Up in Letna roaring lions and dancing elephants are nowhere to be seen

Photo: CTK

Letna Plain - just a stone's throw from Prague Castle - was the venue for a colourful cultural event. Letni Letna, or Summer Letna, featured a wide variety of performers, including the world famous Cirque Baroque from France. Letni Letna has just come to an end, and I caught one of the last performances.

Photo: CTK
This year's main guest was the Cirque Baroque, one of the founders of what has come to be known as "the new circus".

Christian Taquet from the Cirque Baroque answered some of my questions.

He confessed that 25 years ago there was the feeling that circus was static and not very innovative. Therefore, the idea of creating some kind of theatrical language within the circus to tell stories through performance started to emerge. New circus was born.

So why the name "Cirque baroque"?

"Baroque means the contrary of the normal. In the dictionary, the example is a guy not riding a horse but holding it on its shoulders. So I decided to call it the cirque baroque, we were different!"

The Cirque Baroque is now presenting a show called Ninguen based on a book by Yukio Mishima... depicting the contradiction between the modern aspects of Japan and the strong respect for tradition. The Cirque Baroque offered a spectacular and surprising performance mixing theatrical emotions with circus techniques.

Even if you missed the performances there is still something to do in Letni Letna. After the performances, the crowd move down to the tents and there the party continues. People talk and dance, have a drink and enjoy themselves in a very friendly atmosphere till the early hours of the morning.

According to the organizers, new circus is becoming well-known in the Czech Republic and this year there were not too many complaints by children wanting to see a lion!