Contemporary circus festival Fun Fatale to present female acrobats on ropes, in a swimming pool and on a silver screen

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Dance with a diabolo, handstands on a bike, fusion of contemporary circus and new media or a once-in-a-lifetime site-specific performance of aerial acrobatics in a former swimming pool – all can be seen at the eighth edition of the international contemporary circus festival Fun Fatale. Leading female acrobats from Finland, Switzerland or the United States of America will perform in chamber performances of female performers only on March 13-31. Feature and short solo projects will be accompanied by a lecture on dramaturgy in contemporary circus, workshops in aerial and ground acrobatics, or performances for children. Apart from Klub Mlejn in Prague, audiences will be able to see the productions in DIOD in Jihlava.

The festival will open with a tailor-made site-specific performance for the swimming pool in the Karlín barracks. The acrobat and festival programmer Eliška Brtnická as well as Stéphanie N'Duhirahe and Morgane Widmer from Switzerland and Gemma Palomar from Spain will perform on trapezes, Chinese pole and ropes. “The opening performance has become a nice tradition as we choose new space every year and we also try to focus on a different circus discipline. Last year saw aerial acrobatics on a staircase, the previous one was devoted to ground acrobatics on Čestmír Suška’s sculptures, or a performance among plants in a botanical garden. This year’s specialization is acrobatics on extremely short trapezes or Chinese pole, which is not very common in the Czech Republic. Delight in overcoming challenges the spaces primarily designed for other purposes brings is shared by all performers; it offers exceptional experiences for the audiences they will not see in a theatre,” Eliška Brtnická comments on alluring the audiences.

Natalie Reckert’s performance Natalie Inside Out will be an outstanding production, examining the relation between the real and the mediated body with the help of new media. “In her artistic research, Natalie decided to employ interactive technologies she used to transform motion to the landscape projected on the screen through the fusion of live acrobatic performance, extremely detailed slow-motion and spoken word. This gave birth to the performance of a unique format of theatre combined with a lecture on human body mechanics the author presents in an entertaining and poetic way,” says Brtnická.

The American contortionist Julie Bergez, who performed with the famous Cirque de Soleil company, will present herself at the festival for the first time. She prepared a short solo performance and a dance acrobatics and contortion workshop, which will provide the audiences with the opportunity to experience this kind of motion. Fun Fatale will also offer a workshop on Chinese pole acrobatics supervised by Gemma Palomar.

The surprising eight-minute long choreography LINE for two strings, two poles and a diabolo, performed by Solveig Weyeneth, will introduce a lecture given by the acknowledged Czech contemporary circus theoretician Veronika Štefanová. She will focus on a frequently discussed topic of a dramaturgic and directing approach to contemporary circus in the Czech Republic. The traditional Cabaret consisting of acrobats’ short performances will not be missing as well as the concert of Šarivary band with a live circus jam session.

Children will be invited to a non-traditional space of a gymnasium. “The performance Sokol by Finnish acrobat Ilona Jäntti, who is an avowed Sokol fan, is unique in developing motion imagination within the space children know very well, they can easily identify with it and can acquire new motivation for physical activities. The performer uses the space of the gymnasium in an innovative way: aerial acrobatics. The project was immensely successful in Finland,” says Brtnická.

Apart from Klub Mlejn in Prague, where the festival takes place on March 13-17, the fans of contemporary circus and physical theatre can look forward to acrobatics on ropes, trapezes and ground acrobatics in DIOD in Jihlava. Fun Fatale will bring the poetic performance Kalabazi, in which Jessica Arpin and participating audiences merges clownery and artistic bike ride. The audiences will see the popular cabaret with juggling, dance or aerial acrobatics on trapezes, nets and hair. The audiences in Jihlava will be also able to see a circus site-specific performance on the staircase of the College of Polytechnics, which is inspired by the opening of the previous edition at the staircase of the Faculty of Arts, Charles University.

Fun Fatale 2019 is organized by the public benefit corporation KD Mlejn in association with the Cirkus Mlejn society and DIOD Theatre Jihlava, with the support of Praha 13, Prague City Authority and Ministry of Culture Czech Republic.

The detailed programme of the festival and information about tickets and workshops are at or at the Facebook page Fun Fatale.