Monday, 27 May 2019

Baroque music, exotic dance workshops and film lectures

By Kateřina Heilmann | Prague Daily Monitor |
22 July 2009

If you miss going to school, this week's events give you a good opportunity to be a student once again. You can sign up for exotic dance workshops, go to Uherské Hradiště to study cinematography or learn about baroque music from Europe's finest baroque ensembles.

This year's Summer Festivities of Early Music will showcase baroque music theatre dance and period costumes between 23 July and 11 August. For a unique atmosphere and acoustic experience, check out venues including the Břevnov Monastery, Troja Chateau and the Hvězda pavilion. Among the anticipated highlights is An Evening in Venice, a musical performance by candlelight by the much-praised French ensemble Le Poème Harmonique directed by Benjamin Lazar at Rudolfinum on 11 August. The opening performance at the St Simon and Juda Church will present French countertenor Damien Guillon in the modern premiers of forgotten pieces from the Prague Castle archives.

For more world-class music held at historical sites around Prague, check out the programme of Prague Proms. The annual event organised by the National Symphony Orchestra brings Czech and foreign artists, soloists, conductors, ensembles and diverse musical styles to a number of venues in and outside of Prague. You can still catch Paul Potts, a talented tenor and the star of Britain's Got Talent TV competition in 2007 (Municipal House on Friday and Saturday) and other shows from the programme, which runs through 2 August.

Four days and four dancers ready to teach you how to move: This year's Let's Dance international festival takes place from 23 to 26 July at a number of venues in the vicinity of Wenceslas Square. The teachers are Rachel Brice, a professional belly dancer, teacher and innovator in tribal fusion style belly dance based in San Francisco; Khaled Mahmoud, a Cairo-born belly dancer based in London dubbed as the "Golden Hips" thanks to his dazzling hip movements; Serkan Tutar, born in Turkey now living in Belgium, Serkan will give a lesson on Turkish gypsy dancing; and James Painting from London's well-known Pineapple dance studio, who is an expert on poppin' style, a combination of breakdance, hiphop, house and other street styles. Go to the festival website if you want to exercise your belly.

Maybe you have problems picturing yourself in front of a large mirror moving your hips to oriental music. Maybe you'd enjoy folk music better. If so, you should not miss Prague Folklore Days, a four-day showcase of folklore ensembles from all over the world, opening on Thursday, 23 July. Public performances are scheduled for Friday and Saturday and you can see them on Old Town Square, Můstek and outside the Flora Palace in Prague 3.

American songwriter Suzanne Vega has joined the Czech folk band Čechomor for three shows within their summer tour. You can still catch two of them: today's concert at Žluté lázně and tomorrow's show at the chateau courtyard in Žďár nad Sázavou.

Film buffs shouldn't miss the Summer Film School, held annually at Uherské Hradiště, which features screenings and lectures on cinematography. The programme, which extends from 24 July to 2 August, also includes concerts, theatre performances and workshops. Film cycles focus on particular genres or themes, such as silent Austrian cinema, movies about Middle and Far East illegal migration to Europe, comic film and documentaries by Věra Chytilová and some other central European filmmakers.

As for other film tips, you can try a blind date with Kino Aero on Thursday, 8:30pm. As it is with blind dates, you will have no clue until the very last minute what movie will appear on the screen. If you like the selection and stay, you will pay after the screening.

Every day from 5pm between 23 and 29 July, Prague's kino Mat will play the latest Miloš Forman film, A Walk Worthwile, with English subtitles.

Four new films hit Czech cinemas on Thursday, including Nicholas Winding Refn's Bronson, a life story of Britain's most notorious prisoner, Charles Bronson, who ended up in solitary confinement for 30 years due to his inability to conform and his reliance on violence. Tom Hardy embodies this mad felon in an astonishing performance that impacts the viewer like a kick in the bollocks, as a reviewer puts it.

On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the lunar landing, the Štefánik observatory on Prague's Petřín hill has opened an exhibition presenting, among others, a rock sample brought from the moon by Apollo 11.

Kateřina Heilmann is a staff writer and translator at the Monitor. She likes writing about cycling and culture.
You can reach her at katerina@praguemonitor.com. You can read more of her stories here.