PONEC / Tanec Praha invited media representatives to a breakfast with the Artistic Council, who are ready to answer questions about the theatre's dramaturgical plans. Since April 22, Dagmar Bednáriková, Sylva Šafková and Honza Malík have been conducting discussions with the internal team of the PONEC Theatre, leading to the specification of the basic criteria for selecting new projects for 2025:

  • support of new talents, focus on the young generation in addition to collaboration with already established artists or ensembles;
  • reflection of current topics and originality;
  • thematic diversity;
  • experiments with performance formats: site specific, non-traditional use of spaces;
  • collaboration with other artistic disciplines;
  • international collaboration.

In 2025, the PONEC Theatre is committed to presenting up to seven premieres. The Artistic Council will select most of the projects based on the Open Call, which is running until the end of May 2024, with the selection process expected to be completed by June 14. Concurrently, the council is reaching out to specific artists and plans to support international collaborations, emphasizing partnerships with nearby countries where the independent scene faces significant challenges (Visegrad, Ukraine).

"The subject of discussions is the approach to staging productions, creating optimal conditions for the creative process in the studio, and providing space and time in the theatre itself," said Sylva Šafková. "We are also exploring how to approach repeat performances in a way that is both functional and satisfactory for the artists. For the period from 2026 onwards, we are considering a sustainable number of premieres. Meetings and open discussions with artists, whether currently involved or considering future cooperation with the theatre, will be crucial for us."

"We are reaching out to artists of different generations, and we are clearly interested in open communication," said Dagmar Bednáriková. "We are also considering financial adjustments, which may lead to a reduction of the repertoire but will provide more space and time for the creative process, which we believe is beneficial."

"We are monitoring young independent groups and ensembles, as well as graduate performances from dance schools, so that we can return to the concept of the so-called wild card," adds Honza Malík. "Additionally, we are exploring how to collaborate with the entire domestic network of primary art schools, where many dance professionals active in Ponec are also involved."

The Open Call for projects premiering in 2025 offers selected applicants four weeks of rehearsals at the Krenovka Studio and one week at PONEC, including technical support. The Artistic Council is interested in monitoring the creative process, providing feedback and enabling "work in progress" presentations, all under the standard conditions that the theatre has offered so far (space facilities, technical support, contribution to artist fees and a share of ticket sales, promotional support).

Another debate being led by the Artistic Council revolves around the "artist in residence" program. This initiative aims to provide one artist with above-standard conditions throughout the year, including the opportunity to present a premiere and closely collaborate on community activities of Tanec Praha (such as Experience the City Differently and Žižkovské mezidvorky). This artist will essentially become a "face of the theatre." The council has unanimously agreed on selecting an artist with prior experience for this role. For 2025, we have already chosen Nataša Novotná, and we are currently negotiating with a specific artist for 2026.


More about the people comprising the Artistic Council of the PONEC Theatre:


MgA. Dagmar Bednáriková, Ph.D.

Dagmar graduated from the production department of DAMU in Prague and subsequently completed the doctoral studies at the theatre faculty of JAMU in Brno. In her professional career, she initially focused on producing theatre projects in alternative drama, later transitioning to movement theatre and contemporary circus. For the past 15 years, she has served as the manager of the KD Mlejn cultural centre, where she integrates various art forms such as movement theatre, contemporary circus, dance, theatre, music and community engagement. She is a member of the Presidium of ITI, an umbrella platform for the performing arts, addressing strategic topics like Artist Status and VKI (Public Cultural Institution). Dagmar is dedicated to bridging Prague with other regions through the Association of Cultural Centres of the Czech Republic and the global organization ASSITEJ, which promotes theatre for children and youth. She views non-traditional theatre, dance and circus as pivotal vehicles for fostering collaboration and creative advancement in both domestic and international contexts.


MgA. Sylva Šafková

Sylva commenced her dance studies in 1994 at the conservatory in Brno, continuing at the Prague Dance Conservatory. From 2000 to 2002, she pursued further education at the École-atelier Rudra Béjart Lausanne, where she joined the Béjart Ballet Lausanne as a performer in 2001. Subsequently, she became part of the Compagnie M - Maurice Béjart troupe in Lausanne from 2002 to 2003. With Maurice Béjart's choreography Mère Teresa et les enfants du monde, she participated in a series of performances across Europe, Lebanon, Egypt, Argentina and Brazil. In Prague, she worked as a soloist with the Prague Chamber Ballet of the State Opera from 2004 to 2005, and later as a demi-soloist with the National Theatre Ballet from 2005 to 2013.

In addition to performing, she also began to devote herself to choreography (Cumbia, Simple symphony for three, Fuga, Zinin, Ciacona, Záměna, Triang, We are all same yet different), completing her studies in this field at Prague's HAMU in 2009. In Prague, she collaborated with several dance companies (Prague Chamber Ballet, Dekkadancers and Bohemia Ballet). She created the full-length ballet Alice in Wonderland (2016) for the F.X. Šaldy Theatre in Liberec. Since 2015, she has been associated with the Dance Company Nanine Linning/Theater Heidelberg, serving as a rehearsal director and choreography assistant from 2016 to 2017. In 2018, she showcased her choreography Off – Balance in the semifinals of the international choreography competition in Hannover, a piece she created in 2017 in Mannheim. From 2019 onward, she has worked as an artistic assistant to the choreographer and artistic director of the 420PEOPLE ensemble, Václav Kuneš. Within the 420PEOPLE ensemble, she has choreographed pieces such as INspiraCe, Why things go wrong (the duet was selected as one of the 20 most interesting works of the European platform Aerowaves: Twenty 2024), HeArt of Noise and the dance film Through Glass, which received the Pick of the fest Award at the dance film festival in Los Angeles.


Honza Malík

Hozna has been working in the Czech Republic as a freelance artist (dancer, teacher, occasional choreographer, producer and manager) for over 20 years. In 1999, he graduated from the Duncan Centre Conservatory, where he is currently a teacher and artistic coordinator (since 2007). He is the dramaturg of the Nu Dance Festival in Bratislava (since 2017) and a member of the expert commission at the Slovak Art Support Fund. He leads the artistic group PULSAR since 2016, where he has facilitated the work of choreographer Michal Záhora. Collaborating with dramaturg Terezá Krčálova, they have prepared works that offer innovative perspectives on the dance scene and contribute to the progressive evolution of the field (e.g. the meeting of artists Grasp Reality! 1-6, the interdisciplinary conference The Role of the Artist Today, the roadshow series Choreographer in the Ring 1st–9th round and the Slovak adaptation Choreographer in the Ring via Bratislava 1st – 7th round). He was at the inception of the NANOHACH ensemble, where he served as the artistic director from 2004 to 2016. As the instigator of numerous contemporary dance projects, he brought to fruition dozens of performances by his peers, organized three series of debates titled Let's Talk About Dance, and curated the dance program at the Prague Pride Festival from 2011 to 2022. Additionally, he serves as a lecturer at various educational seminars catering to dancers, teachers and participants in dance events for children and youth across the Czech regions. For his contributions, he was honoured with the Personality of the Year award at the...next wave... festival in 2014 and named Dance Manager of the Year at the Czech Dance Platform in 2017.