A matte, vibrant, solid pink, nearly naked derriere was bent over and pointed in my direction as I approached the green park in the city center of Ljublijana, the capital of city of Slovenia. My first thought?
I love theatre completely and with the whole of my heart and interactive street theatre is so up my alley (those who know me from way back remember the days of 16th century Renaissance Festival costumes). But, the situation at hand was tricky because fast approaching me now was another member of the solid pink tribe of street performers…and she looked very intent of getting me pink as well. I’m so normally game, but I had just washed all of these clothes, and that’s kind of a big deal when you’re backpacking.
So, with a yelp and a chuckle I went running in the other direction to watch the actors from a safer distance. This was day one of the annual Ana Desetnica Street Theatre Festival and I extended my planed time in Slovenia for the express purpose of taking part in this festival.
The Street Performers from All Over the World
The pink people were strange. I don’t really get what they were trying to do…but, I suppose that just like paintings it’s all subjective, right?
The street theatre performers descended on the city in full force and every single corner, sidewalk, park and free space was an amble opportunity for these actors to create some impromptu and planned fun. While perusing through H&M my attention was caught my these two guys black and white clad performers right outside of the door; their show was brief but fun as they had a small CD player blaring out techno-y music and they did some robotic motions and it was just generally pretty groovy.
Best Performance at the Slovenian Street Theatre Festival?
My favorite act of the festival were the acrobats performing in Station Kansky. A huge tent set up on an open grassy area provided them a stage for climbing, swinging, hanging, juggling, jumping, dancing and more. They were a lot of fun, had fantastic energy and just gave their performance an absolute ten.
There were some really fun pieces and parts of all of the shows I saw. Some dragged on, others, again, I just didn’t get, but on the whole these performers were having a blast and taking the city with them. There were a handful of shows that, sadly, were completely useless to me because of the language barrier – not many though surprisingly!
The city of Ljublijana was just alive with creative fun and in addition to the street theatre festival the city put on weekly shows, ballets, plays, concerts, and more. Another highlight that just had me gushing with pleasure was Swan Lake in the Park. A huge stage set up in the main square in the center of Ljublijana housed the nightly shows. Swan Lake was just beautiful – the only bummer? It rained out half-way through the second act!
I can’t speak for all of the crowd but I was willing to sit in the rain just to finish (I was huddled under an umbrella with a lovely older woman who took pity on me). Unfortunately though, the wet stage was too dangerous for the ballerinas so it was canceled and I was forced to pull my raincoat tight and dart back to the hostel in the rain.
Can I just say again that I love theatre, acting, plays, performances and just, well all of that. I am so glad that I got to take in this awesome street theatre festival. This is one reason why it pays to be flexible when traveling because I had no idea this was happening until I found a brochure at the tourist office. Now I’m having pangs of longing for acting – crap, not good!! I’m still on the road for a while and wont get my next fix presumably until Fringe in Edinburgh. Perhaps I can find an opportunity, class, play, something along the way?! Now there’s an interesting challenge for myself!