Prague’s annual festival of summer circus, Letní Letná, is one of the Czech capital’s most highly anticipated events. This year the festival, nearly three weeks of pageantry and performance, kicks off on the evening of August 14th (6 pm) with a dazzling highwire act: world-renowned tightrope walker Tatiana-Mosio Bongonga will cross a 350-meter tightrope 35 meters above the Vltava River.
Ms. Bongonga is part of the French ensemble Cie Basinga. She first wowed Czech audiences six years ago when she scaled the big top for the festival’s 10th anniversary.
This time, Bongonga’s “walk in the clouds” will stretch from the Faculty of Law, across the Vltava River to Letná Park, accompanied by live music.
The evening continues with several open-air shows at Letná. An acrobatic-dance show inspired by Shamanism and Shamanic mystique, a new street performance by a pair of young performers, Zuzana Drábová from Cink Cink Cirk and Jan Jirák from Feel The Universe Circus Company, and an informal performance by the Argentine-Spanish band La Orquesta at the festival bar are the evening’s highlights.
Cirque Alfons will return to Letní Letná with their bold novelty act, Tabarnak. The three acrobats from the Théâtre d’Un Jour captivated audiences in 2011 with their acrobatic performances, graceful pirouettes, and seemingly endless human pyramids. Soprano Julia Calbete accompanies the performance to lend it a whole new dimension.
Visitors can also look forward to an explosive and playful yet risky performance by artists from the leading French New Circus ensembles in their unique PDF Project, which Letní Letná audiences will be one of the first to experience outside of France. Cirque Aïtal aka Viktor Cathala and Kati Pikkarainen will present their latest performance, Saison du Cirque (Circus Season) where traditional circus meets the present. A unique spectacle that connects many styles and talents from around the world.
The premiere of the new production Heroes will be presented by the popular Losers Cirque Company this year. Cirk La Putyka will arrive at Letná this year with Isole, inviting visitors to a place full of joy and playfulness and diverse music in a variety of forms.
Holektiv will present a contemporary story of the first Czech pilot named Božena and VOSTO5 will pay tribute to Hanč and Vrbata in the puppet performance of Tears of the Beaten Men. Other interesting performances include Collective Momentum, Feel the Universe, Lukas Blaha and Eva Stará, Squadra Sua, and others. The Cirksession and Juggling Galashow evenings are also planned for this year.
The unique atmosphere, original stories, and excellent acting and artistic performances on display at Letní Letná attract thousands of spectators every year. This year, organizers are also planning several “street” performances worth seeing.
The 16th International Summer Festival, showcasing the best of the world and Czech new-circus scenes, takes place between August 14 and September 1, in less than three weeks. More information and pre-sale of tickets can be found at www.letniletna.cz.