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Letní Letná - 2017

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Contemporary circus is a widely accessible genre, which makes it an easy starting point. Yet, disregarding the criterion of quality may be equally harmful in this field as in any other. Looking back at the thirteen editions of Letní Letná, there is no single item that wouldn’t reach the quality bar. A unique phenomenon, indeed.
------- Jana Machalická, Lidové noviny -------

Since its founding in 2004, the festival Letní Letná presented 1,283 shows that were attended by the overall number of 279,000 spectators. Thanks to the festival, the Czech Republic has hosted prominent names of the international contemporary circus scene, among them NoFit State Circus, Circa, Cirque Ici, Cirque Trottola, Les Colporteurs, 7 Fingers, Cirkus Cirkör, Compagnie XY, Compagnie Rasposo, Cirque Baroque, Cahin Caha, Malabar, Atelier Lefeuvre & André, Cie Galapiat, Le Poivre Rose, Cirque Inextremiste, Le Boustrophedon and many more. The festival’s attractiveness is incessantly growing: the first edition offered 60 shows to 6,300 spectators, the last edition in 2016 then lured over 40,000 spectators to as many as 140 shows. Within its thirteen year existence, Letní Letná has grown into a stable pillar of the cultural calendar, not only in Prague but also on the national level, building up a unique profile of an event that systematically hosts the best of international contemporary circus and, at the same time, provides cultural and leisure activities to children and their families.

Letní Letná has become a solid platform presenting the work of Czech contemporary circus and theatre companies to the general public. The festival regularly features new works of such groups as Cirk La Putyka, Losers Cirque Company, Cirque Garuda and others. The charm of the event as a whole translates into massive and effective publicity for such specific projects. Besides, the festival is an important meeting point where Czech artists can approach foreign productions, serving as an enriching interface for the development of new circus as a discipline in the Czech Republic.

Furthermore, Letní Letná is a co-producer of European projects: in 2012 the festival was involved in and later successfully presented a premiere of LaCrimae (a piece bringing together the Swedish company CirkusCirkör, the French Cahin-Caha and the Czech company Cirk La Putyka). In 2014, Letní Letná became a co-producer of a project of the Belgian company Le Poivre Rose, one to feature Iva Bittová live on stage. Another coproduction followed in 2015 with Losers Cirque Company and their piece Walls & Handbags that was awarded the Theatre Journal Award in the category of Dance and Movement Theatre.

The festival also helps mediate contact between Czech artists and the international scene and therefore encourages the growth and development of the genre of contemporary circus in the Czech Republic.

Letní Letná attracts exceptional numbers of spectators every year (over 30,000 in the past few editions), yet its atmosphere remains relaxed, reminiscing the ancient world of traditional circuses, miles away from mass events and commercialism. Letní Letná has become a magical meeting point and a leisure time landmark for friends and families with kids.

LETNÍ LETNÁ 2016... about the 13th edition if the festival 
The thirteenth edition of the festival was held from August 18th to September 4th, 2016 in the area of the Letná Park and it offered the most diverse program ever with 140 shows overall. The 2016 edition also broke a record in audience attendance, hitting 40,000 spectators. The festival featured a number of headliners, among which the international project LIMBO with a show of the same title (held in a unique art nouveau circus tent called Magic Mirror, brought all the way from Belgium), the French company Compagnie Le Roux with a production called Elephant in the Room and the Australian company Circa with Beyond. The festival also presented the opening of a brand new project Beach Boy(s) created by director Jiří Havelka and Losers Cirque Company. A prominent figure of the international contemporary circus scene, the American director and acrobat Daniel Gulko chose the festival as a pre-opening venue for his new project Bottom dealing with human search for one’s own identity and the eternal dance through life.

For the first time this year, the festival expanded over to Archa Theatre where the international team of KREPSKO theatre company presented a Prague premiere of Edgar’s Echo, a piece inspired by the life and work of Lewis Carroll. The list of companies and artists who presented their work for adults at the festival includes Cie des Pieds PerchésRadim Vizváry,HolektivOndřej HolbaEliška BrtnickáCirkus TeTyBratři v trickuVOSTO5Žebřiňák and Squadra Sua. During the whole festival, shows for kids were on for as many as 5 times a day, among them productions by Divadlo Koňmo, the mime Václav Štraser with his world of rainbow bubbles, Jiřího Reidinger’s Bilbo compagnie, Buchty a loutky, Divadlo Tramtarie, Divadlo Víti Marčíka, Vojta Vrtek’s theatre, Amálka K. Třebická, Vanda Hybnerová and Lucií Kašiarovou, Studio Dell’arte and many more.

Selected tickets for the last show of LIMBO were donated by the festival to a unique project CIRKUS PACIENTO run by the association Zdravotní klaun – Hospital Clowning. Together we have managed to raise 79,500 CZK for the cause.

A very popular agenda of the festival, the summer arts school for kids from 6 to 15 was once again part of the end-of-holiday event. The so-called Letní Letňák, based on the principle of a city camp, introduces children to drama, juggling and the art of voice. The same as in preceding years, all places were reserved almost immediately to which we have reacted with an extra bonus of weekend festival school called Letňáček+. Following the 2015 success, this year’s edition once again offered parents the possibility of baby-sitting in the festival area so that they could quietly enjoy their circus experience.

Entrance to the festival area was free of charge, offering a pleasant chill out at the Bar Letní poloha in which films were screened during the day and concerts were held later at night.

The National Museum mated with the festival to present a collection concerning circus art. The exhibition Life in a Caravan exposed Czech circus and shows of celebrated as well as less known foreign circus companies in Prague. The exhibition was attended by over 1,600 people.


Letní Letná oživí Prahu

Letní Letná oživí Prahu.

3.8.2017 Read more