On this week: 11th International Circus Festival in Budapest
The most excellent representatives of the profession, circus directors, artist managers in Budapest, 7-11 January 2016.
The first Budapest Circus Festival was held 20 years ago, in 1996 and as a result of the notion and casting of the professionals of the Hungarian Circus And Variety Non-profit Ltd. (MACIVA) it soon proved to be equal with the great festivals of the circus world: in addition to Monte Carlo, Latina and Moscow also Budapest has become an important meeting place for the circus art.
Stars of the Festival
World Champion on one wheel
A professional and especially spectacular show is presented in the ring by Paul Chen, twice World Champion of unicycling. The German artist with Portuguese and Chinese ancestors, met one of the oldest genres of the circus art for the first time in 1995 and won more Champions Awards in Germany while as a member of the Kaderteam Formation, he also won the World Championship in this sport in 2002 for the second time. His production contains the continuous alternation of being up and down, the infinite cycle of soaring and falling. The classical tricks of cyclists are united with hard BMX streetstyle elements by Paul Chen: struggling with the impossible, he flies over stairs, ramps and trampolines, then his fast jumps with incredible spans are balanced by the moments of tranquillity and power in his act of the stunt.
No real circus can exist without the children’s favourite, always laughing and happy, playful clown with his whitewashed face. Totti Alexis is one of them this year. His family members have been clowns for generations, that’s why, it was not a real question what profession Alexis was going to choose. He is versatile in the ring and has a unique appearance and unlike the other clowns Totti is glad to speak or sing. He is looking for the chance to renew and likes to have special animals and his family in his show. He holds a mirror to us to show our awkwardness and our clumsy human being in ridiculous situations.
In the same rhythm
The Rossi brothers from Spain have raised Ikaria, the traditional genre of the circus art to a really high technical level. Their production is specially synchronized and dynamic, which evokes the mechanism of machines. One of the duo is the driver, who provides the zest of the act, while his brother does different tricks, twists and somersaults with extraordinary precision. Like too matching parts, the brothers create a unity, a miracle by joining each other, almost breathing together. The boys have absorbed the magic of the circus since the moment of their birth; they are the fifth generation who continue the family tradition. With their act they have captivated the circuses of Italy, Germany, France as well as the audience of the Scandinavian countries. They were awarded the golden prize by the international jury at the Dutch Enschede Circus Festival in 2012 and two years later their old, childhood dream came true when they could show their special talent in the arena of the Circus Krone.
Sling production (Hungary)
Flying without wings
Visitors are invited to a common journey by the production of Ákos Biritz, when he tries to reach and fulfil the ancient wish of humans: to learn the skills of flying. Gravitation is overcome by questioning the laws of physics in his program. After graduating from one the oldest schools of artists in Hungary, he became a member of the Recirqeul, where he was working for the renewal of circus art, also preserving his strong technical knowledge, which he obtained from the traditions of Hungarian circus art. The unusual, experimental production, which is shown by him as a guest artist in the performance titled Circus in the Night of the company, was received with great success both in Russia and in France.
Ladder act (Russia)
The Russian couple, Svetlana and Fyodor Grosu, seems to have come with a simple ladder act to Budapest, but it turns out soon as it happened at several places from Latin-America through Europe to Russia that this successful couple mixes the basis of the Russian ballet with the acrobatics to reform our knowledge about ladder acts. Their production represents the perfect harmony between a woman and a man without any extra frippery. The act designed by their daughter, Ekaterina, had a great success at the famous Yuri Nikulin Circus, so there is a chance for it to be one of the best productions in Budapest as well.
Sizzling, cheerful Africa
The joy game of Isaac Aborah is a spectacular production invigorating with colourful dishes, which revives the special life of Africa full of mysteries. The rhythmic music, the colourful, spinning pots evoke the atmosphere of tribal ceremonies into the manege presenting the ancient fight of drought and water in a playful and serene way. The artist from Ghana was carried away by the world of the circus at the age of 10, then he was trained by his master and now he is presenting his fascinating production, which has its roots in African culture, already with 10 pots.
Running on the waves – Rope act (Russia)
La donne e mobile
The Russian Duo Phykov will arrive with an unusual, amazing production to the festival. Spectators can see reinterpreted tightrope walking as the stunt is presented on a wire tightened between two stands, but the space and the scenery are like a crescent moon. Sometimes warlike, sometimes soft forms result from the continuously waving, moving ship and the background music of the drums reviving the beauty of the age of the Renaissance and providing a special piquancy to this act of the programme by the steps of the minuet and ballet. We can see the fleets, ballrooms and arbors of the city states fighting against each other, which slowly build up the picturesque view of the Renaissance world. This act was created in 2014 by the Silver Clown Award winner Yana PyKhova and her husband, who accompanies her on drums during the production.
Liberty- Horse act (Russia)
The white horse represents freedom, clarity, power and mysticism in ancient sagas and legends. The white horse trains, leads and helps its rider. The horse production of the Urunov family is the mystic dance of a horse and a woman in the night. The horse suddenly gallops into the manege, where the sincere, ethereal relationship of a man and a horse unfolds. The horse steps into the ring freely, without any equipment, the production was created by free training; it was formed to become uniquely picturesque and aesthetic by their mutual training and confidence. The members of the third generation of the Russian circus family have been working with animals, mainly horses and dogs since their childhood. They have been awarded a lot of prizes and they arrive also in Budapest as returning performers: they received the Bronze Clown prize and a special award in 2002 at the Hungarian Festival.
Wheel of death (Columbia)
If we have not experienced the importance of blind trust in each other the Columbian performance will ennoble the feeling into a palpable concept. In their stunt this time not only two but four artists will risk their lives while rolling the double wheel: two of them will balance the wheel rolling on the stretched rope inside the wheel and two on the top of it. In this act not only the contact of the bodies but also the connection by the object becomes important: every moment of “how” and “when” will be determining. The troupe shows what balance actually means by tempting the impossible, i.e. to be in balance with each other, with the world and themselves.
The breathtakingly spectacular fliegende production of the Flying Farfans – as well as several other current shows of the circus – badly taints the reputation of gravity: it is nothing else than life in the air several meters above the safe ground where the absolutely professional artists become really lively and all their movements reflect self-confidence and energy. The triple somersault shown high up in the air is only the beginning! The American troupe reveals the real nudity of the circus to the audience when the emphasis of the stunt is simply shifted to the human body itself and to the fact what a body is capable of doing while struggling also with itself. And the trapeze is an excellent tool for this uniquely fascinating confidence game, where one learns to trust themselves and their partners without conditions; and for the spectators the theory, that everything becomes possible if we really listen to each other, is proven.
Rola Bola act (Ukraine)
Champion of balance
The rola bola act, one of the old genres of circus art, was reinterpreted by Dmytro Kharlov, who in his attractive, charming production, is able to do anything on the shaky ground, beyond the limits of reality. He stands on his head on the rola bola; then takes control of the highly built structure by one jump. The dynamic, rhythmical music, which adds fine humour to the production, provides the background of the program requiring incredible sense of balance. The amazing sense of balance of the Ukrainian artist is not unknown to the world as he realized his old dream in Brühl, Germany on 26th June 2015, where he broke the Guiness record of performing the most possible squats on a balancing board in 1 minute in the programme called Phantasialand – One night in a museum by doing 64 squats, which took him two years to prepare for.
Snow Queen – Handstand (Mongolia)
The diamond of Mongolia
When virtuosity is accompanied by sensuality, when power is united with flexibility, it can create such exceptionally rare, unique production in the ring, which is similar to the most valuable diamond. The silent and wild Mongolian plain, which is covered in frost, comes alive; the Snow Queen is a discovery and adventure on the snow-covered steppes for a valuable piece of jewellery, named: Heejin.. The Mongolian artist has already travelled all round the world with her caoutchouc-handstand act, she has already worked in Mexico, Thailand and in 2010 she won a bronze medal at the Monte-Carlo International Circus Festival, and in 2011 she received the K’Dor of Cabaret Gold medal. To show the Snow Queen in the ring was the dream of Sigrid La Chapelle, to let us discover the versatile talent of Heejin, which, just like a diamond, has been polished clearer and brighter by her plenty of practice and hard work.
Cabriolet – Horse act (Russia)
The Hungarian audience could get to know the Russian circus family in 2002 when they participated in the Circus Festival in Budapest and were awarded with bronze Clown Prize and the special festival prize. Their act titled “Cabriolet” full of dogs and horses is going to be presented by the third generation this year. Their professionalism is not by chance for they have been training animals since their childhood. A romantic story of the 19th century can be seen in the show providing the real feeling of the era through its gentility and dignity.
Vitaly Mironov combines the special visual elements with the acrobatic and juggler pieces using the advantages of the circus. The lighting Indian clubs and juggler rings flying into the height amaze the audience and provide permanent experience for the visitors. But Mironov did not want to make new just in the sight but he is making somersaults against the laws of physics, riding on a single-wheel cycle while he catches the invisible clubs to prove that an acrobat and a juggler can be even the same in the ring.
Trio Power Line
Power lifting act (Hungary)
The Hungarian power lifter group of three persons, the Trio Power Line, can be seen in Hungary again after a long time. They have been travelling all over the world for 10 years and now they are returning for the Circus Festival. The speciality of their production is the similar weight of the male members requiring more careful concentration and more technical skills.
Russian swing act (Russia)
The swing act of the Skokov group of Rosgoscirk awarded with festival prize is fascinating not just for the amazing double somersaults. The harmony amongst the group members, as well as their trust in each other is a real lesson about the fact that hard work is always worth; their motions are accurate and perfect. Their show speaks about corporation and endurance as they show their jumps against the gravitation helping each other. The production, the choreography of which appraises the work of the troupe leader and choreographer Alexander Skokov, has captivated the circus world.
Ladder act (Czech Republic)
Emil Faltyny from Prague is the member of a circus family of 6 generations and started his career with a single-wheel cycling similarly to his ancestors. The artist, who achieved great success at the 38th International Circus Festival in Monte Carlo in 2014, is always trying to fascinate the audience with new shows, that’s why he is going to prove with a special cube and a ladder that the traditional productions are not old-fashioned but on the contrary they can be the most attractive ones in their new forms in Budapest.
Read more informations and detailed program here: http://www.fnc.hu/eng/festival