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New HOOG Festival to Showcase Contemporary Circus in Estonia

From June 8-10, 2018, international contemporary circus will find its newest frontier in the historic Estonian resort town of Haapsalu. Renowned artists from Germany, Finland, France, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Lithuania and, of course, Estonia will discover this beautiful site made famous by Czar-era visitors like Pyotr Tchaikovsky.

As the Republic of Estonia celebrates its 100th anniversary, contemporary cultural arbiters in this rapidly transforming country are looking forward as they showcase one of the hottest performance genres on the international scene: contemporary circus. Visitors to Haapsalu on June 8, 9, and 10 will find a dynamic compliment to the staid architectural remnants of 19th century Russian resort culture: traditional circus disciplines like acrobatics, juggling, clowning and more, which have been re-envisioned for the 21st century by artists much beloved on the international festival circuit. Festival highlights will include:

  • Nonstop: A stunning opening spectacle featuring local & visiting artists, Friday 8 June at 18:30

  • Performances for all ages by French-Colombian acrobatic duo El Nucleo; “Rubber Head” Otto il Bassotto of Italy; Guinness record-holding football juggler Marco Bonisimo of the Netherlands; German contemporary clown storyteller Matthias Romir of Germany; Finnish-Estonian aerial and acrobatic dance artists Kert Ridaste and Saana Leppänen; Swedish master manipulator of objects & the public Magic Thor; beloved local magicians Meelis Kubo & Charlekas; New Zealand physical theatre wünderkind Thom Monckton and Kalla Collective with "Only Bones"; Estonian aerial acrobat Grete Gross with the site-specific work “Düraad” (“Forest Dyads”); and more.

  • Performances and interactive experiences for children, including special dance performances by the Lithuanian dance theater Dansema for children aged 0-2 years; an open-air training area where the curious can try out circus skills for themselves under master guidance; an intensive multi-arts sleepaway camp for arts students ages 8-13 to experiment with circus techniques; and a community-based performance workshop for individuals with and without disabilities with pedagogue and circus artist Marco Bonisimo.

"I’m thrilled that HOOG is able to introduce the Haapsalu community to the wonderful world of contemporary circus," says Festival curator and producer Anu Tähemaa. “The HOOG Festival exemplifies the best in what Estonia has to offer during this special time of our 100th anniversary: our spirit of collaboration, our curiosity about the world around us, and our love of performing arts. We welcome international visitors to discover this exciting work alongside us, and hope you will join us for three very special days in June.”

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