Prague Chamber Ballet
Prague Chamber Ballet was founded in 1975. It immediately became the most progressive of all Czech ballet bodies, often working in opposition to official ballet scenes: it was playing this role until early 1990s. The ensemble put emphasis on shorter modern pieces, often drawing inspiration from Czech music compositions. Before 1989, Prague Chamber Ballet was an outstanding body even in the wider context of the so-called Eastern Block; the leading choreographic personality was Pavel Šmok. Not even in the 1990s has the ensemble lost any of its creative mood: Libor Vaculík or Petr Zuska were creating their first pieces on the commission of Prague Chamber Ballet. The ensemble’s repertory even offered a number of Jiří Kylián’s choreographies (Kylián’s Evening Songs, staged in 1988, were the very first Czech staging of Kylián’s piece). Since the very beginning of its existence, Prague Chamber Ballet has been fighting with economic insecurity. That is why, in 2003, the management of the company decided to choose for a more certain future and became a part of the National Opera in Prague. This decision, however, resulted in the ensemble falling apart. In 2007, the fragment of the original ensemble cut adrift from the National Opera and restarted working independently, with Lucie Holánková as its artistic director. It was at this moment that the ensemble has added the name of its founder to its label. Despite presenting young Czech choreographers (such as David Stránský) and nurturing the heritage of Pavel Šmok, the ensemble hasn’t yet reached the exclusive position it has had before the year 2000.