Hi everyone. These are from outside the studios in Prague this evening. And below is the information I sent to our dancers by email this morning. I hope you are all well.
We wanted to contact you all with regards to the upcoming Masterclasses to let you know the situation here in Prague so you can make an informed judgement yourselves as to your ability to join us this summer.
First of all if you are intending still to come then please do not send your balance payment until 1st July unless you are certain of your ability to travel to us, and we shall write to everyone again before you make the balance payment please.
The Masterclasses are going ahead and now it is just a question of who can get to us. The Czech Republic has had a very low rate of infection and death (about 300 deaths) and of course wish to keep it that way.
The National Theatre here have asked us to hold the Masterclasses as usual at the Czech National Ballet studios and the company are themselves now back working fully with rehearsals and even have a performance at the end of June. All shops and restaurants are fully open again although you still have to wear a mask in shops and public buildings and sensible social distancing should be observed in public.
The situation changes from week to week with entry restrictions, and of course it is getting easier.
We hope to hear of more easing of entry conditions on 15th June and of course will keep everyone up to date as soon as we hear anything.
One of the reasons to writing to everyone is to try to assess all the dancers who think they are still able and willing to get to us. I think a lot of the American/Japanese/Australian and Canadian etc dancers may not be able to get flights for instance and then possibly not being allowed entry (please check with the Czech Embassy in your country before flying as your nationality may have a bearing on your entry to the Czech Republic).
Coming into the Czech Republic flights from Europe including Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Paris, as well as Stockholm and Dusseldorf are arriving everyday, and from the 5th June Zurich, 14th June Brussels and even from London on the 25th June with Czech Airlines, and I am sure others will follow shortly.
At present entry involves presenting a negative PCR test taken within four days of entry (I have attached the form needed to be filled out and stamped by an official doctor in your country) or you must undertake one within 72 hours of arrival at one of the many testing facilities here, and then present the result to the authorities. All this can be organised, and I should imagine the costs here would be cheaper than elsewhere, but maybe not.
This may of course not be necessary at all soon but it is best to bear it in mind as a possibility.
Also for British dancers they will have to bear in mind that they may have to go into quarantine upon their return to the UK from the 8th June, and then of course there is always the possibility of other countries imposing the reciprocal condition on the British entering their country from that date also, we will have to wait and see that one. The UK is still classed as part of the EU for the time being as is Switzerland and Norway and Iceland on all official Czech government directives.
I am sorry if I cannot be more helpful at this time, we are trying our best to welcome everyone we can as we know many dancers rely on us each year to get in shape for their coming seasons. Also with so many other summer schools having been cancelled such as Paris Opera (who are in close contact with us) we know that it would be really beneficial for everyone to still be able to come.
From our side Tamas Solymosi will be driving here with his family from Budapest, as he does every year, as the border has already opened up between Austria, Hungary and Slovakia and the Czech Republic. The Germans are pushing to open up the Schengen area once again and of course it is still two months away, so a lot can change. Laurretta Summerscales is determined to get to us even if it means having to go into quarantine afterwards (thank you Laurretta) and all other teachers have indicated their willingness to get to us.
The hotel we use is opening up again in mid-June and they will let me know of any conditions that they will be working to, and then I shall of course pass on all information.
One thing to do is to keep an eye on the Czech Embassy in your country and their travel advice for entry, (for EU citizens see the attached conditions for entry form and in particular section B4). The National Theatre have also indicated that they will supply us with officially stamped letters of attendance at the Masterclasses at their studios for pre-professional training, if that will be necessary as well.
That’s all I can tell you for now but if you are still intending on getting to us that’s wonderful and let’s hope it all stays going well for us all.
We are all affected by this terrible virus and the very stressful situation it puts everyone in, not only financially but also mentally with so much uncertainty about how we all continue from now on until a vaccine is proved affective.
Let’s hope we and our dancers can all at least enjoy the hard work and challenge of the Masterclasses this summer as something very much to look forward to.
And let us know of your intentions please.
Ian and Daria