Zuzana Burianová

Zuzana Burianová (1983, Žilina) dancer, choreographer, performer, singer, musician, director, and pedagogue, started her dancing career in the Dance Theatre of Alternatives (known as TDA) in Žilina. She graduated from the Music and Dance Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava, where she majored in modern dance pedagogy. She continued her studies at the Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in choreography of contemporary dance (in the class of Michael Montanaro, a Cirque du Soleil artist) and in jazz singing. Later on, she studied at the University of Stavanger in Norway, where she specialized in interpretation of modern dance. Burianová concluded her studies in Querétaro in Mexico, where she attended a dance conservatory with a focus on jazz dance technique.

At present, Zuzana Burianová is creating her own choreographies, works as a teacher of both professionals and amateurs, produces dance films, and performs as a guest artist in dance productions. She is the director of the Dance Theatre of Alternatives (TDA), where she has closely collaborated with dancers, musicians, and filmmakers since 2003. Recently, she has been engaged in intense collaboration with film and visual artists associated with the DogDocs group and renowned choreographers, professionals as well as amateur dancers. In the Labyrinth centre for dance and movement in Žilina, she teaches contemporary and jazz dance, José Limon’s technique, and contact improvisations. She has systematically developed community-based artistic cooperation in the Žilina region, and her extensive pedagogical work has actively contributed to the advancement of dance art in and around the city of Žilina. Burianová has collaborated with a great number of international pedagogues and choreographers (Ray Chung, Daniel Lepkoff, David Zambrano, Julyen Hamilton, Daniel Tinazzi, Jane Panetta, Chrysa Parkinson, Edna Lima, Joe Alegato, Sebastian Prantl, Sophie Billy, Alain Washington, Mathew Hawkins). As a choreographer, she works in close cooperation with the Puppet Theatre in Žilina and the City Theatre Žilina. As an author and performer, she has contributed to numerous site-specific projects in Slovakia and abroad.

Her first creative period at the Dance Theatre of Alternatives is defined by processing personal testimonies that are charged with much passionate energy to make discoveries. Burianová uses this energy to explore and transcend thematic boundaries and the possibilities of their expression in movement. The performances from this period include, for example, her dance projects Diaries (2009), Apple (2001), Uncaught (2002), It’s Us (2007), Expectations (2012), Dandó (2013), Egoland (2013). Later on, there were projects addressing issues of social relevance and cultural identity. These include, among others: Conversations (2014), Showdown, The Thirty-year Journey (2016), Framing (2017), Indigo (2017), i – Identity Loss (2018). Many of these works have found their artistic doubles in film or were remediated into movies.

In collaboration with the TDA, Burianová co-authored dance films, created choreographies, and directed such dance movies as Showdown (2012), The Thirty-year Journey (2016), Speech of a Breath (2007), The Way You Speak (2007), Diaries (2010), Tragoolater (2013), When the Heart Beats Right (2017), Ľuboš’s Regression (2012). The films The Way You Look Around (2007) and Lionel Goulux (2007) were presented during her studies at Concordia University in Montreal. In addition, she is the author of short film productions which resulted from theme-based residencies, workshops, and seminars.

She has collaborated with eminent choreographers and directors on several dance film projects, e.g., Matej Matejka and Milan Kozánek – The Conflict of Apathy, David Butula – Voices of the Body, Peter Pikna – Diaries, DogDocs civic association, etc.). She has been involved in organizing and leading art workshops for people with special needs and mental disabilities, organising the Jašidielňa festival in Žilina and cooperating with the Land of Harmony Foundation. She is also an active musician and vocalist, which directly influences her work with jazz, world, and ethno music. These music forms are directly incorporated into her choreographies. Burianová is the singer of the Balkanansambel band, and performs with the music group CVD combo, and the jazz Big Band of J. M. Hurban Conservatory in Žilina.

As a performer and creative artist, she has contributed to the choreographies of such artists as Jaroslav Viňarský, Mathew Roggers, Carmen Ruiz, Milan Kozánek, Peter Šavel, Katarína Brestovanská, Kiani Del Valé, Daniel Raček, and Kei Mimakiová, among others.