The 14th International Circus Festival that began in Budapest on Tuesday will feature around a hundred artists from four continents until January 17, Péter Fekete, the state secretary for culture, said at the event’s opening.
The festival opened with the first ever international academic conference entitled Circus Buildings in Europe which focuses on the establishment, survival, transformation, functional change, destruction and renewal of European circus buildings. At the conference, French, British, Bulgarian, Monegasque, Canadian and Hungarian experts review every major circus building, still operating or demolished, in Europe, explore the history of the Capital Circus of Budapest and discuss new architectural trends and technologies, Fekete said. “The circus has over the past centuries evolved from a form of entertainment into a profession of art while preserving its traditions. But in order to be able to complete this mission, circuses need a space, a solid building to present their performance, many of which do not exist in Europe anymore. What would be highly welcome is to have those temples of culture be built back up again,” said Fekete.
Alain Frère, the founder and artistic director of the Monte-Carlo International Circus Festival, welcomed the Budapest festival as an opportunity for representatives of the world’s circuses to meet. On January 12 the festival will feature a Red Carpet Show, a parade of participating artists beginning at 5pm in the square in front of the Capital Circus in City Park. The Newcomer Show presenting young Hungarian artist talents will take place on Friday and the festival will close with a grand gala and award ceremony on January 17.