s e j n                                                                    b o h e m i ae   r o s a








B o h e m i ae  R o s a  10 - 16 September 2011

S i t e B o d y E x p l o r a t i o n

Bohemian Paradise - Hruba Skala - The Czech Republic


International Interdisciplinary Open-Air Workshop for dancers and artists exploring the relation among body, art and landscape

led by Frank van de Ven, Milos Sejn / Václav Cílek as a guest

Suported by Bohemiae Rosa Foundation, Ministery of Culture Czech Republic - European geopark UNESCO Bohemian

Paradise - Bohemian Paradise National Reserve



Since 1995 Milos Sejn and Frank van de Ven have co-operated in their bi-annual interdisciplinary open-air Body-Site-Exploration projects in various National & Cultural Reserves in the Czech Republic (Kokorin Valley, Plasy Monastery, Bohemian Karst, Bechyne Monastery with the Luznice River, Bohemian Paradise, Sumava and Krkonose Mountains, Kuks Spa) known as the Bohemiae Rosa Project.


This 8th edition of the Bohemiae Rosa Project, which will take place in an area known from the end of 19th century as „Bohemian Paradise“, will evolve in the famous historical landscape with figurative rocks, caves, valleys, brooks, forests, groves and meadows. Walking and working in the Bohemian Paradise, we investigate the historical relation of Body and Landscape and its signification and relation to contemporary Performing Arts.


The program will include:

•        MB -(mind/body, muscles/bones) dance training

•        practice of and reflection on physical and mental training

•        walking and wandering, silent walk, pilgrimage and nocturnal journeys

•        various modes of experiencing body, movement and landscape

•        investigating divergent senses of space and time

•        peripatetic records, drawing, writing, immediate contact with surroundings

•        mental topography of a location, myth, archaic mind and genius loci

•        geology, archaeology and history of the Bohemian Paradise as a model of self: layers, vertical connections and labyrinths


An integral part of the workshop will be the individual artistic projects that participants are encouraged to formulate and work on for about 1 to 2 hours a day. (in the fields architecture, landscape art, dance, performance, photography, sculpture, theatre, visual arts, biology and natural history). The workshop leaders are available to guide and support these processes.


The body is a landscape in itself moving within the larger frame of the given surrounding environment. The vertical and horizontal layering of the (historical) landscape invites us to reflect upon our own layers and connections of self and imagination.


Participants profile: for artists and advanced students working in the fields of performance, dance, landscape art, sculpture, photography, architecture, theatre, visual arts, biology and natural history.



Practical information



10 -16 September 2011, arrival evening of 9 September
Meeting Place: 511 01 Karlovice - Roudný 31 (near Turnov), Czech Republic

GPS 50º 33‘ 23.34“ N  15º 14‘9.90“ E



Accessible by train from Prague Main station - Turnov - Sedmihorky or by bus from Prague Černý Most (direction to Harrachov, cross-station Turnov and after that direction Jičín (by train or bus), station Sedmihorky – the second station!) or by car from Prague, cross Turnov and after that direction Jičín).


The number of participants is limited. We recommend early applications.


Bring sleeping bag, sheets, work/yoga mat, backpack for day hikes, raincoat and hiking boots.

There will be space to put up tents, bring one if you want.

All participants must have a personal insurance and must provide a copy of this before start of the project.


To apply send name, a short c.v. and a motivation letter to
Frank van de Ven
or Nina Kim ninakim@seznam.cz.


All participants must have a personal insurance and must provide a copy of this before start of the project.

For artists and advanced students working in the fields of performance, dance, landscape art, sculpture, photography, architecture, theatre, visual arts, biology and natural history.

No previous (dance) training is necessary but the workshop will be physically and mentally demanding, therefore a good overall condition is required.

Amandine Meneau & Marta Pujol Quetglas - July 08

2003 Bohemiae Rosa V Bohemian Paradise



Bohemian Paradise - Hrubá Skála (The Big Rock) - Czech Republic




Charming landscape in the northeastern Bohemia bears a truthful name Český ráj (Bohemian Paradise). The most outstanding feature of this landscape are the romantic sandstone formations with no less romantic ruins of old fortified castles. A verid mosaic of natural beauty and historical monuments is accumulated on a relatively small spáče of land, attracts every perceptive visitor and leaves with him lasting and lovely memories. In the northeast as a mighty guard to the Jizerské mountains and to the Krkonoše massive extends the Kozákov ridge (the highest point in the landscape 744 meters) and Tábor (678 mts) From here at a good visibility ono overlooks a great part of Bohemia up to the fertile Polabian lowlands. The name as the heart of Český ráj bears the town of precious stones and unique stone-cuttinp. Turnov. From the south-west opens gate to Český ráj The town Mnichovo Hradiště and from the southeast the town Jičín; to the north in the deep valley of Jizera river is spreading the town of glass Železný Brod. The main symbol of Český ráj is the basalt doublehump Trosky with the ruin of a medieval castle, characteristic at a distance with its silhouette. The well known tourist route going through the landscape remarkable places between Mnichovo Hradiště and Jičín is the 98 kilometres long Zlatá stezka (Golden path) of Český ráj.

Český ráj for its multiform of landscape points and of natural richness was rightly declared, as the first in Czechoslovakia, the preserved territory, including Hruboskalsko region up to Trosky a Příhrazské skály (rocks) up to the castle Kost, in a total area of 95 km2. Further important parts of Český ráj, chiefly Maloskalsko region and the whole ridge of Kozákov Tábor are still waiting to be declared as an extended preserved territory from the year 1975 up today. Outside Český ráj are also three State natural reservations (Prachovské skály - wood growth Na hranicích at Bukovina - and the basalt hill Káčov) and several protected natural formations (Suché skály, Klokočské skály, Borecké skály, western slope of Kozákov and the basalt hill Zebín).

From the geological point of view is almost all Český ráj a part of the Bohemian chalk table. Its origin goes back to the Mesozoic period, roughly before 100millions of years. In that time began to penetrate shallow sea into the lower parts of the Bohemian massif. In the sea settled sandstones, marls, clays or clay slates. For Český ráj are especially important the ashlar sandstones, in their mighty layers originated in million years lasting erosion, the known sandstone formations with high towers and deep cloughs. Volcanic activity on the beginning of the lounger Tertiary resulted in an array of basalt knobs, making often a dominant of the landscape, the world-wide unique doubled knog Trosky, Vyskeř, Mužský, Střelečská hurá, Sokol, Kumburk, Veliš and others. On the northeast of Český ráj ends the chalk region by a specific bizarre rocks of the Maloskalský ridge and Suché skály. In the places of the so called Lužice dislocation which, in the end of the Palaeozoic Age, folded the predominantly melaphyric ridge Kozákov - Tábor. In melaphyre are to be found on several pláčeš precious stones, making famous this landscape - agates, amethysts, jaspers, smoke-quarz, chalcedony.

Woods of Český ráj are prevalently secondary clusters of spruces, on the stone plateaus prevail pine woods, in places pervaded by poor acidophilous oak woods. In them, on the shallow soil, originated by disintegration of silicious sandstones, are wide growth of bilberries. various firns, including the biggest fim bracken. heath, out of grasses the hair grass, numerous mosses and lichens. Richer flora is in the oak-hornbeam woods in the southern part of thecountry or in the beech woods in the Jizera valley in the Maloskalsko region. A remarkable plant of some places in Český ráj is the horsetail, over 1 meter high. Rare flora is to be found on the last remainder of the peat and swamp meadqws and in the surroundings of the lovely lakes such as Věžický, Vidlák, Nebákov, Drhlenské rybníky, Komárovský, Žabakor or Jinolické rybníky. Also a rich net of brooks and small creeks, aiming chiefly to the Jizera river, create romantic nooks with interesting botanical and animal species.

Settlement of Český ráj is of an age-old date, it began already in the older Stone Age. In the 3rd millennium b.Chr. are documented many agricultural settlements in an almost continuous zone out of Bohemian inside up to the Turnov region, to the rocks of Prachov and the Sobotka region. There interchanged people of volutě portery, stitched pottery, people of the um fields, Celts, Teutons and Slavic Croats. Mighty Slav walled settlements are known in the precincts of the Mužský hill and in the rocks of Prachov. In the 12th-15th centuary, when this country was ruled by the members of the powerful Markvartic elán and its branches Vartemberks, Wallensteins and Lemberks, numerous fortified castles and redoubts were bulit and their picturesque ruins attract today thousands of tourists. They are for inst. Frýdštejn, Zbirohy, Rotštejn, Valečov, Valdštejn, Trosky, Kost, Bradlec and Kumburk. In that time towns were founded which, in the course of time, developed to cultural and later some of them to industrial centres: Turnov, Jičín, Mnichovo Hradiště, Železný Brod. Lomnice nad Popelkou, Sobotka. Rovensko pod Troskami. From cultural-historical singularities of Český ráj are of outstanding importance also castles, bulit sometimes on places of past fortified castles or medieval strongholds. In some of them are installed valuable collections of furniture, paintings, pottery, weapons etc., others are specially used. Out of the known could be mentioned: Sychrov, Hrubý Rohozec. Hrubá Skála, Mnichovo Hradiště, Jičín, Humprecht, Staré Hrady. Charm of Český ráj were not complete without folk architecture and fortunately there is still lot of it in some villages and in seclusions: from the Dlask estate in Dolanky near Turnov, over the estates in Příšovice, in Vesec near Sobotka, in Maloskalsko, in Markvartice, timber-framed houses in Železný Brod up to the belfries in Rovensko pod Troskami, in Železný Brod or in Osek near Sobotka.

In Český ráj have their birthplace whole range of Czech famous personages. Many others found liking for it. The Czech historian Josef Pekař, native from Malý Rohozec, wrote about Český ráj: „There‘s no such landscape all the world over in which I return again and again to breath in the physical and moral beauty of it, to gather new powers, thoroughly enjoyed my fatherland. In it and through it l grew into what l am, a Czech patriot and historian“.

               by RNDr. Bohumil Slavík, CSc.


UNESCO Geopark Bohemian Paradise

More about Hruba Skala (The Big Rock)






Milos Sejn works in the fields of visual art, performance and study of visual perception. From the beginning of the 1960s he took pictures, drew, collected and described his observations of nature during his wanderings through the Czech landscape. Currently he teaches mixed media and the relationship of nature and art as intrinsic needs of the mind, and focuses on immediate creative possibilities, based upon relations between historical humanized landscapes and intact nature. 
CD ROMs: Colorvm Natvrae Varietas (Centrum for Culture and Communication in Budapest c3, 2000); Make Your Own Island/Make Your Own Forest (Utrecht School of the Arts, Institute for postgraduate and professional higher education in the Arts, 2001); Books: Being Landscape, 2010

Frank van de Ven is a dancer and choreographer who spend his formative years in Japan working with Min Tanaka and the Maijuku Performance Company. In 1993 he founded together with Katerina Bakatsaki 'Body Weather Amsterdam', a platform for training and performance. Since 1995 he conducts with Milos Sejn the interdisciplinary Bohemiae Rosa Project, connecting body and landscape with art, geology and architecture. Interest in dance and theory led to the 'How to make yourself a Dancing Body Without Organs' Project. Together with Peter Snow (Monash University) he performs the famed Thought/Action Improvisations.  An ongoing collaboration exists with musician Daniel Schorno, artistic director of Steim Amsterdam.
Films (video and 16mm): Dancing Plasy Times 8, CI-VIT, LOM and NOUGHTS.

Václav Cílek is a Quaternary geologist who specializes in landscape development, past changes and interactions between prehistoric cultures and the environment. He teaches students of cultural anthropology at Charles University, CR, Prague and North-western University in Evanston, USA. He is interested in the narrow area where archaic mind is confronted with contemporary culture.


Dictionary definitions


*site n., pl. -s [Latin situs "place, position", from sinere "to leave, place, lay"] 1. the actual or planned location 2 the place or scene of something (a camp site) / site vt., to place on a site or in position: locate


*body n., pl. -ies [OE, bodig, cask] 1. the whole physical substance of a man, animal or plant 2. the trunk of a man or animal 3. a corpse 4. [Colloq.] a person 5. a distinct mass [a body of water] 6. a distinct group of people or things 7. the main part 8. substance or consistency, as of liquid 9. richness of flavor


*landscape n., pl. -s [Dutsch landschap, from land + -schap "-ship"] 1. a picture of natural inland scenery 2. a portion of land that the eye can see in one glance


*wander vb., wan-dered, wan-der-ing [OE, wandrian] 1. to move about aimlessly or without a fixed course or goal: ramble 2a to deviate (as from a course): stray 2b to go astray morally: err 2c to lose normal mental contact (as delirium or madness)


*walk n., pl. -s [vb OE, wealkan "to roll, toss"] 1. a going on foot (go for a walk) 2. a place, path, or course for walking 3. distance to be walked 4a manner of living 4b social or economic status (various walks of life) 5a manner of walking 5b a gait of a four-footed animal in which there are always at least two feet on the ground



Josef Mánes: Hrubá Skála, drawing, around 1859