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Ballet from Košice will present Milada Horáková in Budapest.

After Prague and Bratislava, MILADA HORÁKOVÁ, a unique multi-genre production by the director and choreographer, current general director of the State Theatre Košice Ondrej Šoth, will be presented in another Central European metropolis. Ballet of the State Theatre Košice will perform with it on 21st March at the Gobbi Hilda Szinpád, on the stage of the National Theatre in Budapest, as a guest of the festival of national theatres Jelen / Lét, a part of the 10th Theatre Olympics.

This year, the National Theatre in Budapest is holding the 10th Theatre Olympics, and the Jelen / Lét festival is part of it. The Theatre Olympics started its history in 1995 in the ancient Greek city of Delphi. It was organised in Japan, Russia, Turkey, South Korea, China, Poland and India at different intervals. „ When the Greek theatre director Terzopoulos ( the current Chairman of the International Theatre Olympic Committee) came to Japan, he said when the Cold War ended, they thought that Europe was heading toward peace, but it didn´t happen that way. He said there was a terrible situation with ethnic conflicts leading to a huge number of refugees. Amid the political instability, people were hurt and losing hope. He concluded it was frustrating for artists to be unable to do anything in this situation. And he called upon us to unite as artists and do things with a kind of love that transcends barriers of nationality.“ On the official website of this year´s Olympics, one of its founders, Japanese director Tadashi Suzuki, recalls the time when a tradition of the Theatre Olympics originated. Every previous edition of one of the grand theatre events had its broad theme. This year´s motto of the Olympics in Hungary is: „ O man, strive on, strive on, have faith; and trust!“

Milada Horáková is perhaps the most known victim of the communist monster trials in Czechoslovakia in the 50s of last century. Ondrej Šoth was thinking about a theatrical adaptation of her story long ago. „ Ever since I learned about her fate, I feel that it is one of the greatest dramatic stories of the 20th century. It is an incredible story about a desire for freedom – without power, without manipulation, about helping loved ones and people. She was punished, wrongfully convicted and hanged for all the good and her opinion. We´ve decided to open this story and bring it to the young and older generations. That allows us to learn from history and not forget things that should never happen again. Mirroring the events that the world has been experiencing since the February of last year, the legacy and message of Milada Horáková are still relevant and need to resonate constantly. For me, Milada Horáková is one of the intense topics in my life. What we‘ve managed to put together, a structure of her soul, I consider a great honour from the universe that I could do it,“ says Ondrej Šoth.

The unique production Milada Horáková had its world premiere at the Small Stage of the State Theatre Košice three years ago, on 14th February 2020. Same as other author´s projects by Ondrej Šoth dealing with the dramatic destinies of people, such as Sándor Márai, Charlie Chaplin, The Diary of Anne Frank, M.R. Štefánik or the latest ballet Nureyev, introduced a few months ago, it is a multi-genre movement theatre. Even non-dancers take part in it, the actors and an opera singer. Dramatic moments of Milada Horáková´s life, taking place on a stage, are enhanced by the music of legendary Czech musician and composer Michael Kocáb. He was one of the people involved in the November 1989 events and a person who significantly contributed to the withdrawal of Soviet occupation troops from Czechoslovakia. „The fate of Milada Horáková is one of the most momentous fates not only in literature but also in our lives,“ Kocáb points out.