Sládek, Milan


Milan Sládek was born in Streženice, Slovakia, in 1938. In 1957, he graduated from the Secondary School of Applied Arts in Bratislava, specializing in woodcarving. Even as a student he was interested in acting and he became a member of the student theater at Comenius University in Bratislava, where he performed his first solo mime scenes in 1955. Later, he studied at the Academy for Performing Arts in Bratislava and at the avant-garde theater Studio D34 in Prague, where he also worked after graduation with director E. F. Burian.


In 1960, Sládek and Eduard Zlabek, a D34 solo dancer and choreographer, founded their own pantomime group, and Sládek performed as his alter ego Kefka for the very first time. The ensemble joined the Slovak National Theater in 1962. They performed at many international festivals and theaters. Only a few months after Sládek became the director of the Theater Studios in Bratislava in 1968, the Soviet Union invaded Czechoslovakia and the theater closed. Sládek moved parts of his company abroad—via Sweden to West Germany—because of the political repression. 


In 1974, Sládek opened Theater Kefka in Cologne, West Germany, the only mime theater in Western Europe at the time and a vibrant center for the international mime scene. From 1987 to 1992, Sládek taught pantomime at the prestigious Folkwang Hochschule in Essen. In 1992, he became the Director of the Theater Arena in Bratislava and remained in this position for the next decade before he returned to Germany. 


Milan Sládek has performed at many international festivals and has also worked as a choreographer, director and teacher. One of his recent projects—as director, choreographer and performer—was Dubčekova jar (Dubček’s Spring) at the State Opera in Banská Bystrica, which premiered in 2018 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Prague Spring.


Sládek, who lives in Cologne and owns a touring and guest pantomime theater, was awarded the German Order of Merit in 2000.



1994 Duo Zemganno (TV mini-series)
1968 Teatterituokio (Theater, Theater, TV series)
1967 Mister Scrooge 
1965-66/2020 Fräulein Schmetterling (Miss Butterfly)
1955 Sedmý continent (Seventh Continent, short)

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