhilarating and explosive style, making work with a strong social and political content—a fluent hybrid of modes and languages.

Lenka Flory

Flory has danced with Chambre Dance Studio in the Czech Republic, with Czurda Tanztheater in Germany, and Ultima Vez and Ernesto in Belgium. In 1993 she returned to Prague and taught contemporary dance technique at Duncan Centre Conservatory. One year later she founded and directed the Progressive European Dance Theatre Project, which annually presented the work of European chamber companies. The following year, the project was re-named the Confrontations festival. In 1995 Flory founded the student company Duncan Centre, which evolved into the multinational Deja Donné following performances in Germany, the U.K., Belgium, Poland, and the U.S.

Flory was a guest choreographer at American Dance Festival in 1996, mentor to director Ghislaine Bodington in 1999 as part of International Sommertheater Festival Hamburg‘s International Encounter, and directed an International Dance Encounter at Aarhus Festuge, Denmark, in 2002.

Simone Sandroni

Sandroni was one of the founding members of Ultima Vez in Brussels in 1987 and collaborated with the company until 1992. In 1993 he based his group Ernesto in Brussels and premiered its first work. In addition to directing his own company he has directed a number of works for festivals, independent artists, and schools in Belgium, Italy, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia (Festival de Beweeging Antwerp, Theatre Varia Brussels, Company Sosta Palmizi and MUK in Cortona and Padova, Duncan Centre and Petr Tyc in Prague, Academy of Music in Bratislava).

In 2002 Sandroni, as guest choreographer and director, created the performance Romeo‘s Rose with dancers, musicians, and actors for luzernertheater in Lucerne, Switzerland. In addition, he leads a number of workshops in Europe and the U.S.

Together Flory and Sandroni have created Deja Donné (1997), which gave the name to the company, which toured Europe; Aria Spinta (1999), coproduced by Hebbel-Theatre Berlin, International Sommertheater Festival Hamburg, La Filature Mulhouse deSingel Antwerp, which toured Europe and the U.S.; In Bella Copia (2001), coproduced by luzerntanz am luzernertheater Lucerne, Hebbel-Theater Berlin, Brugge 2002, Staddschouwburg Brugge, which toured Europe, the U.S., and Canada; and There Where We Were (2003), supported by Dance 4 Nottingham, Joint Adventures Munich, DBM Foundation Rome, Czech Ministry of Culture, and Theatre Komedie Prague, which is presently touring Europe and Asia.

Their latest work, My Name Is King (2006), will be premiered in autumn 2006 in a co-production with Dance Umbrella Festival London, Theater im Pfalzbau Ludwigshafen, Kunstlerhaus Mousonturm Frankfurt, Junges Ensemble Stuttgart, AMAT Ancona, and the City of Prague.

Tickets to Deja Donné’s In Bella Copia are $20 ($16 Walker/Southern members) and are available by contacting the Walker Art Center box office at 612.375.7600 or walkerart.org/tickets.

Deja Donné

Photo: Dragan Dragin

Deja Donné

Photo: Dragan Dragin

Deja Donné

Photo: Dragan Dragin