Skip to content

Information

1945

born in Prague (Czechoslovakia)

1970

Ivan Sertić engages him to Wuppertal (Germany)

1973 to 2000

member of the Tanztheater Wuppertal with numerous significant role creations

2022

dies in Czech Republic


Biography

Jan Minařík

was born 25 August 1945 in Prague, Czechoslovakia, where he completed a classical dance education at the conservatoire. Initially trained as a chef, he switched careers to dance to avoid military service. His first positions were at the Prague National Theatre (1966/67) and as a soloist in Brno/Brünn (1967–69) after which he emigrated, in 1969, dancing first at the Tiroler Landestheater in Innsbruck. In 1970 he moved to the ballet company at the Wuppertaler Bühnen (Wuppertal’s combined municipal performing arts venues) where he performed as a soloist using the stage name Jean Mindo under ballet director Ivan Sertić. When Pina Bausch took over as head of the Wuppertal ballet in 1973 most of the dancers left along with Sertić. Minařík remained and soon became one of Pina Bausch’s most important colleagues and one of the most distinctive dancer/actors in the newly formed Tanztheater Wuppertal (‘Wuppertal dance theatre’).

‘Mother of the company’

Right from the start the roles he created left a strong impression, above all in The Rite of Spring and Bluebeard. No one could adopt such thoroughly unaffected yet dramatic expressions; few threw themselves with such elemental force into their roles. You felt fear and apprehension when he lay on his back as Bluebeard, dragging the panting Judith, pupated under layers and layers of old clothes, across the ground. Minařík showed how the horrifically obsessive count mutated disturbingly from perpetrator to victim in the end, a prisoner of his own obsessions. Minařík’s physical and emotional exhaustion at the close of the piece was never acted; it was always real.

Alongside his dramatic abilities, this impressive actor possessed an equally strong comic talent. Drag roles became a further speciality of Minařík’s. In Nelken (Carnations), in 1982/83, he posed for the Tanztheater Wuppertal’s ten-year anniversary photo in a flowing ball gown and a wonky wig as the ‘mother of the company’. By then he was just that, and also its trademark. Frequently his peculiar costumes created deliberate disruptions: as Cupid in a shiny miniskirt, as a lurching bank robber or a naked king, laconically remarking, ‘someone has robbed me.’

Dancer and photographer

Minařík never ironed out his strong Czech accent, instead cheerfully cultivating it and deploying it to subversive comedic effect. That took care of the laughs, but his stoic gravity also ensured that his off-kilter performances didn’t appear merely humorous. For more than a quarter of a century he was the one who took on the role of referee or silent observer in many of the pieces, an indispensable colleague of Pina Bausch’s, never satisfied with quick solutions. He had a keen eye for dramaturgical questions during the assembling of the pieces, and surprising costume ideas. Alongside his work as a dancer, he accompanied the ensemble during rehearsals and tours as a photographer. Since 1981 he has been married to another Tanztheater Wuppertal figure, Beatrice Libonati, with whom he has two children.

At 55, in 2000, Jan Minařík ended his career as dancer and actor for health reasons, leaving a gap in the Tanztheater Wuppertal it was hard to fill. He died on his farm in the Czech Republic on 26 June 2022.


Gallery



Premieres

season 1973/74

PieceFritz
Date5 January 1974
VenueOpernhaus Wuppertal
Wuppertal
Germany
Discover photos, videos and more in the archivesBrowse the archives
season 1973/74

PieceIphigenie auf Tauris
Date21 April 1974
VenueOpernhaus Wuppertal
Wuppertal
Germany
DanceBarbara Passow-Diekamp

Priestresses, Scythians

Barry Wilkinson

Clytemnestras, Guard, Scythians

Colleen Finneran-Meessmann

Oracle, Priestresses

Dominique Mercy

Orest

Ed Kortlandt

Pylades

Hans Pop

Agamemnon, Guard, Scythians

Hiltrud Blanck

Priestresses, Scythians

Jan Minařík

Clytemnestras, Thoas

Josephine Ann Endicott

Clytemnestra, Priestresses, Scythians

Lajos Horvath

Clytemnestras, Oracle

Malou Airaudo

Iphigenie

Margaret Huggenberger

Priestresses, Scythians

Marlis Alt

Priestresses

Matthias Schmidt

Clytemnestras, Guard, Scythians

Monika Wacker

Priestresses, Scythians

Stephanie Macoun

Priestresses

Sue Cooper

Priestresses, Scythians

Vivienne Newport

Priestresses, Scythians

Yolanda Meier

Electra, Priestresses, Scythians

SingerBozena Kinasz

Iphigenie

Elena Bajew

Diana

Hartmut Bauer

Thoas

Heikki Siukola

Orest

Klaus Kettenbach

A manservant

Luigi Lega

Pylades

ChoirJiri Kubica
Werner Wilke
StagehandPaul Aron
LightingHans-Joachim Deinert
Make-upHeinz Dildey
SoundHorst Kersten
SouffleuseGertrud Bürkle
Technical directionRolf Bachmann
Stage managerHerbert Görsch
Source of castEvening leaflet for “Iphigenie auf Tauris” by Pina Bausch in in Wuppertal, season 1973/74
Discover photos, videos and more in the archivesBrowse the archives
season 1974/75

season 1974/75

season 1974/75

PieceOrpheus und Eurydike
Date23 May 1975
VenueOpernhaus Wuppertal
Wuppertal
Germany
DanceBarbara Passow-Diekamp

Scene Dying, Scene Grief, Scene Peace, Scene Power

Barry Wilkinson

Scene Dying, Scene Grief, Scene Peace

Colleen Finneran-Meessmann

Scene Dying, Scene Grief, Scene Peace, Scene Power

Dominique Mercy

Orpheus

Heinz Samm

Scene Dying, Scene Peace, Scene Power

Hiltrud Blanck

Scene Dying, Scene Grief, Scene Peace, Scene Power

Jan Minařík

Scene Dying, Scene Grief, Scene Peace, Scene Power

Lajos Horvath

Scene Dying, Scene Grief, Scene Peace

Laszlo Fenyves

Scene Dying, Scene Grief, Scene Peace, Scene Power

Malou Airaudo

Eurydice

Margaret Huggenberger

Scene Dying, Scene Grief, Scene Peace, Scene Power

Marlis Alt

Amor, Scene Dying, Scene Grief, Scene Peace, Scene Power

Michael Diekamp

Scene Dying, Scene Grief, Scene Peace, Scene Power

Monika Sagon

Scene Peace

Monika Wacker

Scene Dying, Scene Grief, Scene Peace, Scene Power

Pedro José Mascarello Bisch

Scene Dying, Scene Grief, Scene Peace, Scene Power

Stephanie Macoun

Scene Dying, Scene Grief, Scene Peace, Scene Power

Sue Cooper

Scene Dying, Scene Grief, Scene Peace, Scene Power

Tjitske Broersma

Scene Dying, Scene Grief, Scene Peace, Scene Power

Vivienne Newport

Scene Dying, Scene Grief, Scene Peace, Scene Power

Yolanda Meier

Scene Dying, Scene Grief, Scene Peace, Scene Power

SingerBozena Kinasz

Eurydice

Kristina Eckert

Amor

Lois White

Orpheus

ChoirWerner Wilke
StagehandHelmut Kühne
LightingHans-Joachim Deinert
Make-upHeinz Dildey
SoundHorst Kersten
SouffleuseElse Hildesheim
Ballet masterHans-Dieter Klos
BallettkorrepetitionWerner Precht
Technical directionRolf Bachmann
Stage managerWalter Maiser
Source of castEvening leaflet for “Orpheus und Eurydike” by Pina Bausch in in Wuppertal, May 23, 1975
Booklet for “Orpheus und Eurydike” by Pina Bausch in in Wuppertal, May 23, 1975
Discover photos, videos and more in the archivesBrowse the archives
season 1975/76

season 1975/76

season 1975/76

season 1975/76

PieceThe Seven Deadly Sins
Date15 June 1976
VenueOpernhaus Wuppertal
Wuppertal
Germany
Costume assistantOrtrud Himmelreich
MusikassistenzLothar Knepper
DanceBarbara Passow-Diekamp

Deadly Sins, Don't Be Afraid

Barry Wilkinson

Deadly Sins, Don't Be Afraid

Colleen Finneran-Meessmann

Deadly Sins, Don't Be Afraid

Ed Kortlandt

Deadly Sins, Don't Be Afraid

Elisabeth Clarke

Deadly Sins, Don't Be Afraid

Esco Edmondson

Deadly Sins, Don't Be Afraid

Fernando Cortizo

Deadly Sins, Don't Be Afraid

Hans Pop

Deadly Sins, Don't Be Afraid

Heinz Samm

Deadly Sins, Don't Be Afraid

Hiltrud Blanck

Deadly Sins, Don't Be Afraid

Jan Minařík

Deadly Sins, Don't Be Afraid

Josephine Ann Endicott

Anna II, Don't Be Afraid

Lajos Horvath

Deadly Sins, Don't Be Afraid

Laszlo Fenyves

Deadly Sins, Don't Be Afraid

Margaret Huggenberger

Deadly Sins, Don't Be Afraid

Marlis Alt

Don't Be Afraid

Michael Diekamp

Deadly Sins, Don't Be Afraid

Monika Sagon

Deadly Sins, Don't Be Afraid

Monika Wacker

Deadly Sins, Don't Be Afraid

Pedro José Mascarello Bisch

Deadly Sins, Don't Be Afraid

Stephanie Macoun

Deadly Sins, Don't Be Afraid

Sue Cooper

Deadly Sins, Don't Be Afraid

Tjitske Broersma

Deadly Sins, Don't Be Afraid

Vivienne Newport

Deadly Sins, Don't Be Afraid

Yolanda Meier

Deadly Sins, Don't Be Afraid

ActorMechthild Großmann

Don't Be Afraid

SingerAnn Höling

Anna I, Don't Be Afraid

Erich Leukert

Don't Be Afraid

Karin Rasenack

Don't Be Afraid

Oskar Pürgstaller

The Family

Siegfried Schmidt

The Family

Willi Nett

The Family

Zsolt Ketszery

The Family

StagehandHelmut Kühne
LightingHans-Joachim Deinert
Make-upHeinz Dildey
SoundHorst Kersten
SouffleuseElse Hildesheim
BallettkorrepetitionWerner Precht
Technical directionRolf Bachmann
Workshop managementLeo Haase
Stage managerHerbert Görsch
Tour managementHans-Dieter Klos
PropsGünther Fränzel
Source of castEvening leaflet for “The Seven Deadly Sins” by Pina Bausch with Sinfonieorchester Wuppertal in in Wuppertal, June 15, 1976
Discover photos, videos and more in the archivesBrowse the archives
season 1976/77

season 1976/77

season 1977/78

season 1977/78

season 1977/78

season 1978/79

season 1978/79

season 1979/80

season 1979/80

season 1980/81

season 1981/82

season 1982/83

season 1983/84

season 1984/85

season 1985/86

season 1986/87

season 1989/90

season 1990/91

season 1992/93

season 1993/94

season 1994/95

season 1995/96

season 1996/97

season 1997/98

season 1997/98

season 1998/99

season 1999/2000



From the archives
Jan Minařík

Sorry, there is no media.


back to top