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Mutual Inspirations Festival 2015 - Karel Čapek


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MIF Launch: Music, Dancing, Exhibition Openings

MIF Launch: Music, Dancing, Exhibition Openings

September 03, 2015, 6:00 PM

The Embassy of the Czech Republic launches the Mutual Inspirations Festival 2015 - Karel Čapek with a jazzy concert by the exceptionally gifted pianist Jana Otáhalová, dancing by the Fidgety Feet duo Kevin Crandell and Lily Matini, and the opening of exhibitions about brothers Karel and Josef Čapek on September 3, 2015, at 6 pm. Savor such upbeat pieces a Ježek's Bugatti Step in a memorable jazz-age evening to kick off the festival.

Page-to-Stage: R.U.R.: A Retro-Futuristic Musical

Page-to-Stage: R.U.R.: A Retro-Futuristic Musical

September 07, 2015, 2:30 PM

The Alliance for New Music Theatre presents a theatrical reading with music of R.U.R.: A Retro-Futuristic Musical based on Karel Čapek’s most renowned plays – R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots) on September 7, at 2:30 pm, in the Family Theatre at the Kennedy Center. R.U.R. takes the viewers "back to the future" in a new musical adaptation and unveiling of a play written in 1920 by Czech playwright Karel Čapek, who introduced the word “robot” to the world. The prescience of the work will engage audiences, as the play's focus is very much part of today's global conversation: Will the combination of a robotic workforce and artificial intelligence liberate mankind from economic drudgery or will it become a superior force that threatens to overcome the human race? Check out a preview of this new work in progress as part of the Kennedy Center's Page-to-Stage Festival.

Classic Film: Krakatit

Classic Film: Krakatit

September 08, 2015, 6:00 PM

The Embassy of the Czech Republic will feature Otakar Vávra’s classic film Krakatit on September 8, at 6 pm. The film tells the story of a young chemist whose accidental explosion leads to the discovery of Krakatit – an explosive powder that could potentially change the world. An explosion causes the chemist to slip in and out of dream-like hallucinations. In his altered state of consciousness, he gives the formula for making Krakatit to one of his colleagues. Can he stop its spread before its too late? The film is based on a novel by Karel Čapek, written in 1924 and influenced by the horrors of WWI and the fear of technological developments. Witness this classic film that explores how scientific advancements in the wrong hands can transform a person. (1948, 97 minutes, Czech with English subtitles)

Theatrical Reading: R.U.R.: A Retro-Futuristic Musical

Theatrical Reading: R.U.R.: A Retro-Futuristic Musical

September 10, 2015, 6:00 PM

The Alliance for New Music Theatre presents a theatrical reading with music of R.U.R.: A Retro-Futuristic Musical based on Karel Čapek’s most renowned plays – R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots) on September 10, at 6 pm, at the Embassy of the Czech Republic. R.U.R. takes the viewers "back to the future" in a new musical adaptation and unveiling of a play written in 1920 by Czech playwright Karel Čapek, who introduced the word “robot” to the world. The prescience of the work will engage audiences, as the play's focus is very much part of today's global conversation: Will the combination of a robotic workforce and artificial intelligence liberate mankind from economic drudgery or will it become a superior force that threatens to overcome the human race? Delve into this revived classic adapted in a new light in an evening of theatre at the Czech Embassy.

Film and Beer: Accumulator 1

Film and Beer: Accumulator 1

September 15, 2015, 7:00 PM

Bistro Bohem will screen director Jan Svěrák's film Accumulator 1 (Akumulátor 1) on September 15, at 7 pm. In this sci-fi drama, Olda (Petr Forman) suffers from a total lack of energy and falls into a coma. Natural healer Fišárek (Zdeněk Svěrák) tries to rejuvenate him. He learns that Olda has an “alter ego” inside the TV that utilizes the energy from the real Olda every time he tunes into the television. Can Olda resist watching TV and live a more fulfilling life in the real world, or will the television world, devoid of worries and full of joy and happiness, take over? Savor a delicious beer while watching this flick which was awarded the most popular film upon its release. (1994, 102 min., Czech with English subtitles)    

Lego Robotics Workshop for Kids

Lego Robotics Workshop for Kids

September 19, 2015, 3:00 PM

The Great Adventure Lab brings excitement and fun to the sciences through the Lego Robotics Workshop for girls and boys ages 7-10 at the Embassy of the Czech Republic on September 19, at 3 pm. The workshop promotes interest in robotics and sciences from an early age as inspired by Karel Čapek's science fiction play Rossum's Universal Robots (R.U.R.). The instructors will teach students how to write simple programming using Lego Education's robotics kits and drag-and-drop software. Winners of the "Robot Drawing Competition" will have the opportunity to attend the event. Limited space is available. Submit your robot drawing today for a chance to attend the Lego Robotics Workshop and learn how to make legos come to life.

Classic Film: Čapek's Tales

Classic Film: Čapek's Tales

September 29, 2015, 6:00 PM

The Embassy of the Czech Republic will screen director Martin Frič's Čapek's Tales (Čapkovy povídky) on September 29, at 6 pm. The film is based on Karel Čapek's detective stories from the late 1920s collected in two volumes, Tales from One Pocket and Tales from the Other Pocket, together known as the Tales from Two Pockets. Demonstrating his diverse writing, Čapek was interested in criminology and criminal psychology, depicting ordinary people in extraordinary situations. Exploring Čapek's quest for truth, the director chose to focus on five such tales: "Released on Parole," "The Case Involving the Baby," "The Ballard of Juraj Cup," "The Stolen Documents," and "The Last Judgement." Put on your sleuth's hat for an investigative evening of detective dramas. (1947, 97 min., Czech with English subtitles)

Panel Discussion: Čapek's R.U.R. in Our Rationalized World

Panel Discussion: Čapek's R.U.R. in Our Rationalized World

October 01, 2015, 6:00 PM

American University, in cooperation with the Embassy of the Czech Republic, will present the panel discussion Čapek's R.U.R. in Our Rationalized World in the Battelle-Tompkins Atrium on October 1, at 6 pm. Ninety-five years ago, Karel Čapek’s play R.U.R. first introduced the word "robot" into science fiction, forever altering the shape of our dreams and nightmares about the future. Yet the image of the robot encompasses many versions of the future and reflects as many ideas about what it means to be human. This complex reflexivity of the trope of the robot, which is both the Other that defines the human and humanity's more-than-human double, is central in Čapek’s play. This panel will explore why R.U.R. is still relevant nearly a century after its premiere, considering various dimensions of the play and its reception including science fiction and the question of genre, social anxieties surrounding labor and technology in an increasingly rationalized world, and the transnational legacy of Čapek’s language.

Lecture: Americanism of Čapek’s Play about Robots

Lecture: Americanism of Čapek’s Play about Robots

October 06, 2015, 6:00 PM

Scholar Jana Horaková will give the lecture Americanism of Čapek's Play about Robots at the Embassy of the Czech Republic on October 6, at 6 pm. The lecture reveals various aspects of the so-called “Americanism” of Čapek’s play  R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots), which premiered in Prague in January 1921. Reviewers of the world premiere  of the play wrote about the “Americanism” of the play because of its spectacular narrative and plot, particularly because of the universal and global issues contrasted to local and national topics of Czech playwrights of that time. In his play, Čapek unfolded universal issues of the artificial man, utopia, technological progress―topics not widely addressed in his home country. The praise could be seen as a critique by some who blamed him for wanting to write a play for export because of these very global topics. The play had its US debut one year later (1922). The attention that the theatre production gained in the States can be regarded as proof of its “Americanism.” Moreover, it was the success of the drama in an Anglo-Saxon cultural context that initiated the worldwide fame of the play and its author as a prominent representative of science-fiction. Unearth the American connection of Čapek's infamous classic.

Preview: War with the Newts

Preview: War with the Newts

October 08, 2015, 7:00 PM

Professor Natsu Onoda Power and students involved in her world premiere adaptation at Georgetown University of Karel Čapek's War with the Newts will present a sneak preview at the Czech Embassy on October 8, at 7 pm. The Mutual Inspirations Festival this year celebrates the 125th anniversary of the birth of Czech author Čapek. Catch a glimpse of this production followed by a discussion with Georgetown students at the Czech Embassy.

Lions of Czech Film: The Way Out

Lions of Czech Film: The Way Out

October 14, 2015, 8:00 PM

The Avalon Theatre features director Petr Václav's critically acclaimed film The Way Out (Cesta ven) on October 14 at 8 pm. The film won prestigious Czech Lion Awards for best film, director, screenplay, actress, among others. The film's gritty atmosphere unveils a young Romani couple Žaneta (Klaudia Dudová) and David (David Ištok) striving to live a “normal life,” providing for their daughter and Žaneta’s sister. To protect his family, David considers a life of crime, as the grim backdrop of unemployment, debt, and poverty weighs down. Žaneta wants a respectable life for her family, her sister to get an education, and an honest job. Trapped in the community’s anti-gypsy prejudice, can Žaneta find the inner strength to break out? (2014, 105 min., Czech with English subtitles)

Drumming for Drums

Drumming for Drums

October 15, 2015, 6:00 PM

The Embassy of the Czech Republic, in collaboration with the Bubny Shoah Memorial in Prague, invites you to Drumming for Drums (Bubnování pro Bubny) on October 15, at 6 pm, at the Czech Embassy in Washington, DC. The event commemorates the day (October 16, 1941) that the first Nazi transport of Jews set out from the Prague-Bubny Railway Station. The deportations of Prague Jews and the expulsion of Prague Germans after WWII caused the city to lose its traditional identity. Prague lost 50,000 of its residents, who perished. The transports took place while the city kept silent. Drumming for Drums in DC will be held in solidarity with a special event taking place a day later in Prague at the actual train station from which the transports departed—Prague-Bubny Railway Station. The word “bubny” means “drums” in English. The drumming is a call to action against the silence that oppressed and destroyed many lives. A drumbeat echoes, reverberates, remembering the lives lost and the beating heart of humanity. Come join the drumming circle at the Czech Embassy; all ages are welcome to attend!

Film and Beer: Ruffiano and Sweeteeth

Film and Beer: Ruffiano and Sweeteeth

October 20, 2015, 7:00 PM

Bistro Bohem presents the love story of a princess and a robber’s son in director Karel Smyczek's film Ruffiano and Sweeteeth (Lotrando a Zubejda) as part of the Film and Beer Series on October 20, at 7 pm. In this tale filled with merry songs and wit, a notorious thief sends his only son Ruffiano to be educated by monks. On his deathbed, he requests that Ruffiano carry on the family “trade” of looting. However, Ruffiano’s pure heart finds no pleasure in such pursuits. He meets a woodsman and a band of foreigners that lead him down a path to the beautiful Sultan’s daughter, Sweeteeth, who has a mysterious illness. Can he cure her before it's too late? The film is based on the stories of Karel Čapek. Sip a delicious brew at Bistro Bohem while watching this beloved tale. (1997, 106 min., Czech with English subtitles)

Discussion: The Spiritual and Philosophical Legacy of Karel Čapek

Discussion: The Spiritual and Philosophical Legacy of Karel Čapek

October 22, 2015, 6:00 PM

Monsignor Tomáš Halík, laureate of the prestigious 2014 Templeton Prize,  will discuss The Spiritual and Philosophical Legacy of Karel Čapek at the Embassy of the Czech Republic on October 22, at 6 pm. A published scholar and Catholic priest, Monsignor Halík is a leading international advocate for dialogue among differerent religions. Halík's father was an editor of Karel Čapek's works and even published some of Čapek's work after his death. Engage in an evening of insight into Čapek's intellect and spiritual life at the Czech Embassy.

Theater: Endele Vendele - Czech Tall Tales

Theater: Endele Vendele - Czech Tall Tales

October 28, 2015, 6:00 PM

Theater Viola brings Endele Vendele to the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage on October 28, at 6 pm, as part of the Kids Europe Festival. Almost everyone enjoys a tall tale—kids, moms and dads, grandmoms and grandads. In this workshop, children and their favorite grown-ups can discover the folk and fairytale traditions of the Czech Republic, and learn some fables, riddles, and songs to tell and sing at home for relatives and friends. Grandad wants to pull an enormous beet out of his garden, but he can’t do it without some help! Become a barnyard hero playing the role of a brave hen who saves a rooster in distress! These are just a couple of the funny scenes from Endele Vendele, which has toured many European countries, including Germany, Great Britain, and Belgium. Come and be a part of the Washington premiere!

 
Family Screening: Three Brothers

Family Screening: Three Brothers

October 29, 2015, 6:00 PM

Bring your friends and family for a special screening of director Jan Svěrák’s Three Brothers (Tři bratři) at the Czech Embassy on October 29, at 6 pm. Three young men — played by Czech music and screen stars Vojtěch Dyk, Tomáš Klus, and Zdeněk Piškula — set out to see the world. Their parents hope the pilgrimage will encourage each of them to grow up, find a wife, and then return to run the family farm.  But this is no ordinary trip, and the trio are soon magically transported into famous fairytales, including Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, and The Twelve Months! Love, laughter, life-long lessons, and not a few perilous situations follow. Brimming with clever humor and catchy songs, Three Brothers, directed by Academy Award-winner Jan Svěrák (Kolya, 1996), was a box office champion in the Czech Republic, and won three revered Czech Lion Awards for Best Costumes, Best Make-Up, and Best Art Direction.The screening is also a part of the Kids Euro Festival! Share a special evening where fairy tales come to life in this fall feature screening. (2014, 86 min., Czech with English subtitles)

Theater: Czech Rhymes and Riddles

October 31, 2015, 1:00 PM

Can you count in Czech? Solve a riddle? Sing a song? During Endele Vendele, you won’t just sit still in your seat — you’ll get to be part of the show! It’s a journey to the magical world of Czech fairytales, nursery rhymes, poems, folk songs, and games. Best of all, you can learn to sing like a bird!  In the Czech Republic, there are 394 different kinds of birds, each with their very own tweeting melody. When they all warble together, it’s the best concert you’ve ever heard.  Will you be a lark? A swallow? A chickadee? Famous Czech actor Josef Hervert, children’s theater director Radovana Tesarková, and singer/musician Martin Rudovsky are your guides for this tuneful tour of the country known as “the land of stories.” Please note that this event will be in Czech on

Lecture / Demonstration: Robotics

Lecture / Demonstration: Robotics

November 03, 2015, 7:00 PM

Leading artificial intelligence expert Vladimír Mařík will give a lecture and demonstration on robotics at the Embassy of the Czech Republic on November 3, at 7 pm. An award winning scholar, Professor Mařík focuses on artificial intelligence implementation in systems automation and decision support systems with emphasis on industrial applications. He co-founded the Gerstner Laboratory for Intelligent Decision Making, one of the leading workplaces in the field of artificial intelligence in the Czech Republic. He closely cooperates with industrial leaders and is the author and co-author of more than 150 magazine articles and 15 books. Revel in an evening of robotics at the Czech Embassy.

Theater: War of the Newts (world premiere)

Theater: War of the Newts (world premiere)

November 12, 2015, 8:00 PM

From November 12-21, the Georgetown Theater and Performance Studies Program presents War with the Newts, adapted and directed by Natsu Onoda Power, in the Gonda Theater of the Davis Performing Arts Center. On a small island west of Sumatra, Captain Jan van Toch discovers an unusual species of intelligent newts, who multiply quickly and can be trained to use tools - a convenient new source of cheap labor for underwater engineering projects. But what happens when they learn to speak our languages, demand their rights, and build not only dams but also bombs? This world premiere adaptation of War with the Newts, Karel Čapek’s satirical 1936 science fiction classic, is a literary “mockumentary,” incorporating fictional newspaper articles and scientific reports. The production promises to showcase Onoda Power’s “nifty visual tricks” and “delightfully unexpected” (Washington Post) solutions for the stage.
Photo courtesy: Spoolia Design

Concert: Makropulos Project

Concert: Makropulos Project

November 18, 2015, 6:00 PM

The Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences (SVU) welcomes pianist Karolina Syrovátková, who will present the Makropulos Project, an evening of selected works from Leoš Janáček's opera The Makropulos Affair (Věc Makropulos) with commentary, based on the play of the same name by Karel Čapek on November 18, at 6 pm, at the Embassy of the Czech Republic. The play is about a longing for immortality and search for happiness in one's life. Unwind in a relaxing evening of music at the Czech Embassy.


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