Cirkopolis festival will bring the intimate flat circus, brilliant acrobatics, and the legendary juggler Jay Gilligan

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The seventh edition of the international festival of contemporary circus Cirkopolis will present five international and two Czech-Slovak performances in Akropolis Palace, Ponec Theatre and Karlín Barracks on February 9-15, 2020.

The festival will open with a French group of acrobats and jugglers La Mob à Sisyphe, who, in their witty and absurd performance Huitiéme jour/ The Eighth Day, play with everything dangerous. The Belgian artist Alexander Vantournhout returns to the crime scene with his piece Red Haired Men inspired by the works of the Russian writer Daniil Charms. Several generations of contemporary jugglers have been influenced by the American juggling legend Jay Gilligan. He and Eric Longequel are members of the Cie Ea Eo company, performing the magical show How to Welcome Aliens?. The festival will bring the audiences to a private flat with a special site-specific performance Se Prendre by the Canadian couple Claudel Doucet & Cooper Lee Smith, who will let the audience peek into their everyday intimate life, performed as a coarse and touching story.

The festival has focused on the current trends in authorial contemporary circus production and presents a daring cotemporary circus dramaturgy to the Czech audiences, emphasizing the variety of circus techniques. “We have been trying to invite young and progressive authors as well as famous figures, who set current trends in contemporary circus. The festival will open with young blood and culminate with true legends. French young men La Mob á Sysiphe offer a very funny show full of surprises, the Dutch acrobat Monki will tell a poetic story of an ordinary boy on a double Chinese pole. We have been striving to make the Czech juggling scene happy every year, this time it is going to be Jay and Eric and their entertaining concept of the performance How to Welcome Aliens?, who employ actual science to find out how to explain extraterrestrial civilizations how great juggling is. And I am really looking forward to seeing Alexander Vantournhout’s Red Haired Men as his performances are pure beauty for me,” says Šárka Maršíková, the festival programmer.

The rooms of a minimalistic flat will host an intimate performance Se Prendre, created by the couple Claudel Doucet and Cooper Lee Smith. “We are going to provide the audiences with the opportunity to have a look into the life of a circus couple in their home. Se Prendre is an outstanding strong intimate experience for twenty viewers, which takes me back in time to the history of Czech flat theatres. I am very happy we have managed to bring the Canadian couple to the festival. Czech audiences have never had an opportunity to experience circus and the art of circus so close,” says Šárka Maršíková, and adds: “Some viewers may remember Claudel from Letní Letná with their premiere performance of Le Poivre Rose with Iva Bittová.”

The French group of acrobats, jugglers, and comedians La Mob à Sisyphe share the desire for virtuousness in circus techniques and absurd humor. In their performance Huitiéme jour/ The Eighth Day they like to play with everything particularly difficult and dangerous. Their debut is full of twists, comedic humor and brilliant acrobatics. After the successful coarse self-portrait ANECKXANDER, the Ponec Theatre will host the special Belgian dancer and acrobat Alexander Vantournhout, who claims to be a circograph, no exaggeration intended. His new performance Red Haired Man was inspired by the works of the Russian writer Daniil Charms and, in association with three other performers, he created a performance combining dance, acrobatics, circus and theatre. The Netherlands is the home country of another international guest Monki (Benjamin Kuitenbrouwer). In his solo project Static, he merges acrobatic skills on a double Chinese pole, and music and theatre. The result is a unique experience full of relaxed music with explosive circus techniques, with some traces of spoken word. The festival will close with two jugglers Eric Longequel and Jay Gilligan with the stage name of Cie Ea Eo, whose How to Welcome the Aliens? is a welcome ceremony for the day when aliens land on Earth for the first time.

Contemporary Slovak production is represented by performer Daniel Kvašňovský and his graduation performance NIVÓ, in which the means of expression is rope acrobatics and manipulation with ropes. Czech scene is represented by the motion site-specific performance Lavabo with the elements of contemporary circus, which was made by associated artists Lukas Blaha, Jana Stárková and Ondřej Menoušek. It is a physical and spiritual catharsis in the swimming pool of the Karlín Barracks. Both projects were made in the residential program in CIRQUEON, Lavabo was co-produced by CIRQUEON.