11th International Festival of Contemporary Dance

Beyond the limits of physical handicap with VerTeDance


The Prague-based dance company will perform on the 2nd of June and their piece called Simulante Bande will be accompanied live by the music group DVA.

VerTeDance is returning to the festival TANECVALMEZ after two years. This year, the dancers are heading to Valašské Meziříčí equiped with wheelchairs to perform their award-winning choreography Simulante Bande accompanied by musicians from DVA.

The performance explores limits of physical disability, discovers new possibilities of dance expression of the handicapped and goes well beyond any limitations.

"The performance is a combination of disabled dancers with those in full force and it is very impressive that the audience almost cannot recognize the difference," says festival director Milada Borovičková.

Everyday problems, relationships, breaking down the myths

The choreographers Veronika Knytlová and Tereza Ondrová want to point out that disability is a very relative term. The intelligible and comprehensive as well as aesthetically pleasing and humorous choreography acquaints the viewers with everyday problems, interpersonal and even intimate relationships of the handicapped.

Simultaniously, they tear apart prejudices and stereotypes associated with disabilities, whether it is the condescending approach of others or conversely the idea that a wheelchair user ought to be a good person just because of his dissability. They simply try to show that people with dissabilities are like anyone else - with positives and negatives characteristics alike.

Authentic stories, experiences and artists

The perfomance features four participants, two of them are non-dancers - Alena Jančíková and Zuzana Pitterová and two are professional dancers - Helena Arenbergerová and Petr Opavský. Thanks to the involvement of disabled artists the choreography gains much more authenticity and is devoid of unnecessary sentiment.

Johana Mücková wrote about the performance for the Czech Television that "a similarly impressive, intelligent and hilarious act is not seen very often. Performance are trying to break down myths and prejudices that relate to the social problems of the handicapped, but it certainly does not do so in any way superficially. It is based on real stories, feelings and experiences of the artists. "

About the dance company

The production of Simulante Bande is part of the VerTeDance repertoire since 2012, it won the Theatre News Award in 2012 and the Audience Award and a Special Mention for Zuzana Pitterová at the Czech Dance Platform festival 2013.

The dance group was founded in 2004 and they have nearly 20 projects on their count, a series of cooperations with Czech and foreign artists and many awards. VerTeDance is the only Czech company that won the most prestigious dance prize three times - the Dance Production of the Year Award. And in 2015, the group also added three prestigious international awards into their collection, among others the Herald Angel Award 2015 in Edinburgh for the production of Corrections, which were also performed at the festival TANECVALMEZ 2014.

More information about the group and their performance can be found here.