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September 1st, 2020

Carnaval Sztukmistrzów: The Polish incident | Check out what’s coming!

Carnaval Sztukmistrzów returns to Lublin! The reality changed by the pandemic presents us, the creators and organisers of the largest new circus festival in Poland, with a considerable challenge. To meet this challenge, we have focused on what has been one of the major objectives of the festival since its inception, that is actively supporting Polish contemporary circus artists. As a result, this year’s edition of Carnaval Sztukmistrzów will take the form of a showcase of Polish contemporary circus productions on a scale that has never been seen before. The 11th edition of Carnaval Sztukmistrzów, as unique as the entire year 2020, focuses on premieres of Polish circus shows. Join us! The festival under the name “The Polish Incident” takes place between 17-20 September on several outdoor stages.

The name “The Polish Incident” refers to the sudden and unexpected situation in which we have found ourselves as the organisers of an international festival, but it’s also a symbolic beginning of the search for high quality Polish circus artists and productions. We believe that this single and unexpected incident will transform into a Poland-wide forum for presenting contemporary Polish circus shows, and lead to the dynamic development of this field of performative arts in Poland , bringing many good shows that in future seasons will spread in Poland and the world.

The showcase has been inspired by the contest for Carnaval Sztukmistrzów’s outdoor circus show that we announced in February. In the first edition of the contest, the jury selected two winners. The first is the show “H2Ooops!” by Tres de la Nada. It’s a comic pantomime with elements of clowning. The other winner is Kamil Malecki and his family show “Veggie”. This is the juggler’s debut show, in which he tames the beasts that for him are vegetables. This year’s edition of Carnaval will also include larger shows with elaborate stage setting, acrobatics and live music. The Wrocław-based Kolektyw Kejos will present the effects of their work on their latest show, “The Fool’s Epitaph”. Using elaborate stage setting and artistry, they will take us to the world of William Shakeaspeare. What theatre and circus techniques, other than reciting the text, can be used to convey more complex messages to an audience seeking entertainment? In contrast to the traditional circus, the collective’s shows are not just a series of tricks but form a cohesive artistic message. Ale Circus Dance Company present theatre in which means of expressions have been extended to include circus aerobatics, acrobatics and dance. Their theatre is rich in form but also encourages reflection. This time, the group will present the show VII. The members of Ale Circus are graduates of the State School of Circus Arts and winners of many prestigious circus contests. “The Lion Man’’ directed by Michał Walczak is another intriguing show. It’s a freak circus musical by Warszawski Cyrk Magii i Ściemy, inspired by The Beauty and the Beast and the biography of Stefan Bibrowski – the star of American freak shows of the early 20th century. The play touches on the question of the cost of fame and recognition. Does the freak have a right to love and be loved?

In the meantime, the smaller stages will feature the duo Wrzące Ciała in the show “Death’s Laughter” that talks about a meeting of two extreme individuals that leads to a shock. It’s about crossing the limits of comfort, discovering new possibilities relying on a wide range of physical activities – dance, pantomime, acrobatics and clowning. Tomasz Piotrowski, another solo artist of the Polish Incident, will perform under the moniker Anti Rabbity, enacting the role of Lewis Caroll’s rabbit in the play “Rabbit in HumanLand”. The protagonist of Carroll’s book, Alice, falls through the rabbit hole to a mysterious world. What if the situation was reversed? The play is a story about ideals, utopia and moral dilemmas, and our guide in this story is the Rabbit- a fantasy, unreal character who finds himself in the middle of a contemporary city. During this edition we will see two acts featuring Marcin Lipski, one solo and one in a duo. His individual show is an interdisciplinary juggling show “House of Logo”, while together with Miłosz Budka he will compete for the title of the king of entertainment. Who will win? We will learn during the show “The Kings of Entertainment”. We are not forgetting about the ludic character of the festival and busker performances  to which Carnaval’s visitors look forward every year. Unfortunately, we will be unable to have buskers perform in the streets. But we will be able to watch them during four Busker Shows in Perła Brewery. Among others, we will meet Pan Ząbek, the fire eater Marcin Ex-Styczyński and the romantic duo Marysia i Julian.

Music, an inseparable part of Carnaval Sztukmistrzów, will find its home in Błonia near the Lublin Castle. On Saturday, join us for the concert by Dziady Kazimierskie. They are a unique phenomenon in the Polish music scene and perfectly fit Carnaval’s ludic character. Not everyone will immediately understand what Dziady sing about, but everyone will be pulled into their fairy tale, fantasy, musical tale. This is thanks to their excellent music (an explosive mix of folk, ska, funky) and to the personality of the group’s singer, Włodek Dembowski, known to fans as “Paprodziad”, the singer in bands such as Łąki Łan or November Project. Dziady Kazimierskie’s concert is a spectacle filled with words and music, and viewers and musicians take part on equal terms. Urban Highline Festival will also accompany this special edition of Carnaval. It will be very limited, but highliners will still delight strollers in the Old Town.

Sanitary restrictions sadly prevent us from holding open events, forcing us to limit the number of spectators and organise the audience like in the theatre. This is why all Carnaval shows will be ticketed. Online ticket sales will launch at the beginning of September. The concert and Busker Shows will require registration via online forms on Carnaval Sztukmistrzów’s website. Before entering the venues, you will have your temperature taken. Outdoor stages of the festival will be located in four places: Błonia near the Lublin Castle, Dominikański Square, the patio inside Workshops of Culture at Grodzka 7 and Perła Brewery.

Starting from 21 September, all recorded shows featured during The Polish Incident will be streamed online. You will be able to watch one show every day. More information will be soon published on our website.

Carnaval Sztukmistrzów – THE POLISH INCIDENT | the showcase of contemporary Polish circus.

17-20 September 2020 | Lublin

ONLINE 21-30 September 2020