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TRIBUTE TO ZORA ŠEMBEROVÁ

8/3/2013

On the occasion of nearly 100th anniversary of Zora Šemberová, major Czech dancer, teacher and choreographer, ceremonial matinee will take place on 10th March 2013 at 15.00 in the historical building of the National Theatre in Prague.

TRIBUTE TO ZORA ŠEMBEROVÁ

Zora Šemberová (13. 3. 1913 – 9. 10. 2012) is known as the first ballerina to dance the role of Juliet to Prokofiev’s score. She studied classical and expressive dance, practised medical gymnastics and attended pantomime classes with Marcel Marceau and E. Jaroszewiczová. She was a member of ballet ensemble of the National Theatre in Prague (1928-30 and 1943-1959), she danced in the Gaumont Palace in Paris in the 1931/32 season, she was a soloist in Brno from 1932 to 1941 and at the New German Theatre in the 1942/43 season. As a dancer, she is regarded as one of the most important interpreters of Czech dance; her dance roles had a strong emotional drive and dramatic expression. She raised and influenced major Czech dancers such as Pavel Šmok, Ladislav Fialka, Jiří Kylián, Vlastimil Harapes. After her emigration (in 1968) she taught in Cambodia, and then settled in Australia, where she worked at Flanders University in Adelaide. In 1975 she founded and led the pantomime ensemble of the Australian Mime Theatre.

One part of the gala program will recall choreography Opening of the Springs (dating to 1960), one of the oldest and most celebrated short pieces from the repertoire of Laterna Magica, scenic adaptation of a cantata by Bohuslav Martinů. It was staged by director Alfréd Radok, who later wrote: "In collaboration with screenwriter Miloš Forman, cameraman Jaroslav Kučera and choreographer Zora Šemberova we found the content of the play that can be expressed by symbol: a man's life does not exist by itself. It is a part of a whole, such as water drops constitute the spring. The meaning of life is in its purity. Then it reflects the beauty of the whole universe."

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