TANEC PRAHA Festival 1999 | 21 June – 1 July 1999

In 1999 the festival returned to the State Opera with the ensemble of another legendary figure – Martha Graham. Her works were just as current and topical as they were almost 50 years before. Literally cathartic was the end of the festival with Naharin's juniors – the Batsheva Ensemble. Ohad Naharin came to Prague personally for the first time. Also in Prague for the first time was Granhøj Dans, who in later years became the darlings of the Czech public. Another artist making her first appearance in the Czech Republic was Karine Ponties, whose imprint on the development of the Czech scene has been even more pronounced. Also present were Maguy Marin and local artists. For the third year the festival was practically sold out and the great public interest and response clearly showed that seeing the best that contemporary dance has to offer just once a year is not enough. A bold plan for the new millennium was therefore to create a permanent venue for dance in Prague – PONEC. The reconstruction of the dilapidated building required continual fundraising and deals with a number of partners and politicians. Fortunately they succeeded in persuading them that the dynamically developing field of dance deserves professional conditions. Prague, which had been named one of the European capitals of culture in 2000, needed to have its own "dance house".