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The international festival of contemporary circus Cirkopolis took place on 8-12 February 2021 behind the huge glass of one of the vaults at the riverbank in Prague and was streamed live from the Akropolis Palace. The vault No. 10 (A)void Floating Gallery transformed into a stage and offered the audiences a site-specific performance of acrobat Eliška Brtnická, actor and clown Lukáš Karásek, performer and dancer Cécile Da Costa, and juggler Filip Zahradnický in four evenings. The non-traditional

#cirkuszasklem took place at a safe distance with all the pandemic measures. The festival started with the online premiere of juggler Filip Zahradnický based in Akropolis Palace. The winter edition performances were free of charge; however, you could support the festival by purchasing a donor ticket. The summer edition of the festival will take place in Kasárna Karlín with participating international companies.

Filip Zahradnický - Collection of Sceptical Pleasures, photo: David Konečný

On February 8, the festival started with a live stream of a premiere performed by Filip Zahradnický, who is the first Czech to receive two awards at the prestigious showcase Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain in Paris. In his solo performance Collection of Sceptical Pleasures, he employs juggling and motion as the main means of expression. The central topic to the performance is the lust for “ownership”, to develop one’s wealth and never stop searching for what the wealth actually is. It represents a sceptic perspective of the world that instigates people to do things they would never ever try.

The audiences could see that the vaults at the riverbank in Prague could turn into a stage on 9-12 February. The performances behind huge glasses took place with careful observance of all government measures. “Our task was to offer live art in these extremely difficult times and challenge the performance to try a different way of working. The performers became a live artistic installation the audiences watched through a huge glass from the outdoor part of the riverbank,” said Šárka Maršíková, the artistic director of Cirkopolis and CIRQUEON.

Eliška Brtnická - Fish Eye, photo: David Konečný

The vault No. 10 where (A)void Gallery is based offered short performances combining art installation, happening and circus in 4 days. The first evening belonged to the site-specific performance Fish Eye by Eliška Brtnická, which is inspired by her previous performance Opticon. Accompanied by the audiovisual installation, she performed three motion improvisations about a fish lost in the depth of two dimensions.

What happens when the furniture comes to life in the Living Room in the Vault was demonstrated by performer and clown Lukáš Karásek. Fragments from the new performance Collection of Skeptical Pleasures by juggler Filip Zahradnický were shown on Thursday.

Lukáš Karásek - Living Room in the Vault, photo: David Konečný

Cirkopolis summer

The summer edition of the festival will feature international companies at the inner yard of Kasárna Karlín on 7-11 June. “Cirkopolis is an international festival and we aim to present international guests and offer a different point of view of circus works. Summer weather offers the possibility to enrich the programme with outdoor and site-specific performances and we want to follow this line. The Kasárna Karlín space is absolutely unique and offers interesting options,” said Šárka Maršíková.