The annual festival of new circus and theater Letní Letná will take place in a light version in its traditional location in Prague’s Letná Park.
Part of the festival had to be postponed to next year, but in response to the current easing of restrictions, the organizers decided to provide audiences with a selection of events from August 18 to 25.
The 17th year of the festival will feature visiting Spanish and French ensembles, a collaboration of two leading domestic ensembles, the premiere of the documentary Ropewalker Over Prague (Provazochodkyně nad Prahou), plus an accompanying program. Advance ticket sales have started on the festival’s website.
“It couldn’t be different. Summer without Letní Letná is not the right summer for us, so we did not hesitate. Immediately after the restrictions were released, we started planning the 17th year of the festival in a light version. We will bring the best program that the current situation allows us to do, and we will be happy if people come to enjoy the festival and support it,” Letní Letná director Jiří Turek.
The opening will be provided by the Spanish ensemble Voalá. The production Voalá Station uses aerial acrobatics and music to create images and an emotional story.
France’s Galapiat Cirque returns to Letní Letná after eight years with a world premiere. The domestic audience will be the first to see L’âne et la carrote, or Donkey and Carrot. “One man tells the story of a circus artist. Thanks to his faithful helper, he realizes that if one wants to change the world, one must start with oneself,” Turek said. He saw a preview in France before the outbreak of the pandemic.
The premiere of the documentary Ropewalker Over Prague will be a reminder of last year, when rope-walking artist Tatiana-Mosio Bongonga passed at a height of 35 meters on a 350-meter-long rope above the Vltava River. The documentary will be screened free of charge with the participation of the creators.
The festival will also include the best of Czech new circus. The award-winning Losers Cirque Company will present a special edition of their first performance, Loser(s). Accompanied by the beatbox of the musician EnDru, the audience will embark on a new circus journey full of acrobatic tricks, well-known and lesser-known rhythms, and the ensemble’s typical humor.
Cirk La Putyka presents Kaleidoscope, a production compiled during a coronavirus pandemic. The result is a colorful show full of crazy jumps on a giant teeterboard, group dance choreography, hanging acrobatics and flights on a trampoline.
Losers Cirque Company and Cirk La Putyka will also do a joint improvisation, which will be seen for the first and last time only at the Letní Letná Light. It will be the first creative meeting of these Czech leaders of the new circus.
There are two free performances. Bratři v tricku presents Cross-country Skiing Odyssey (Běžkařská odyssea). Two skiers lose the map for the competitive season, but plow on anyway following their own obscure course. This show has no language barrier. Stand’artní kabaret by VOSTO5 is a theatrical-musical improvisation evening, though with lots of Czech language.
The program includes accompanying events. Even in the light version, Letní Letná remembers children. This year, they will have two stages instead of one, offering several performances a day. The children’s program will have circus and art workshops, games, trips, and the suburban camp Letní Letňák, during which children will rehearse and perform a theatrical production.
The festival tradition of juggling days will be followed by an open-air juggling show.
There is also an interactive exhibition of Catalan toys for children, a music stage full of bands and DJs, and a food zone and bars.