Prague 2007 & Café Europa

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pigsmall.jpgBack home again after the 5th year of International Ballet Masterclasses in Prague, and as usual, here’s a small selection of Prague 2007 pics. As always, a wonderful experience working with such amazing international artists, and thrilling & inspiring to be surrounded by so many extraordinarily talented young dancers.

slavenka.jpgFor in-flight reading on the return journey, I grabbed almost the first thing that caught my eye at the airport newsagents, which happened to be Slavenka Drakuli?’s book about Eastern Europe after communism, Café Europa. I only had to look at the cover, the title, and a few words in the middle to know that this would be one of those books that I had been waiting to read all my life but hadn’t known existed.

Having lived and studied in ‘the former Yugoslavia’ in my twenties, I have a some very precious memories of a world which has disappeared, and when I revisited Zagreb last year, I found it very hard to come to terms with that disappearance. I’ve also had the odd rant about so-called ‘Eurocentrism‘. Café Europa somehow helped draw all my incoherent thoughts, images & memories into something which made perfect sense, and explained & illuminated thoughts which were no more than passing glimpses of a reality that sometimes seems incomprehensible.
Slavenka Drakuli? writes beautifully, the most perfect and warm guide you could hope to have as a travelling companion. When I got home from Heathrow, I just sat in a chair until I’d finished the book, suitcases & everything around me on the floor.

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