Letní Letná prepares its 18th edition, acrobats from Great Britain will bring Lexicon of Circus Magic

The odds are constantly changing for culture, but the organisers of the International Festival of Contemporary Circus and Theatre Letní Letná believe there is always something to look forward to. With this sense of optimism, they continue to prepare the festival’s 18th edition and pre-sale tickets for the first confirmed international headliner are already available. After six years,  one of the best-known British new circus companies, NoFit State Circus, returns to Prague. Their show Lexicon will take place under the big top at Prague’s Letná Park, the festival’s main venue, from 12 to 31 August 2021.

Letní Letná prepares its 18th edition, acrobats from Great Britain will bring Lexicon of Circus Magic

Letní Letná prepares its 18th edition, acrobats from Great Britain will bring Lexicon of Circus Magic

Letní Letná packs the best of Czech and international contemporary circus, theatre and music into less than three weeks. Unrivalled in its scope within the genre, the domestic display of contemporary circus art – like other big events – had to reduce its programme due to the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.  However, the organisers did not want to deprive contemporary circus lovers of the traditional summer spectacle and prepared a “light version” of the festival. In spite of all obstacles, the reduced 8-day event featured around seventy performances (including one world première) and welcomed twenty-five thousand visitors. A significant part of the programme had to be postponed to 2021. But it is worth the wait. “The first announced headliner is the world-famous NoFit State Circus,” confirms Jiří Turek. The British acrobats presented their art to the Czech audience six years ago, this time they are bringing a daring, seductive, and utterly contemporary take on the traditional circus experience.  Directed by Firenza Guidi, Lexicon celebrates the past, present, and future of circus and fuses world-class circus art with cinematic scale imagery and exceptional live music.

International reviews praise the show as a “timeless joy revelling in playfulness, playing with historical references and breaking all hierarchy”. The British newspaper The Guardian wrote: It’s great to see the clowning spring directly out of the skills themselves: flaming torches constantly set the juggler alight; three men wage a ridiculous war on the Cyr wheel. A hand-balancing act set to haunting klezmer chords is both funny and mournful.” NoFit State Circus will open their new circus Lexicon for the first time on 13 August and then every single night until the festival’s closing. Jiří Turek believes that they will be able to make up for shows which had to be cancelled this summer. “We stay in contact with the companies from last year,” he says. “Hard to say how the situation will evolve. Our dramaturgy is bound to other contemporary circus festivals,” adds the director of Letní Letná.

The organisers hope to present a full line-up in 2021. However, even though they hope for the best, they acknowledge that the 18th edition might also be affected by the pandemic. “In case we have to follow any safety measures imposed by the state, we will make changes to the programme,” says Jiří Turek. This year’s “light version” proved that the line-up can be adjusted if necessary, or shifted to the open air stage. “We would like to keep the open air stage for the next year, but we will see if it can fit the programme.”


Source: Piaristi

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