Divadelná Nitra 2015 Was a Festival of Civic Courage

The DIVADELNÁ NITRA International Theatre Festival that took place from 24 to 29 September 2015, offered productions from 11 countries – Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Israel, Latvia, Germany, Poland, Russia, Spain, Ukraine and Slovakia. The Main Programme performances were attended by more than 3,300 people, the accompanying events of different genres organised for spectators of all ages had an attendance of 4,800 visitors. 


Authentic and engaged – these are the words that describe the stance of theatre companies and creators who have been offered space at this year’s Divadelná Nitra. The productions by Arkadi Zaides from Tel Aviv and Compagnie Kadidi / Dorothée Munyaneza from Paris represent the creators’ personal experience and painful memories which had been caused by political events in their countries – Israel and Rwanda. Their messages encourage empathy, which is the Festival’s main theme, formulated as “EMPATHY - Sharing and Giving”. The Divadelná Nitra International Theatre Festival 2015 will run from 24 to 29 September.


 The Divadelná Nitra International Theatre Festival explores the boundaries of theatre and raises the questions of what is still theatre, what other art forms does it combine and where is it heading? The Festival has included in its current programme also unconventional original forms. Latvian theatre-makers will come to deliver a dramatic lecture on marine biology and marine environment, the Muscovite theatre will present diary readings as a record of the reality of Stalinist labour camps, and the French production will demonstrate “sharing” or how it feels when spectators become the only actors on stage. 

Why Is the Festival Black and White?

The DIVADELNÁ NITRA International Theatre Festival will kick off in one month on 24 September 2015. Its theme EMPATHY – Sharing and Giving defines both the main and accompanying programmes; the black and white graphics and a cluster of concepts (extremism, immigration, genocide, poverty...) suggest the thematic areas of the works presented and the Festival’s determination to also reflect on recent social and political developments. Online ticket sale has already been launched and these days radios begin airing the Festival’s radio spot featuring the voice of actor Róbert Roth. For the first time in Festival’s history, visitors are able to buy and donate Empathy Tickets and use the Festival’s babysitting service. The six-day Divadelná Nitra will close on 29 September 2015.

Divadelná Nitra is centred around empathy which reintroduces ethics to society

The programme of this year’s DIVADELNÁ NITRA International Theatre Festival will be linked together by a theme which challenges, inspires and provokes thought and discussion. Such theme is “Empathy – Sharing and Giving”. Festival organisers are working with the concept of solidarity, the weight of supra-personal goals, and social engagement. The Main programme features nine foreign productions and four Slovak theatrical pieces. In addition to these, Festival visitors will have a chance to attend film screenings, public readings, exhibitions, street performances and installations. The Festival, the only one of its kind in Slovakia, will take place from 24 to 29 September 2015.

Flowerbed for Sightless for the First Time – in Bratislava

Visually impaired children have already their sole flowerbed. The idea of organizers of A Tulip for You project to launch A Flowerbed for Sightless with the aid of project ´s enthusiasts, with the aid of voluntaries of Deloitte Slovakia Company and more than fifty engaged visually impaired and seeing children, became true on June 12, 2015 in front of ZŠI for visually impaired in Bratislava.

After successful Friday and Saturday June 12 and 13, 2015 shall be the event organizers pleased to point out that to launch the flowerbed for sightless straight in the area of boarding school, where the visually impaired children live during their childhood, seems to be the great idea. 

That hot morning June 12 the blue formation of 22 voluntaries from Deloitte Company joined more than 50 children and a power of adults – parents, teachers, media representatives, voluntaries of A Tulip for You project and representatives of event organizer – Association Divadelná Nitra.

The area in front of school came to life with blind and seeing children, nursery garden babies and teenagers,  crawled with grafitti painting teams, spading adults, then with join yielding of plants, with imbedding the identification boards and finally with children watering the new educational and primarily “their” flowerbed. 

The Festival will also include a photo exhibition centred around the theme “Empathy”

The Divadelná Nitra Association offers the citizens of Nitra and the Nitra region – both professional and amateur photographers, including young photographers (pupils and students of art schools), members of leisure photographic clubs, or other lovers of documentary and fine art photography – an opportunity to contribute to the accompanying programme of the 24th Festival edition and achieve greater visibility.

The interested individuals may submit up to 3 photos in print quality, depicting or representing empathy in relation to current social issues, such as poverty, old age, violence, extremism, war, immigration, minority discrimination, marginalization of the physically and mentally handicapped, homelessness, environment protection and conservation of cultural monuments, affecting particularly Nitra and surrounding areas, but also Slovakia and the world.

In 2015 and 2016 with the EFFE label

An international jury chaired by Vincent Baudriller decided to honor the Divadelná Nitra International Theatre Festival with the EFFE Label 2015-2016.

The three EFFE Label evaluation criteria were the following: artistic commitment, community involvement and the festival’s international and global outlook. Initially, national experts in individual countries scored festivals’ applications for the EFFE label submitted in response to an open call. In the next round the applications were submitted for approval to an international jury. The selection process was carried out in a way that would allow presenting the breadth and diversity of European festivals.

896 festivals from 32 different countries programming various genres applied for the EFFE Label. From the applicant festivals 71% program music, 40% dance and 38% theatre. Many other genres such as film, literature, photography and opera were also well represented in the applications.

This Year’s Divadelná Nitra Will Focus on Empathy

The theme of the 24th edition of the Divadelná Nitra International Theatre Festival will be Empathy with Sharing and Giving as its sub-title. Empathy will interlink all of the Festival’s programme sections, as well as the individual productions included in its programme.

Why Empathy? In contemporary increasingly individualised society where school and family lose their traditional education tools, art seems to be one of the few areas able to have an impact on the formation of human character, one’s ethical principles and emotional depth. The growing emphasis in public life on rationality, economic prosperity and technical development brings a need to compensate the lack of feeling, draw attention to human values, and deepen the spiritual dimension of the individual and society.

“The omnipresent ideal of youth, success and wealth, the media’s picture of a harmonious and comfortable world that is within our reach (thanks to all the different amenities of civilized life, loans and mortgages), need a counterweight in form of intense experiences lived when hearing stories of people, communities, cultural monuments, animals, nature – experiences that enhance our capacity to perceive and help us become more sensitive. In contrast with the generally accepted idea that the meaning of life lies in achieving materialistic happiness, there is the need to bring forward the idea of solidarity, supra-personal interests, social engagement and self-denial.

These reflections yielded the leitmotif of the Divadelná Nitra 2015,” said Festival Director Darina Kárová.

May Tulip for General Štefanik

A May Tulip, creative relaxation and cognitive weekend of project A Tulip for You was held on 16 – 17 May 2015 for the fourth time. In marvelous flowering countryside and in campus of Fantázia, in the country of birth of Milan Rastislav Štefánik – met together 50 participants – from that 40 children from three schools, let they – via plays, creative workshops, dancing, visits of mound Bradlo and birthplace of M. R. Štefánik – accomplish two basic project missions: integration of disabled with healthy children and exploring of Slovakia. Great, exciting life and death story of general Štefánik became the main event leitmotiv.

We made all we had to do, though like in some accelerated movie: children had a rest in beautiful country, 2 art and 3 drum workshops, fishing, climbing, motorcar riding, barbecue, disco, the night forest walk, children lesson about M. R. Štefánik, trip to mound of Bradlo and also visit of Štefánik´s birthplace in village Košariská.        

Lesson with screen document about childhood, career, death and mound of general Štefánik, which was so well professionally prepared by children from ZŚ kniežaťa Pribinu from Nitra in advance and presented to all as at the conference at the cinema Fantázia – was the excellent experience not only for “little lectors”. It was also the fantastic example for the other children and teachers. Hats off, Nitra!

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