Jan Kodet

Description of lesson / Contemporary Dance Class:

Jan Kodet's classes are unique in that they concentrate highly on the quality of movement they develop, rather than just the movements themselves.
His strategy is to establish a full spectrum of different movements, and then explore the contrasts apparent among them. He focuses not only on the different energetic qualities of his movement alone, but also the contrast between these movements and the energies one uses to execute them.

The class begins with a slow warm-up, which concentrates on breathing and placement in preparation for the eventual center work, where he utilizes a sophisticated awareness of torso mobility, using the natural weight of the torso and arms.
Center includes a logical development from stationary exercises to "across the floor" exercises and diagonals, culminating with a sophisticated dance phrase or complex jump combination at the very end.

Ballet master of the National Theatre Ballet and choreographer Jan Kodet began dancing in the University Artistic Ensemble of Charles University (later on the Dance Theatre Prague), a member of which he was for nine years. In 1991 he graduated from the Dance Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts, where he studied pedagogy of modern dance.

In the past, he danced in a number of foreign theatres, among them: Dance Berlin, S.O.A.P. Dance Theatre Frankfurtand Ballet Gulbenkian, where he encountered such distinguished choreographers as Ohad Naharin, Nacho Duato, Paulo Ribeiro, Itzik Galili, etc. The most important for him remains, however, the Portuguese choreographer Rui Horta, whose group he danced for several years, later on working as his assistant with a host of European ensembles (Culberg Ballet, Compagnie National de Marseille, Icelandic Ballet, etc.).

At the present time, Jan Kodet is one of the leading representatives of the contemporary dance scene. In the Czech Republic and abroad he has created numerous successful projects, for instance, Danse Macabre (Archa Theatre), 6x Eva, Evička, No End, Adam + Eva - Náhoda neexistuje (Adam + Eve - There Is No Coincidence), Gates (Trans Dance Europe), Cala Estreta, Jade (Gulbenkian Ballet Lisabon), Chrysalis (BDT Bratislava), About Firewomen and Other Stories(Hochschule FFM), Raumtraumen (St. Gallen), Lola & Mr. Talk (Archa Theatre - Theatre News and Sazka Prize for the best choreography of the 2003-2004 theatre season), Talking to Frida (Dance Conservatory of the City of Prague), The Legend of the Argonauts (Laterna magika), Duel - part of a performance Ballet Mania and A Goldilocks (both for Czech National Ballet in Prague), (e)MOTION PURE, Light Symphony and Kevel (Divadlo Ponec, the Audience Award at Czech Dance Platform in 2007), Camoufl▪AGE (multiartistic project - The National Theatre Ballet in Prague, Theatre News and Sazka Prize for the best choreography of the 2008-2009 theatre season), choreography of Dvorak's opera Rusalka, Martinů's opera The Miracles of Mary and Britten's opera Gloriana (all three for the National Theatre Opera in Prague), Human Locomotion (Laterna Magica) and Midsummer Night's Dream (Summer Shakespeare Festival in Prague), The Sorcerer's Apprentice and A Little Mermaid (Czech National Ballet in Prague).

Abroad he teaches modern dance technique, improvisation and composition at several dance schools (Hochschule für Tanz Frankfurt, Institut de Teatro Barcelona, Ballet Academy Stockholm, etc.), as well as dance groups and theatres in Germany, Sweden, France, Portugal and Switzerland and works as ballet master of the National Theatre Ballet in Prague.

photo Pavel Hejný