MUSICAL OF THE THIRD AGE Few types of loneliness are as concrete and hard to deal with as the loneliness that happens to old people. How should we think about old age without getting frightened? However much we try, old age remains a subject that is perpetually pushed aside. It creeps up on us inconspicuously and quietly, but not necessarily in the wise and dignified manner that we would all wish. Director Jaroslava Šiktancová and choreographer Eliška Vavříková decided to reflect on old age in a detached way through the bodies of young actors, using songs about old age by Jan Burian. The songs are arranged by Bizarreband members Dušan Navařík and Zdeněk Dočekal. The project also has a “family relationship” to the successful BodyVoiceBand production Military Service (also seen at the THEATRE festival) which was based on a concept by Czech theatre reformer E.F. Burian. Songwriter Jan Burian is his son.
The Prague company BodyVoiceBand was inspired by Jan Burian’s songs to create the production Musical of the Third Age. Old age connected with loneliness, fear of incapacity and loss of dignity is a subject that, with an aging population, is becoming increasingly topical.
– Radmila Hrdinová, Právo
JAROSLAVA ŠIKTANCOVÁ (1954) was expelled from the 4th year of DAMU as a result of signing the Charter 77 human rights petition. She was not allowed to return to an artistic career until after the revolution in 1989. Before that she worked as a cleaner, gardener and so on. She started to direct at the West Bohemian Theatre in Cheb, going on to spend several years in the artistic management of Prague’s Divadlo Kašpar. She has performed as a guest in Liberec’s F.X. Šalda Theatre and in several Prague theatres (Divadlo pod Palmovkou, Švandovo divadlo). Her productions include Büchner’s Wozzeck
(Divadlo pod Palmovkou 1994) and an adaptation of D.H. Lawrence’s story The Fox (Kašpar 1999). In the new millennium Šiktancová has focused chiefly on her teaching activity at DAMU, forming the BodyVoiceBand theatre with a group of her students.
BODYVOICEBAND was created in 2013 for the staging of Military Service with E.F. Burian’s script and directed by Jaroslava Šiktancová. The student project grew into a successful production that was also performed abroad, and the young performers discovered that they wanted to continue creating theatre productions that connected the spoken word with live music and movement. Their further successful productions include Brecht’s Drums in the Night (2014] and an adaptation of Elfriede Jelinek’s novel Women as Lovers (2017). At present the company performs in the Prague experimental space Venuše ve Švehlovce.