Compact archive August 1, 2006

Czech pantomime celebrates a jubilee

Festival Mimraj 2006 starts today in Prague streets and will last with breaks and also with some travelling to other Czech towns until the very end of the year. The festival should celebrate the art of pantomime and mainly its modern aspects such as clown elements or the grotesque. Czech pantomime is today namely fifty years old.

The festival opens at four o’clock with a parade under the motto of “expelling the boredom from Prague”. It starts in Clementinum, continues through the town centre including the Old Town Square and then returns back to its starting point in Clementinum. On the first August day fifty years ago at the very same place conservatory graduates performed three pantomime performances. One of the dancers L. Fialka started Czech tradition of this art and managed, despite the iron curtain, to gain fame and respect worldwide.

Three pantomime performances that can be seen tonight in Clementinum from nine o’clock do not want to be seen as an attempt for a mere reconstruction. Their authors and performers would like to celebrate pantomime as an art undergoing its Renaissance and want to draw attention to its new aspects. The opening performances can be seen in Clementinum area for free. The name of the festival itself implies the watchers have a lot to look forward to since Mimraj could be freely translated as a paradise of the mimes.


Slalom Racing World Championships officially start today

Tonight will Krizik fountain sing and perform its light show for the participants of the Slalom Racing World Championships, which was reported about recently. The official opening starts at half past eight and there is no entrance fee. Should you want to take part, the only condition is to bring a ticket. It does not have to be bought but only printed out. The link can be accessed here.

Sixty-five countries will take part in the championships and thirty out of this total could be labled as “exotic” since the competitors have only little experience with this type of competition. Their expenses are covered by the organising ICF and their “development programme”.

By the end of the last week three quarters of all the tickets for the races were sold. This is not at all surprising because of the past successes on the part of the Czech competitors. The Czech team is complete and their couch Jiri Pultera expressed his confidence.

Stepanka Hilgertova, who the most people lay their hopes on due to her two Olympic medals, also admits that competing in “home waters” will be extraordinary. She expects stronger feelings and also greater support from the watchers. Nevertheless, she also fears that it may be hard to keep concentration at its maximum under such circumstances.


Slovansky Dum shopping and entertainment centre for sale

German SachsenFunds decided to sell Slovansky Dum (descriptive translation: Slavonic House) situated in Na Prikope Street. Despite the prestigious location the German investor fears the current market situation – the costs are spiralling upwards whereas the plummeting revenues are moving in the opposite direction.

The centre, containing luxury shops, offices, restaurants and cafes as well as multiplex cinema, was bought three years ago. The price in 2003 was 1.7 bn Czech crowns and the expected selling price should be around forty to fifty per cent higher.

This move confirms claims of economic observers, according to whom the Czech real estate market starts to resemble its western counterpart due to its increased transparency. Huge sums are thus being transferred in this area. Nevertheless, the specialists also think that supply, increased also by the offer of Slovansky Dum, currently exceeds demand.

Unique exhibition: bird'-eye view of the world

Yann Arthus-Bertrand, a French photographer who managed to take in the course of fifteen years one hundred thousand photos from a helicopter, moves his exhibition to Prague Kampa Island. The 120 giant photographs (each measuring 180 by 120 centimetres) show planet Earth from different perspectives and angles.

The visitors will be able to see desert areas next to arctic polar landscapes. There will also be overcrowded ghettos on the one hand and deserted areas on the other one. The author stresses protection of the environment and this is the reason, why the exhibition enjoys support of the UNESCO straight from the beginning.

The unique open-air exhibition will be displayed from 7th August till the end of October in Kampa park. It can be freely visited at any time and the pictures are accompanied with commenting texts as well as maps. You will also find a tent nearby, where there will be books and posters as well as a film about the work of the photographer.


Madonna on her tour of Europe

Madonna’s tour called Confessions moved across the ocean from America to Europe. The opening night took place in Cardiff in Millennium Stadium with a capacity of almost sixty thousand people. It is needless to say that the concert was sold out.

The European part follows more than thirty concerts in the US but the star was in Cardiff as fresh as if it had been her very first performance. Prague figures on the list of concert places twice – on 6th and 7th September. Other towns to enjoy the presence of the music star include London (eight times), Rome, Paris, Tokyo and many others.

The concert was a success mixed with controversy – which we are already used to in the case of Madonna. No one would guess that the energetic star with perfect dance moves will soon celebrate her forty-eighth birthday.

To make sure the fans could admire Madonna from the best places, some decided to camp outside the stadium for more than a day. They certainly did not regret it as soon as a gigantic disco sphere burst and revealed the music queen, who was then singing her best hits for two hours. In conclusion, Prague has certainly something to look forward to in the beginning of September.


Fathers' Day in Prague Zoo

Emu called colloquially “Daddy” (descriptive translation) celebrates his thirty-first birthday tomorrow. Prague Zoo thus prepares a special day – not only for the emu bird but also for all fathers.

Tomorrow is the day when a new tradition called “fathers’ day” starts. All fathers can look forward to getting a discount when buying a ticket – instead of the full price (90crowns) they will only have to pay children’s price (60 crowns). There is also another present to be enjoyed – free beer. Given the current hot weather it will certainly be deeply appreciated.

The objective of the authors of the new tradition is to change the fact that currently it is mostly the mothers or grandmothers who accompany children when visiting the Zoo. Emu “Daddy” will become the “patron” of all fathers as well as of their special day. He can thus hopefully make more fathers to come with their children to enjoy the entertainment in Troja, where the Zoo can be found.