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World Theatre Olympics 2018 | Black light theatre Prague HILT

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Czech Black Light Theatre HILT in India

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Photo: Black Light Theatre HILT Prague

Date: 30 March 2018 - 03 April 2018, Venue: Delhi, Mumbai

This year's 8th Theatre Olympics was held between 17th February and  8th April, 2018 simultaneously in India's major cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai and other 12 cities across the entire country. World's leading dramatists, directors and actors from 30 countries of the world, including the Czech Republic, took part in this event.

Several hundreds of performances were given in the following Indian cities: Agartala, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Bhubaneshwar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Guwahati, Imphal, Jaipur, Jammu, Kolkata, Mumbai, Patna, Thiruvananthapuram and Varanasi. And about 25 thousand actors participated in the Olympics.

The Czech Republic was represented at the 8th Theatre Olympics 2018 by the HILT Black Light Theatre troupe from Prague.
In India, the ensemble gave three performances:

1. in New Delhi on Friday, March 30th, 2018 at the Embassy of the Slovak Republic, 50-M Niti Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi-110021,

2. in New Delhi on Sunday, April 1st, 2018 at Kamani Auditorium, 1 Copernicus Marg, New Delhi-110001 and

3. in Mumbai on Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018 from 7.30 pm at Nehru Centre, Dr Annie Besant Road, Worli, Mumbai-400018

 

Different Indian media reported about the Czech group, including

- Times of India: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/hindi/theatre/a-non-verbal-play-from-czech-republic-performed-at-8th-theatre-olympics-in-delhi/articleshow/63578846.cms

- The Hindu: http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-weekend/theatre-olympics/article22780319.ece

- Kerosene: http://www.kerosene.digital/10-plays-dont-want-miss-theatre-olympics-mumbai/

Also the Czech media reported about the tour of HILT Black Light Theatre:

- Praha TV: http://prahatv.eu/zpravy/praha/praha/6800/cerne-divadlo-hilt-bude-startovat-na-olympiade-

- Theatre Newspaper: http://www.divadelni-noviny.cz/ceske-cerne-divadlo-na-olympiade

- Blesk: http://www.blesk.cz/clanek/zpravy-live-kulturni-servis/529161/cerne-divadlo-hilt-vybrali-na-finale-world-theatre-olympics.html

 

The Theatre Olympics were founded in 1993 in the city of Delphi in mainland Greece being the first international theatre festival titled "Crossing Millennia". Up to day, the Olympics have taken place in the following countries: Greece (1993 and 1995), Japan (1999), Russia (2001), Turkey (2006), Korea (2010), China (2014), Poland (2016) and India (2018).

This year's edition of the Theatre Olympics was organized by the National School of Drama under the patronage of Ministry of Culture, Government of India. The motto of the Olympics was "Flag of Friendship".

The inaugural ceremony was held on February 17th, 2018 at the Red Fort of Delhi and was graced by the presence of India's Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu. The closing ceremony was held near Mumbai's proverbial Gateway of India on April 8th, 2018. Besides the ambitious performances, a number of exhibitions, interactive discussions and workshops with world's prominent script writers, actors and directors were organized.

The following countries participated in the 8th Theatre Olympics 2018: Australia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, the Czech Republic, China, Denmark, France, India, Italy, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Lithuania, Mauricius, Germany, Nepal, Poland, Russia, Greece, Sri Lanka, Spain, Turkey, the USA and Great Britain.

The performances of the respective theatrical groups was assessed by an international jury consisting of 17 members: Tony Harrison (Great Britain), Ratan Thiyam (India), Mrs. Nuria Espert (Spain), Giorgio Barberio Corsetti (Italy), Georges Lavaudant (France), Antunes Filho (Brazil), Jürgen Flimm (Germany), Choi Chy-Rim (South Korea), Valery Fokin (Russia), Liu Libin (China), Jaroslaw Fret (Poland), Theodoros Terzopoulos (Greece), Tadashi Suzuki (Japan), Robert Wilson (USA), Heiner Müller (Germany), Wole Soyinka (Nigeria) a Yuri Lyubimov (Russia).

The Czech Republic brought the HILT Black Light Theatre upon the recommendation of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR). This group permanently performs at Prague's Theatre U Valšů and this year marks the 10th anniversary of the troupe's existence. At the 8th Theatre Olympics 2018, the group presented an inscenation under the name Phantom, which combines dance acts with multimedia projections. The author of the choreography is the director of the theatre, Theodor Hoidekr, who drew on his previous experience of a professional dancer.

The HILT theatre has achieved several international accomplishments, for instance in Slovakia, Poland, Germany, Ecuador, Greece or Malta. In 2009 the artists participated at the theatre festival of Bharat Rang Mahotsav in Delhi and Lucknow, and this time the group returns to India for the fifth time.

The theatrical group HILT comprises of Czech and Slovak actors. Their India tour also commemorated the momentous 100th anniversary of the establishment of independent Czechoslovakia and 25th anniversary of the establishmend of the independent Czech Republic and independent Slovak Republic. Therefore the Embassy of the Czech Republic and Embassy of the Slovak Republic in New Delhi jointly organized the Gala Evening on Friday, March 30th, 2018 which was attended by many Ambassadors and other invited guests.

HILT black light theatre Prague Theodor Hoidekr

Photo: Director of HILT Theatre, Theodor Hoidekr

The members of the HILT theatrical group are also famed for their admirable charitable activities. Over a long time period, they have been supporting  the SOS Children's Villages by organizing charity performances on the home scene at the Theatre U Valšů, and at the same time dedicating a share of their earnings from abroad tours to this development organization. Director of the HILT group Theodor Hoidekr adds: "I decided to support this organization as I, myself, have had a tough start as a child, and now when our group has achieved an international success, I would like to facilitate the start of other children with poor social background."

The Executive Director of the group and an actress Štěpánka Pencová, popular for her performances in musicals of the Karlín theatre and the theatre Na Zábradlí, or for her roles in the Czech movies, commented on the group's participation at India's 8th Theatre Olympics 2018 with these words: "When the written verdict of the organisers of the festival arrived, we opened the envelope with a profound nervousness. We consider our admission to this prestigious international celebration of theatre, the Olympics of the cultural world, a reward for our efforts and work and at the same time a great responsibility since we wish to represent the Czech Republic in the best possible way."

The partners of the tour, without whose contribution the Czech and Slovak participation at the 8th Theatre Olympics 2018 would not be feasible, are the Embassy of the Czech Republic in New Delhi, Embassy of the Slovak Republic in New Delhi, EMD Consultants Agency and the Czech Railways.

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