The 17th edition of the Letní Letná International Festival of Contemporary Circus and Theatre began on Tuesday 18 August.
“We cooperate with the Prague hygiene station and follow the recommendations of experts. Based on a government decision, we have reduced the capacity of the circus tent to 500 people, where it will also be obligatory to have the nose and mouth covered with a mask,” says Jiří Turek, director of the Letní Letná festival. Other measures are communicated by the organizers on the festival website.
The foreign ensemble – Galapiat Cirque from France – returns to Letní Letná after eight years. And straight with a world premiere. The domestic audience will be the first to see the novelty L’âne et la carrote, i.e. Donkey and Carrot. “Using a series of numbers, one man tells his story of a circus artist. Thanks to his faithful helper, he realizes that if you want to change the world, you must start by changing yourself,” describes the festival director Jiří Turek the upcoming performance the pre-premiere of which he saw in France before the outbreak of the pandemic.
The premiere of the documentary Skywalk over Prague will be a reminder of the unprecedented opening of the last year’s edition of the festival when the tightrope walker Tatiana-Mosio Bongonga walked over the Vltava River on a 350-meter long rope at a height of 35 metres. The documentary will be screened with the participation of the authors and will be open to the public free of charge.
The program of the Letní Letná festival will also include the best of the Czech contemporary circus. For example, the appreciated Losers Cirque Company will present a special edition of their first performance The Loser(s), from which all the ensemble’s other works were derived. Accompanied by the beatboxing of the musician EnDru, the spectators will embark on a contemporary circus trail full of acrobatic tricks, familiar and less known rhythms, and typical humor of the ensemble.
Cirk La Putyka promises a circus expedition for pure joy. The Kaleidoscope performance was prepared by the recognized ensemble during the coronavirus pandemic. The result is a “caleidoscope” in which crazy jumps on a giant teeterboard, group dance choreographies, aerial acrobatics, and flying on a trampoline follow one another like colorful fragments.
In addition, Losers Cirque Company and Cirk La Putyka are preparing a surprise for visitors – a joint improvisation called Be Together – Buďme spolu, which will be seen for the first and last time only at Letní Letná Light. A unique experience all the greater because it will be the first creative meeting of this Czech elite of the contemporary circus.
The program for children will be enriched by circus, creative and other workshops, games, field trips or the Letní Letňák day camp during which children will rehearse a theatre performance and play it directly in Letná Park.
At Letní Letná Light, visitors will find, among other things, an interactive exhibition of Catalan toys for children, a music scene full of bands and DJs, and the festival standard traditionally includes a food zone and bars.
Letní Letná Light will take place in Prague’s Letná Park from 18 August to 25 August. Tickets for the individual performances are already available on the festival website. You can also find more information about the event on Facebook or Instagram.
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French artist Tatiana Bongonga will be walking a tightrope 35 metres above the Vltava river. The rope will be 350 meters long.
The dizzying spectacle will take place on Wednesday, August 14 from 6 pm and is accompanied by a chamber orchestra, without any safety equipment.
The rope will go from the Faculty of Law, across the Vltava River to Letná Park.
Acrobats practicing tightrope walking, also called funambulism, maintain their balance by positioning their center of mass directly over their base of support, a rope or a wire.
Tatiana has been a performer since the age of 7 when she took her first tentative steps on a 10-meter high wire.