On Thursday, August 17, the 14th Letní Letná International Summer Circus Festival kicks off in Prague and runs through Sunday, September 3. Over the course of three weeks, top foreign ensembles and stars of the domestic scene will transform Letenské sady into a circus village with a diverse line-up for all ages.
Many of the open-air acts are free; there are a number of activities for families (and a babysitting service!). In total there are 200+ performances scheduled to take place. Here are some tips for top acts to catch:
Bearded Lumberjacks from Canada
Daring, playful, sexy and… bearded. Canadian company Cirque Alfonse premieres a brand new production, Barbu, a revolutionary piece brimming with original acrobatics, audacious performance, vigorous music, and flawless beard cuts.
Belgian Magic Mirror Tent
A number of acts will take place in a unique Art Nouveau wooden tent with mirrors, a mirror tent or Spiegeltent, imported from Belgium. Originating from around 1900, they have become synonymous with the boisterous fin-de-siècle night life.
Amazing Rwandan Tumblers
This unique joint performance of Circus La Putyk and the Rwandan Future Vision Acrobat was created by ringmaster Rostislav Novák Jr. and Rwandese artists. The whole project is being captured in a documentary film to be released in cinemas in 2018. A sneak peek will be screened at Letní Letná 2017, as a part of its documentaries series.
The Cink Cink Cirk crew gathers again with their street show Dukto, a performance that is inspired by modern art movements such as Bauhaus, neo-pop and others and includes a dazzling hair-hanging act!
A Catalan Circus Feast
The Catalan ensemble Escarlata Circus, with its unique show full of flavor, ingredients, dexterity, and laughter, will present Devoris Causa, neither a cookery show nor a circus performance; it is a dinner party filled with intrigue, tasting, movement.
Fantastical French Fairytales
Princesses get entangled in their pompous dresses, wolves are followed and the sweaty Prince Charming is ready to drop of exhaustion in the woods. Backed by eclectic music, seven exquisite acrobats revel in one circus discipline after another, relentlessly challenging the limits of the human body and the laws of physics.
A Night Just for Jugglers
For the first time in the history of the festival, Letní Letná presents an evening event devoted to juggling and juggling only. Selected performers will present their juggling numbers which will leave you in no doubt that juggling is an art form in its own right rather than just a clowning cliché.
A Kaleidoscope of Circus Acts
Under the guidance of renowned director Firenza Guidi from world-famous Welsh ensemble Nofit State Circus, Bestiario/Bestiary is an evening open-air showcase of aerial acrobatics, fire shows, and gymnastics, connecting all of the best of the individual troupe performances into one colorful mosaic of artists.
Retro-Cool Aerobics Spoof
LEGOrytmus draws inspiration from the Olympics, Spartakiade, and aerobics as an offbeat group of sportsmen try to reach their sports goals by unexpected means and a lot of absurdity and humor.
Loads of Homegrown Talent
This year’s festival will see the premiere of Hello, Poly! a meditation on the environment by Czech troupe Hand to Violin which combines acrobatics, violin, contemporary dance and song as well as the premiere of Kolaps by the Losers Cirque Company, and many others.
To see the full program see here.