Baroque versus the present. The 19th edition of Theatrum Kuks festival

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Fight and victory – the topics of this year’s edition of the multi-genre festival of Baroque and Baroque-inspired art THEATRUM KUKS. On 19-23 August, you can experience theatre performances, concerts, dance performances, land-art installation, a guided tour of the new puppet gallery, literary and dance workshops, and Braun’s life-size statues. Children will enjoy themselves too! The programme is not limited to Kuks only. We will bring art to Žireč, Velká Bukovina and Vlčkovice.

Like the previous events, this year’s edition will try to continue in the tradition of Kuks as a cosmopolitan art center. The idea is not a mere reconstruction of usual Baroque forms, but the search for what Baroque can offer to us now. As always, the festival will open with a premiere by the Geisslers Hofcomoedianten. They will bring the “rubbish and decadent eco comedy” LK3P 2: The Green Bird, inspired by Carlo Gozzi’s famous text, as well as the concert of Aftas y levadura, combining Baroque music, jazz, and Latin American influences.

Five days in Kuks will see the mixture of genres for everybody. Classical Baroque music lovers can go to concerts of Capella Ornamentata, Academy of Ancient Music Brno, Pro Arte Bohemica and Delizie Musicali, theatre fans can see other productions by Geisslers Hofcomoedieanten, as well as treats like the “gamekeeper’s romance” The Hunt with acrobatics performed by Bratři v tricku & Holektiv, or a 60s silent memory The Spa by Vi.tvor. You can also see permanent guests Ensemble Damian with the opera La Psiche, the famous Baroque dancer Andrea Miltnerová, who will perform her Danse Macabre in Count Špork tomb, discussions with professionals in Baroque topics, or the famous literary historian Martin C. Putna, who will show that singing about the Death can be merry!

“Like in Baroque times, we encounter a lot of contradictions and opinion clashes today, yet there is still place for their mutual unbiased confrontation. One of these platforms should be our festival, where contemporary art meets the Baroque. This year will be full of contrasts and fights. The Academy of Ancient Music from Brno will confront Jesuit Order’s music and Brothers’ of Charity music in churches in Žireč a Kuks that historically belonged to these orders. Acknowledged dancer Andrea Miltnerová will confront contemporary and Baroque dances in the Špork tomb. Vojtěch Žák Leischner will confront modern technologies with Matthias Bernard Braun’s statues. Last but not least, viewers will have a chance to see the unique theatre space of Comoedien Haus after three years of confrontations with the administration,” promises Petr Hašek, festival’s artistic director.

There will be two art workshops during the festival: the literary one with René Nekuda and the dance one with Andrea Miltnerová. The outcomes will be performed at the festival. The residencies project will take place for the third time – the residents are Aftas y levadura mentioned above, and Vojtěch Žák Leischner, who decided to revive Matthias Braun’s statues by animation in virtual reality. Another attraction of this year’s edition is the new Jiří Nachlinger Puppet Gallery in Comoedien Haus at Kuks, where many performances will take place. It continues in the tradition of puppetry in Kuks and Eastern Bohemia in general, and you can see the exhibition Braun’s Statue as Puppets.

„THEATRUM KUKS strives for bringing live art back to Kuks valley and follows the idea of the founder – Count F. A. Špork. His activities spread beyond Kuks and left traces in the neighborhood. He commissioned Matthias B. Braun with carving the Nativity Scene in stone in Nový les nearby. Bokouš valley, where Špork hunted birds, saw the statue of the devilish Fitzli-Putzli, and full-grown beeches were decorated with reliefs and verses. This will be the route of the Thursday trip from Kuks to Velká Bukovina, reminding us of the Jewish cultural history in this area,” says Kateřina Bohadlová, festival director.