ARCHA THEATREPragueCzech Republic
Archa Theatre – centre for contemporary performing arts – gives space to new ideas, reflects current social events, produces and presents original theatre, dance and music projects and co-productions, as well as guest appearances by local and international artists and companies.
The joint performance of Min Tanaka and John Cale, which officially opened the Archa Theatre in 1994, was a clear hint about the future direction of the theatre’s dramaturgy. The encounter of a Japanese dancer and an American musician symbolized the connection of two cultures, two genres and two continents. The Archa Theatre strives to examine art’s possibilities and to provide a space for innovative ideas.
During its first seasons, the Archa Theatre introduced many leading artistic personalities from around the world, including director Robert Wilson, choreographers Wim Vandekeybus, Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker and Jan Fabre, musicians David Byrne, Randy Newman, Philip Glass, Meredith Monk, Einstürzende Neubauten, Tindersticks, Levellers, Morrissey, Diamanda Galás, Imogen Heap and many others. Ensembles such as the Royal Shakespeare Company, Cheek By Jowl, Ultima Vez, DV8, Handspring Puppet Company and Dogtroep have also performed here. Allen Ginsberg gave one of his last performances at the Archa Theatre.
With its unique dramaturgy, innovative projects that cross the boundaries of artistic genres and cutting-edge technical capabilities, Archa has established a solid reputation on the domes-tic and international progressive scenes. It operates as a production house that provides space to artists for their creative work. This enables the theatre to create its own projects as well as host ensembles and artists both from the Czech Republic and abroad.
At least one original project is created at Archa each year, which is then presented in a series of performances. In this way, artists such as Peter Schumann, Min Tanaka and The Residents among many others have created original works under the production of the Archa Theatre. Home – grown projects by young artists are conceived and developed under the auspices of the Archa.lab.
Recent projects include an intimate performance by Jing Lu and Jana Svobodová – Solo for Lu – based on the real life story of the Chinese actress, singer and dancer. The moving and aesthetically beautiful performance Simulante Bande created by VerTeDance explores original ways of expression through movement based on the cooperation of a healthy and a physically disabled person. Last season was highlighted by I am Your Bunny, a black and white autobiographical melodrama, a theatre of images, and a visual concert by Petr Nikl, one of the most respected Czech visual artists; and by Here I am Human! a music-theatre production created by the Tiger Lillies, Jocelyn Clarke and Jiří Havelka.
Archa´s flagship of socio-specific theatre and work with refugees – the acclaimed Allstar Refjúdží Band – introduced their second album Who Eats Dogs in June 2012.
Many of Archa’s projects have met with inter-national acclaim and have been presented in, among other cities, Bonn, Johannesburg, London, Kyoto, Tokyo, Belgrade, Brussels, Berlin, Seoul and New York.