Laterna magika

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From the moment of its inception, it has not been clear whether Laterna Magika (LM) is film, theater or a brand-new media performance show. First introduced in the Czechoslovak pavilion at the 1958 World Expo in Brussels, this entity combined ballet, theater, several film projections, and sound background. [...] LM transformed the concept of virtual and physiological time. The medium of virtual time included a real actor with whom the spectator could identify and thus gain a direct paradigm on which to model his own behavior, should his physical body ever find itself in a virtual interactive space. [...] It was a highly synchronized program, coordinated to the last detail, with everyone having his exact spot in a precisely marked space.

The first period, created by the director Alfréd Radok and stage-designer Josef Svoboda began at the world exhibition EXPO '58 in Brussels. The program showed in the Czechoslovak pavilion was named Laterna magika and later gave its name to the theatre in Prague, reconstructed at 1959 after the worldwide success on EXPO.

The second period was presented on the EXPO '67 in Montreal and as well as on the EXPO '70 in Osaka and with these performances travelled the theatre through the world.

In the half of seventieth became Laterna magika the part of the National Theatre in Prague, on the head with the artistic director Josef Svoboda, who was at the beginning of this special medium, which does not use the words, only the combination of film projection and life stage medias - dance, sound, lights, pantomime, black-theatre e.t.c.

There is a basic effort which is creating the face of Laterna magika till today - searching of the way to a specific theatre which is able to narrate a story by using of different themes and medias as well.

  • Josef Svoboda, Kelly Morris, Erika Munk, "Laterna Magika", The Tulane Drama Review 11:1, Autumn 1966, MIT Press, pp. 141-149. [1] (English)
  • Bohumil Svoboda (ed.), Laterna magika - sborník statí, Prague: ČSF - Filmový ústav, 1968. (Czech)
  • Lanterna Magika: New Technologies in Czech Art of the 20th Century / Nouvelles technologies dans l´art tcheque du XX siecle, Prague: KANT, 2002. (English)/(French)
  • Vít Havránek, "Laterna Magika, Polyekran, Kinoautomat", in Future Cinema: The Cinematic Imaginary after Film, Karlsruhe: ZKM, and Cambridge: MIT Press, 2003. (English)
  • Václav Janeček, Štěpán Kubišta, Laterna Magika aneb divadlo zázraků, Prague: Národní divadlo, 2006, 379 pp. Publisher. (Czech)
  • Vít Havránek, "Laterna Magika a Polyekran na Expo 58 a jejich místo v dějinách mediální interaktivity", in Bruselský sen: Československá účast na Světové výstavě Expo 58 v Bruselu, Arbor vitae, 2008. [2] (Czech)
  • Svatopluk Malý, "Laterna magika", in Malý, Vznik, rozvoj a ústup multivizuálních programů, Prague: Akademie múzických umění, 2010, pp 13-29. [3] Review. (Czech)
  • Lucie Česálková, Kateřina Svatoňová, Diktátor času: (De)kontextualizace fenoménu Laterny magiky, Prague: NFA/FFUK, 2019, 400 pp. [4]. Review: Jaroš (iLiteratura). (Czech)
  • Lucie Česálková, Kateřina Svatoňová, "Scenographic Engineer Josef Svoboda and Laterna Magika as a Creative Laboratory under State Socialism", Theatre and Performance Design 6(3): "Josef Svoboda", eds. Arnold Aronson and Jane Collins, Dec 2020, pp 243-262. [5]
See also

Czech Republic#Multimedia environments