Photo: Pavel Kolský

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Circus and street arts companies currently working in the country

Defining and counting artists or artistic groups from either area is very challenging. On its website Cirqueon presents a list of groups and projects in the contemporary circus field, but we need to point out that the artists themselves often do not create work falling strictly into one category, which of course is their right. Artists simply create and do not try to ft their work into a category. We often speak about multidisciplinary and cross-genre work.

There is no truly valid research or statistical analysis of contemporary circus or street artists in the Czech Republic – whether looking at the number of artistic groups or projects. In addition, most artists are part of multiple projects run by different organisations. Contemporary circus and street arts represent smaller artistic genres, or independent scenes, within which there is no special or specific education system. It is hard to reflect on or grasp this field in dates and numbers. After all, we can spend a long time discussing who should even be defined as a Czech contemporary circus or street arts professional and who should not.

Examples

Cirk La Putyka

Cirk La Putyka is the biggest and at present the most popular Czech company devoted to contemporary circus. It tries to erase the boundaries between acrobatics, contemporary dance, puppet theatre, music and sport. It creates its own specific poetics and its own take on the genre.

Loser(s) Cirque Company

Loser(s) Cirque Company is a new Czech acrobatic company with two successful contemporary circus projects – The Loser(s) (2014) and Wall(s) & Handbags (2015). A core team of acrobats invite artists from other disciplines – whether directors, dramaturgs or choreographers – to collaborate with them on each project, bringing unique poetics to the Czech stage. At present the company are also preparing a European tour, and in the future hope to succeed in the European market.

Teatr Novogo Fronta

The origin of Teatr Novogo Fronta lies in St. Petersburg, Russia. After their first tour in 1994 they settled in Prague, Czech Republic. Teatr Novogo Fronta’s creativity and stage presentation is impressive both in its scale and variety, ranging from street theatre and improvised sets, to exacting plays directed on classical theatre stages. Theatre critics describe their work as a “bitter dance grotesque”, “divided dance”, or compare their movement act to butoh. TNF won a Total Theatre Award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2008.

V.O.S.A.

V.O.S.A. Theatre is a group of acrobats and performers that transform the street into one big stage, spontaneously integrating balconies, street lights, and, most importantly, the audience into the action. They give spectators a new perspective on the city. The group was established in 2010 to coincide with the Czech Republic’s presentation at the EXPO 2010 World’s Fair in Shanghai.

Kvelb

A strolling puppet and street theatre, Kvelb is a professional independent theatre with a distinctive creative style incorporating elements of music, dance and juggling. The group tours and performs in the Czech Republic and abroad.