Slovak dancer, performer, choreographer, lecturer and founder of civic group BOD.Y Ms Soňa Ferienčíková (1987, Bratislava) studied at The Eva Jaczová Dance Conservatory in Bratislava and at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. She spent a sabbatical year at the Royal Conservatory in Antwerp Artesis University College and at the prestigious SEAD – Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance.
In addition to contemporary dance she is also involved in experimental and documentary theatre, and dance film. During her studies and her hitherto career she collaborated with a range of Slovak and international choreographers, stage directors and groups (e.g. Juan Manuel Ramos Ávila, Ivana Dukić, Marc Vanrunx, Filip Van Huffel, UNITED-C Company, T.R.A.S.H. Dance Collective, VerTeDance, Spitfire Company, Renan Martins de Oliveira, Lucia Kašiarová, Davide Sportelli, Jaro Viňarský, Peter Šavel, Petra Fornayová, Marold Langer-Philippsen, David Zambrano, Roberto Olivan, Matej Keižar, Lisbeth Gruwez, Ivo Dimchev, Ruth Zaporah, Thomas Steyaert, Paul Estabrook, Jozef Fruček, Linda Kapetanea, Martin Kilvády, Anton Lachký, Eulalia Ayguade Farro).
As dancer she worked with the Dutch T.R.A.S.H. Dance Company, the choreographer Pauline Roelants, the Dutch stage director Gwendalyne van Erp on the project Urge (2010), and on the projects De-Sync (2010) and See (2011) with the Italian choreographer David Sportelli. In Munich she collaborated with the German director Marold Langer-Philippsen on the productions of Tsvaika (2011), Radioprichnik (2011) and Lolitanow (2012). In Slovakia she teamed up with Šárka Ondrišová on the producitons of Voda na vode (2011), the director Ján Šimk on the documentary production Steel My Heart (2012), with Lucia Holinová on the project Fuga (2012), with Jar Viňarský on Xira (2013), with Petra Fornayová on Objekty výskumu (2014) and Opernball (2016). In Prague she has been working with the company VerTeDance on the projects Kolik váží vaše touha? (2013) and Korekce (2015), and with the Spitfire Company on the productions of Krevety á la indigo (2014) and Antiwords (2014).
Ms Ferienčíková performed in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Germany, Poland, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Bulgaria, Greece, Israel, Mexico, and China.
Her portfolio includes successful projects DEBODY (2012), Imago (2013) in co-production with the theatre Studio ALTA Prague, Bakkheia (2014) – a project included in the Aerowaves Twenty 15, Let Me Die In My Footsteps (2015) – co-production with the group ME-SA, included in Aerowaves Twenty 16, The Fatal Match (2015), SOTTY (2016) a Potmehúd (2016) – co-production with the theatre Studio ALTA Prague, and a multimedia project Everywhen (2018).
Soňa Ferienčíková links in her work native expression that draws from the depths of libido and precise control of the setting of expression that follows the line of structure of images. Spontaneity and passion of the aesthetics of her movement are thoughtfully dosed, precisely highlighted and courageously confronted with intellectual themes.
In her choreographies she often complements her dance solos with a presence of a musician on stage, who is part of the dance action (DEBODY, SOTTY). Music arrangements in her work are linked to the dynamics and tension of movement, they accelerate the cumulation of energy in movement sequences. In the intermedia project Everywhen she expanded the creative collaboration between the musician Alexandra Timpau and visual artist Mária Júdová. This merger of movement, sound, visual and lighting action creates an extraordinary intensity of intimate images in her work. The movement material she creates in her choreographies is characterised by virtually ritual repetitiveness of distinctive movement ties. Those are precisely articulated and set in a precise rhythm. Consistent and clearly set movement and dramaturgical structure of the choreography are a bridge between the fragility of the intimate statement, passion of the movement poetics and fascinating brutality of the authenticity of her choreographic and interpretative perspective.
DEBODY (2012) is her first feature-length production. She included in her dance solo two musicians, the New York-based double bass player and performer George Cremaschi and the violinist František Ferienčík. The decomposition, or even destruction of the movement phrases, the retained gesture impulse, repetitive variation of dance ties, and contrasting thematic differentiation of images create the fundamental structural base of the production. The opening run of the dancer along a circle drawn by chalk in flexuous light rays triggers a sense of inertia and irreversible determination of a road along with the crazy passing of time. The urgency concentrated in the circular cycle is disturbed by space that is divided by a grass line. The dancer sets out to the line with her insecurities, doubts, inability to articulate her feelings and her stance. That is the place for voluntary painful quest, decision-making, wandering and clarification, and also the fragile space of the intimate world of a mature person. She sways in fragmentary gestures and jerky movements which the choreographer turns into a perfect metaphor. The musicians first polarise the space, creating an opposite to the dancer. Later they share with her the common space of a semi-circle, entering with her into a manipulative interaction. in the end they follow her along her path full of falls, yet especially full of getting up and stepping out. The dancer erases the predetermined trajectory of the circle. She uses chalk to draw her own trajectory of fate, at times entangled and neck-breaking, yet always existentially distinctive. A fall or knees buckling and giving up are here the first signs of decision-making and stepping out. Despite the seeming clumsiness and instability, they are touching expressions of self-awareness and self-realisation. In the choreography, Ms Ferienčíková unveils the themes of the inner world. As the only protection from onlookers she has the objectification, focused elaboration of the visual and musical aspects of the production, and perfect and altogether inimitable dance.
The theme of private living space and authenticity of expression was elaborated in a subsequent project, the production SOTTY (2016). She seeks and explores the line between inner world of a performer and outside reality as perceived by the spectator. The production contains original live music by the Slovenian musician Gasper Piano. In her dance, Ms Ferienčíková merges with the sounds of music, correlates within, creating an intimate communication to suddenly stand up to the music beat. The variation of the confrontation and harmony with music create the abstractness of the ritual of discovery, harmony, differentiation, looping, and accumulation. The choreographer identifies herself in space between the abstracted complexity of movement, simplicity and totality of the moment of being. The ecstatic harmony with music in ritual emergence form and immersion into the space, and disappearance from sight, along with hiding trigger curiosity and longing to peek into her secret. On the other hand, her honesty invites respect to openness with which she shares her inner emotional space. She experiences the process of discovery along with the spectators. She honours them with her view of life, herself and human interaction.
Everywhen (2018) is intermedia solo performance o about the incessant rotation of history. In sharp contrast it polarises the image of the loving, tender and kind personal life and the reality of public integration of an individual. That can often be ominous, odious and revengeful. We follow the images of those who are close to us who find themselves face-to-face with the danger of history repeating itself in a context that the horribly familiar. Ms Ferienčíková seeks here an opportunity to prevent repeating historical mistakes, particularly when some ideology has been inscribed in us like DNA. She challenges us with her doubt about whether we can be critical of the individual viewpoint, particularly when it was constructed by those closest to us. The confrontation of pressing issues creates in the production a whirlpool of history. In her interpretation, such rotating trance turns into a focused mode of thinking that places existential issues of identification into the depths of being, into the energy centre of the body.
Ms Ferienčíková had a proviso for the concept and choreography of the performance Everywhen Ferienčíková in close cooperation with the authors of visual and musical elements. The music arrangements by Alexandra Timpau are linked to the dynamics and tension of movements. They accelerate the frequent cumulation of energy in movement sequences. The visual material by Mária Júdová is created by images projected on three vertical surfaces that are reflected on the floor and thus become the embodiment of inner life. Ints Plavnieks is the author of lighting design. He has also worked with Ms Ferienčíková on the set design of the space. The visual combinations of archival photographs and scans of objects create symbiotic relationship with the dances, the swamp her with the illusion of being smashed and crashed by a spinning wheel. Then the projection responds in contrast to the impulse of subtle gesture of the dancer, setting in spin the fatal kaleidoscope of family liaisons. The microscopic look in the core of social ties gives way to the general nature of public prism. The visual balance enables it to balance on the think line of the private, intimate stance and unitarian vulgarity.
- 2012 – DEBODY, BOD.Y, choreography and directed by: Soňa Ferienčíková. Première: Theatre elledanse, Bratislava
- 2012 – Steel my heart, directed by: Ján Šimko, choreography: Jana Tereková, Soňa Ferienčíková. Première: A4 – Space for Contemporary Culture, Bratislava
- 2013 – IMAGO, directed by: Lucia Kašiarová, choreography: Soňa Ferienčíková, Jaro Ondruš. Première: Theatre Studio ALTA Prague
- 2015 – SPOJE.NIE, BOD.Y & Ústav Úžasu, choreography: Soňa Ferienčíková a Jakub Folvarčný. Première: Tabačka Kulturfabrik, Košice
- 2016 – SOTTY, BOD.Y, choreography and directed by: Soňa Ferienčíková. Première: Studio ALTA Prague
- 2018 – EVERYWHEN, BOD.Y, choreography and directed by: Soňa Ferienčíková. Première: Alfred ve dvoře, Prague