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Festival of Contemporary Circus - Cirkul’art 2011

Nouveau cirque, or contemporary circus, belongs to the newest genres of the performing arts. It was born in 1970s in France out of independent theatre’s need to search for new forms by reviving and using long forgotten rituals, dramatic traditions, circus and street theatre skills.

WHS: Odotustila

Nouveau cirque, or contemporary circus, belongs to the newest genres of the performing arts. It was born in 1970s in France out of independent theatre’s need to search for new forms by reviving and using long forgotten rituals, dramatic traditions, circus and street theatre skills.

Contemporary circus is characterised by narrative form of storytelling; it expresses metaphors, themes, theatrical images and stories by using traditional circus skills. The presentation of its artists’ virtuosity, dangerousness and equilibristics of particular circus skills is secondary. Nouveau cirque is a modern phenomenon reflecting on contemporary forms of expression. Emotions, absurdity, poetics, yearnings, dreams, humour, self-irony, provocation and dreamy romance of fairy tales are all dotted around the spectrum of aesthetic values of contemporary circus.

Vision of the project is to establish first international festival of contemporary circus in Slovakia. By joining world metropolises like Paris, Tokyo, Amsterdam, Milan, Prague or Monte Carlo, Bratislava will keep up with current trends and theatrical tendencies. Festival of contemporary circus will be realised in French baroque garden in the centre of Slovakia’s capital city. Our ambition is to become an opening event of Bratislava Cultural Summer. Cirkul’art is a showcase of top acts and productions within the genre of contemporary circus. Our mid-term aim is to search and scout talents and encourage local artists to explore the possibilities of creating new theatrical productions by using contemporary circus methods. Our long-term aim is to research and map contemporary circus, network and create database of circus artists in Slovak republic. Festival Cirkul’art will repair and refurbish benches and street lights in Medical Garden due to their dilapidated technical state.

Aims and objectives of Festival of Contemporary Circus – Cirkul’art Slovakia

• our ambition is to be an opening event of Bratislava Cultural Summer
• repair and revive Medical Garden, restore its original cultural functionality
• establish new tradition of a festival of contemporary art
• initiate establishment of a school and workshops of contemporary circus
• monitor the artistic scene home and abroad
• search for new, unconventional and inspiring art forms
• co-operate with renowned personalities and artists
• scout new talents and works of art; commission new work
• create international partnerships

Prepare workshops, discussions, seminars and conferences that would help to establish and develop contemporary circus in Slovakia.

Mid-term aim of the project is to scout local artists and encourage their activity that would lead to creation of contemporary circus productions. We want to support development of contemporary circus in Slovakia. The fruits of this process should be first, original productions of contemporary circus in Slovakia. We want to provide information, nourishment, care and support to the newly established groups and performers of new circus. We support the idea of creating an international jury that would award festival’s international prize.

Long-term aim of the project is research, mapping, networking and creating database of contemporary circus artists and performers in Slovakia. We want to help Slovak artists to make their breakthrough abroad. We want to actively participate in the role of a cultural operator. We want to educate professionals in the area of contemporary circus technique.

Place and ideal location for project’s realisation:
Festival of Contemporary Circus – Cirkul’art takes place in the garden in downtown Bratislava. French baroque garden, that is generally known as Medical Garden, was built by count Jan Gobert of Aspermont in the times of Queen Maria Theresa. Later, the garden was bought by an art loving count Esterházy, who would fill the garden space with various artistic activities. Today, garden is part of Bratislava’s city centre and borough of Old Town. Medical Garden is Bratislava’s most beloved public park. Maintained green yards, flower beds and old trees create perfect environment for relax and cultural activity. The biggest problem of the garden is the dilapidated state of its accessories – bins, benches, street lights, etc. We aim to address this issue and help to solve it. Unfortunately, the last two local governments haven’t made an effort to restore Medical Garden, an important part of the city’s cultural heritage to its former glory. Festival of Contemporary Circus will repair and refurbish the street lights and benches, so they can be used by the public today and in the future.


Programme of Cirkul´art 2011:

May 19, 2011
7 p.m.
WHS: Odotustilla (Finland)
Company WHS is the child of juggler Ville Walo, magician Kalle Hakkarainen and art designer Anne Jämsä. This trio is behind the significant momentum of contemporary circus phenomenon in Finland. Their productions present modern and even avant-garde approaches. Impatience and waiting in “Odotustilla” (Waiting Room) are gradually evolving into movements. Unusual art experiences of a wide variety of exclusive juggling techniques highlights beautiful accidents and amazing dreams. Reality meets fantasy and the borders are blurry. Are they real or is it only projection?

May 20, 2011
7.30 p.m.
Bolek Polívka: Pro dámu na balkóne
Legend of Czechoslovak contemporary circus and top-class clown from our western neighbor is coming to support the pilot edition of Cirkul´art. The newest situation comedy from Bolek´s production “Pro dámu na balkóně” (For Lady on Balcony) is filled with remarkable situations, gags, comic dialogues, and bizarre props. Background of the story is however reveals a work of art that is full of nostalgia, romance, hidden and unfulfilled desires. You will enjoy the interactive lifeline story of a clown; starting with his birth all the way through his quiet and unusual demise. For Lady on Balcony presents typical Bolek-like humor and his pure, honest acting is impeccably blurs borders between the auditorium and stage.


May 21, 2011
1 p.m.
Divadlo Yllana: Zoo
Theatre Yllana´s show Zoo is using a comedic approach to an age-old conflict between humans and animals, and humans and nature. Quartet of explorers is entering a dangerous jungle trying to catch an uncommon creature and a crazy adventure may begin. Jungle forest is tricky and our adventure is suddenly endangered by various animal inhabitants. Will they succeed? Let´s see.
Spanish ensemble Yllana is entertaining people all around the world for twenty years with their characterful charms, pantomime, and physical humor. The show Zoo was awarded with Max Awards 2010 for Best child´s performance and Audience Award at International Theatre Festival in Ribadavia, Spain.

5 p.m.
Witty Look: Unicycle circus Theatre
Duo of Japanese balance talent, rising stars of festivals of street theater and contemporary circus attracted the attention of audiences in across different continents. Daiki is a world champion in "unicycling" and smiling Cheeky shines in mime, modern clowning and acrobatics. Witty Look won the 2009 Grand Prix at the prestigious Japan Fukuyama-Bara Festival and first prize at the Festival Artisti di Strada in the Swiss Ascona. This production presents a mixture of acrobatics, clowning, and particularly breathtaking unicycle ride; which has shot this duo to wider database of famous Cirque du Soleil. Come to Cirkul´art and checkout this unique 5-level bike with an attractive performance. Witty Look combines exact pinpoint acrobatic with elements of irony and parody.

8.30 p.m.
Paki Paya: Shake, shake, shake
Paki Paya was founded in 2008 as initiative of two Spanish circus artists and aerial acrobats, Noemí Díaz and Adria Mascarella. The burlesque performance, Shake, shake, shake is overflowing with inventiveness, emotions, surprises, and dangerous stunts that will pump adrenaline into your veins. The incredible acrobatic stunts in 5 meters height Paki Paya will take your breath away. Of course Noemí and Adria will mix in irony and humour to create tasteful cocktail. Ladies and gentleman hold onto your hats. We are going to shake your emotions.


May 22, 2011
2 p.m.
Theatre GLIMT: Sysiphus Ascending
Theatre Glimt is the cutting edge of poetic contemporary circus in Nordic countries. Their recent performance “Sysiphus Ascending” is an extraordinarily witty interpretation of classical Greek myth about Sysiphus. Lars Gregersen, principal of Theatre Glimt, has transferred a well-known story into present time and adorned it with various challenging motion techniques such as ropewalking for example. Today’s Sysiphus wears a black suit and his curse is not the rolling stone, but bureaucracy instead – shelf full of files, towers of office papers and strange noises coming from the desk. Come experience a story about one’s efforts to be free from the burdens of everyday life. Will Sisyphus escape his punishment? Will he find desired freedom? You definitely shouldn´t miss this top performance by the Danish contemporary circus.

6 p.m.
Theatre T.E.J.P.: On Air
Teatro Ekvilibristiko Jokulatoro Presto - Divadlo T.E.J.P. is creating a specific project oriented on contemporary circus features, clowning, and gags. The theatre presents motion art inspired by a puppet show, circus, and visual object animations. On Air is a balanced combination of clowning with masks, ground acrobatics, trapeze spiced with pinch of irony, and circus-like gymnastics. This Hollywood story from Czech Highlands presents humour and exaggeration of today´s media-driven world where privacy became just another commercial article. It also explains that tabloids are not affecting only lives of celebrities, journalists, and paparazzo but common people as well.

8.30 p.m.
Circoncentrique: Voisins-Respire
Alessandro and Maxine are performing together since their joint studies at Ecole Superieure des Arts du Cirque, Brussels (University of circus arts in Brussels). Their shows are characterized by experimental approaches regarding the use of circus techniques, acrobatics, juggling, and motion theatre adding peculiar humour. In Voisins aka Respire you may experience modern features of ring acrobatics called La Rue du Cyr or Cyr wheel. Terrific play of light and body – that is Voisins-Respire.


For more information about the festival of comtemporary circus visit: Cirkul’art

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