The ecological crisis is the largest challenge of our time. In particular the younger generation, however, displays over and over again courage, poise, and the will to change in order to hold back the destruction of the environment by humans and their economic systems. One also senses this type of urgency in the arts – and seldom does one see it as impressively poetically transcribed as in Věra Ondrašíková's Witness. It has to do with trees, but naturally it has to do with much, much more. Two performers and two large, naked networks of branches form the starting point for the relationship between humans and trees, humans and nature, one person and another person. We hear creaking, breaking, cracking and crackling noises. Affection, but also rage can be sensed; the tree as a weapon, its lashing sound. An aesthetic firework unfolds, which literally engulfs the audience in its forest of clouds. Powerful images of trees in a sea of lights from lasers, but also the quiet magic of a rustling, luminescent forest at night, or the hand that reaches for the branch as if it were searching for a last way out. At the end, we witness a small miracle: A new life develops from the person who gives something from himself or herself.
Originally from the Czech Republic, Věra Ondrašíková has received a series of awards for her achievements as a dancer as well as for her choreographic works. Her pieces have been performed at, among other venues, the Tanec Praha Festival, the Biennale de la Danse in Lyon, Aerodance in Amsterdam, and as part of the Aerowaves dance festival. Witness received the Public's Choice Award at the Czech Dance Platform 2022.
Witness will be performed at DANCE 2023 as part of the program focusing on Eastern Europe; it will be an addition to the panorama of productions from Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine, offering a choreographic perspective from the Czech Republic.