Culture Shorts

Slovak castles live

Dracula returns to Orava.
photo: Ján Svrček

Slovak castles have learned not to rely on attractive premises and exhibitions in historical interiors to lure tourists. Instead, they prepare festivals and reenact historical events.

Some such events will take place during the final weekend of August.

One of the most popular castles in Slovakia, Červený Kameň Castle, near the village of Častá, will host the Knights' Games on August 26 and 27. Visitors can see performances by the Bojník fencing group and the Astur falconers, all done in historical costumes, three times a day. Organisers have also prepared various competitions for children, as well as adults, to win the title of Knight of Červený Kameň Castle.

Devín Castle has prepared another year of the Festival of Historical Fencing, starting on August 26. The two-day

Knights battle at Červený Kameň.
photo: TASR

festival will focus on the history of Central Europe from the Middle Ages up to the Habsburgs Era. The rich programme offers performances by historical fencing groups, period music and a fire show. Visitors will have a chance to see what an inquisition looked like, shoot from crossbows or buy traditional handicrafts. Falconers will demonstrate an old style of hunting.

On the night of August 25, the Prince of Darkness, Dracula, will return to Oravský Castle in the Orava region, where the first black-and-white version of this hair-raising story was filmed in 1922.

Summer of Culture and the Castle Plays

Since the end of July, almost 23,000 people have visited 82 events organised within the Summer of Culture and the Castle Plays in Bratislava. Jazz Under the Tower and the Fairy Tale Old City Hall are the most visited series, Eva Chudinová, the spokeswoman of the Bratislava city office, told the SITA news wire. Compared with last year, interest in musical cruises on the Danube has increased as well. The Summer of Culture and Castle Plays continue in Bratislava until September 20.

A new series, called Theatre Week, will start later in August. Between August 22 and 28, the courtyards of the Old City Hall and Bratislava Castle will host the Piano Revues, Povieme to Pesničkou (We will say it with a song) and Desatoro (Decalogue), both of which will be performed by the Radošínske naivné divadlo. Ludus Theatre will perform the children's show Hugo, Frigo, Bublina.

Collegium Technicum wins in Russia

Košice-based choir Collegium Technicum won the fourth international choir competition held in St Petersburg, Russia between August 4 and 9. Choir director Michal Kostelný told the TASR news wire that a total of 16 choirs attended the competition, which was part of the international Singing World Festival.

"The international jury gave the choir high ratings for its dramaturgical interpretation, which received an excellent reception from numerous concertgoers, as well as during the contest," Kostelný said.

Collegium Techicum performed five concerts in total. St Petersburg Radio broadcast the opening concert from the Peter and Paul Fortress live.

Laubert exhibits in Ljubljana

Works by Slovak visual artist Otis Laubert are part of the exhibition Get Together that's taking place in the Škuc Gallery in the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana until August 27. The international project further presents works by Czech artist Jiří Kovanda and members of the Danish-South Korean group Janfamily (Nina Jan Beier, Marie Jan Lund and Chosil Jan Kil), the Pravda daily wrote.

Kovanda and Laubert have been exploring phenomenology since the 1970s. While Kovanda explores the path of our everyday movements and mindset, Laubert is changing our perception of the objects and materials around us. All this is implied in the work of the open and collaborative group Janfamily, who are adding new values to reality by transforming casual gestures and actions.

Russian State Ballet heads to Slovakia

The Russian State Ballet is set to arrive in Slovakia for the first time in its history. In December, before they start a world tour, 40 dancers will stop in Bratislava and Košice to perform Swan Lake by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

This new production of the story about the love between Prince Siegfried and the beautiful princess Odette, who takes human form at night is turned into a swan each morning by the evil sorcerer Von Rothbart, was restaged by Sergej Bobrov in October 2002. According to the TASR news wire, he enriched the original choreography of Marius Pepita, Lev Ivanov and Alexander Gorsky with modern elements.

After the performance in the Expo Arena in Bratislava on December 12, the ensemble will perform it again in the Steel Aréna in Košice on December 13.

- Jana Liptáková

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