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Preview: Malá Inventura

Choose from a totally adequate number of productions at this festival of new theater

Posted: February 20, 2013

By Milan Gagnon - Staff Writer | Comments (2) | Post comment

Preview: Malá Inventura

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S/He is Nancy Joe, above, by Miřenka Čechová is an intimate and artistic investigation of the experience of being transgender.

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Malá Inventura, after 11 years a tradition for aficionados of nontraditional theater, begins its annual run anew this week, bringing rarely seen stage to some of the city's best spaces. The venues themselves generally nominate the works. With the festival in part curated by the likes of Archa Theater, MeetFactory, Ponec, Roxy's experimental NoD space, the National Theater's New Stage and more, you can count on only the very best performances from the city's very best venues.

Additional curation comes from the theater professionals - administrators, creators, critics - invited from across Europe to make the final selection. What we all get out of it is week of new theater highlights we might not otherwise have seen, and at a price even we can afford: Performances generally run cheaper than 200 Kč, with deep discounts available for students, seniors and the like.

"It is authorial theater that is very advanced," the festival's organizer, Šárka Havlíčková, told The Prague Post's André Crous last year. "It [combines] all the stage languages you can imagine, and they are using a lot of different media."

The festival opens at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22, at Divadlo Ponec with Deadline, a dance about living on schedule, managing time and wondering whether we've used our precious hours right. Some comprehension of Czech would help at the 9 p.m. show at MeetFactory, Political Cabaret or Clean Up Your Own Crap!, about the roles we all play in contemporary civic society. Of course, knowing the venue, the unofficial opening-night afterparty might just happen there, so it could be worth a trip even if you don't understand every last word.

Malá Inventura
When: Feb. 22-28

The opening weekend offers 10 shows, including a pair of off-program matinees Saturday. Those without Czech-language skills will likely like Saturday's 6 p.m. dance show at Studio Alta, Much More Than Nothing, a show that wordlessly looks at the tension and teasing between this country and its neighbor full of former compatriots, Slovakia - perfect to ring in 20 years since the Velvet Divorce. On Sunday, Alfred ve Dvoře offers back-to-back performances, at 6 and 7 p.m., of The Dance of the Magnetic Butterfly, a 30-minute piece that will leave you time to catch something else, but also leave you thinking about minimalism and motion.

Four days and 14 performances later, Malá Inventura will call it a year with Jožka Lipnik ..., a Czech-language mind game about a reality show that follows a pair of census takers, with the title character, a poet, coming into play eventually and mysteriously; the show starts at 8 p.m. at Studio Hrdinů. If that seems tough to follow, an easier way to conclude the festival might be at 6 p.m. at Ponec, with Men&Mahler, a deconstructed dance look at masculinity by the renowned Palle Granhøj.  

Milan Gagnon can be reached at

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