Tour Diary 2013

12th August 2013
Preparation weeks

Welcome to the diary of the ZIRKROBAJKA tour 2013!
This year, we are travelling from Germany over Poland to Ukraine, Rumania and Turkey. The Zirkrobajka crew became bigger and apart from great new members we have two girls with us who are going to film and take pictures throughout the whole tour. So get ready for a lot of images and small movies of every stop!
Due to a full agenda and a lack of Internet, this first entry is coming a bit late – still, a diary cannot start without a welcome and some words about the preparation.
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We used those weeks for making costumes, getting to know each other and throwing two ZIRKROPARTEYS – one in Berlin, one in Leipzig. We had loads of fun on both, thanks to all the people who came! A special thanks to the bands and DJ’s, who made us dance till the morning and all the helping hands!
In Berlin, thanks to Funkstulle, Chat Noir, lukas (STRFLD Simulation), Die Taube Taube and Shake!Zirkuszelt am Ostbahnhof for their support!
In Leipzig, thanks to Tee + Wein, Johannes Riessler, Sieben und Zwanzig, DJ Roy Digga Hund, DJ Washa Umkhukhu, DJ Queenie and all inhabitants of Schirmerstr. 22!
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Let’s keep this first entry short. Stay updated for crazy, colourful and sparkling stories of different places and people – we are very excited about all the adventures waiting for us!
Love and Konfetti, Zirkrobajka

15. August 20134
Skandaløs Festival

With the crew almost complete, we headed to the first stop of this year’s summer tour: the wonderful Skandaløs Festival in Neukirchen/ North Frisia. In the middle of great concerts, art, performances, a very nice public and some fresh nordic wind we presented our new costumes in a parade, gave some workshops and performed our fireshow.
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Skandaløs Festival took place for the second time and unites a diverse range of concerts with art, performance, theater and installations. The site was located in the middle of North Frisia’s flat grasslands, with sheep, cows and a lot of wide sky around.
After preparing and helping to set up the festival, we did a parade on the first day – it was great to see the positive reactions on the new costumes and the sun was even shining for several hours in a row.
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On saturday, we performed this year’s fireshow in front of a bigger public for the first time. It wouldn’t be the north of Germany if the weather wouldn’t have given us some obstacles: just when we were ready to begin, it started to rain. So we squeezed in the bus with all 13, costumes and make up and waited. The quite waterproof public did indeed come back and couldn’t get enough – the aftershow performance lasted longer than the show itself. Also the workshops attracted a lot of enthusiastic participants – receiving such a positive feedback was just the perfect start of the tour.
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Another great experience was to get to know other performers and artists – especially the guys of Männerdy, we are looking forward to a cooperation in autumn!
It would become boring if we would put a thank you at the end of every blog entry, but this time we want to say a huge thank you to the amazing and relaxed organizers of Skandaløs Festival for making this event happen and for having us there!
15 Now we are having one day to relax in Chatahova, Poland before we continue towards Ukraine tomorrow. Stay tuned for news from the villages of Longo Mai!
Love and sore muscles,
Zirkrobajka

13th -21th August16
Ukraine: a wild week in Longo Mai, Nyzhnje Selyshche

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A wonderful week in Nyzhnje Selyshche, Ukraine is over. Throughout these days, lots of amazing things happened and we started to feel at home in Longo Mai and the village.

Let’s start with the place itself: we stayed with the people of Longo Mai in a beautiful house in the green hills of (village name). Longo Mai is a network of farms, villages and houses that started out in France in the 1970s and spread out to different places all over the world. People of Longo Mai live autonomously and try to sustain themselves by growing vegetables or receiving energy and water from sustainable and eco-friendly sources.
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In Nyzhnje Selyshche, they closely work together with the local people to maintain the culture house and do lots of workshops with the kids – mainly carried out by voluntary work. We offered a morning program for kindergarden kids and afternoon workshops for the older ones. The kids could choose between juggling, acrobatics, dance and theater. Every day they had three hours of workshop to prepare a final show.
Working with these kids was a great experience – they were very curious, open-minded and eager to learn. Seeing them present what they had learnt made us feel happy and a bit proud.
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29After the kids’ show, we performed our fire show in front of the culture house. Apart from a great public, we even had some additional performers as some members of the local clown group joined the show.
Things that made this week especially memorable: streets that consist of more holes than anything else, cozy nights at the fireplace together with people from the village, very big soap bubbles, homemade rap songs, the obligatory Vodka, an amazing clown show that was played only for us, a very nice concert of the Hudaki village band, traditional Transkarpatian dancing, a surprise birthday celebration with cake throwing, beautiful landscape and people who simply made us feel at home.
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Thank you, people of Longo Mai (epecially Tania) and the Nyzhnje Selyshche culture house – we will come back!
Now we are heading through Cluj to Transilvania Calling Festival in the Rumanian mountains. Stay to tuned to get news of our first time of performing on a Psychedelic Trance Festival!
Love, crossing borders
Zirkrobajka

23.-25. August33
Rumania: Transilvania Calling!

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Rumania, it’s good to be back! Going from Ukranie’s calm hills to the city of Cluj was quite a rough change. After a few hours of city-life, we escaped to an area in the hills to spend the night. No time to loose though, Transilvania was calling!

In Brasov, the journey was interrupted by a quite sad and shocking surprise: somebody broke into the bus and stole some of our stuff. So we arrived on the festival-site of Transilvania Calling Festival in the mountains in the middle of the night. After having stumbled across the pitch-black and rainy forest in search  of a place for the tents, the next morning surprised us with perfect weather and a beautifully decorated camp-site. 35       36
It took us a little time to get used to the constant sound of Goa and Trance music, but the surrounding was stunning. Transilvania Calling is located in the middle of the mountains and the forest, and the organizers put a lot of effort to decorate the whole site with colours, forms and fantasy.
37Apart from training a little for ourselves, we gave different workshops and did a parade on the festival area. This year we don’t seem very lucky with the weather, though. When we arrived on the festival, the rainy days started. Just when the parade was a about to be finished, it started to rain like hell. It surely looked quite funny when the white woman and the phoenix tried to run on their long legs and the whole parade squeezed into a tent.
Still, we had a lot of fun with the people and once again got very positive reactions. The beautiful environment was just perfect for taking pictures, as you can see here:38 39 40 41 42 4344 45
Now we are in Mera, visiting the Diakonia project we already stayed with last year. It’s raining again, but the kids are having fun and we are already excited about the show on friday and our own performances on saturday! Stay tuned for news from here!
Love, waiting for the sun,
Zirkrobajka

25th August – 1st. September 201347
Mera – between horses and pirates

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Another lively and fun week is over. Until yesterday, we were staying in Mera at the Diakonia project we already got to know on last year’s tour. It’s always a special feeling to come back to places you already travelled to once. It was very nice to see the kids and the people working at Diakonia again, and this year we even had some more days to spend in the village.
Mera is a village near Cluj, Rumania. The Diakonia project consists of a kindergarden, some programmes for kids and teenagers and an old peoples’ home. Last year, we stayed there for a few days, gave workshops and played the premier of our show in the culture house – good and wild memories.  This time, we also gave workshops in juggling and acrobatics.

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As we had a little more time, we also prepared a little show with the kids they presented at the end of the week. As the show’s topic was „sea worlds“, the culture house was invaded by sharks, wild pirates and seamen navigating their boat made of plastic bottles.
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On Saturday, we also performed our fire show. It simply felt great when nearly the whole village came out to the field to watch it!
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Also, we had our probably most fun parade so far. On Sunday, we put on our costumes and walked through the village – accompanied by horses, cows and a bunch of kids. A lot of people came out to see what was going on and apart from the kids, the teethless smiles of grandmas sitting in front of their houses made our day. Sometimes pictures can say more than words, so just see the ones below:
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75Today, we spent one day at Casa Tranzit in Cluj – a culture house which hosts events and provides all kinds of workshop for kids. Unfortunately, we don’t have time to stay longer, so we just did a juggling and an acrobatic workshop and performed the fireshow. Tomorrow morning, the journey to Turkey is starting! We will travel along the Donau to the Black Sea, stay tuned for (surely) stunning pictures! Love and travel excitement, Zirkrobajka76

08th- 13th September 201377
Istanbul

78Istanbul – after just five days, there are already so many impressions and stories to tell. For us, those days were full of clashing extremes. Sunsets over Istanbul’s beautiful silhouette, colourful markets, tasty food, ferry rides across the Bosporus and great people – but also the tension in the air after what happened at the demonstrations all across the country, the smell of teargas at night and a weird feeling because we would have loved to be able to support this movement, but didn’t know how in this short time and without understanding the language.

These contrasts and the size and chaos of Istabul made it a bit hard to concentrate on rehearsals and street shows. So we decided to take our time to see the city, talk to old and new friends and discover this overwhelming place a little.

79Of course, we don’t spend five days completely without circus. Just after arriving, we could use the studio of Kabile (a contemporary circus company from Istanbul) which we already knew from last year. The big mirror was perfect for rehearsing our puppet-scene, so we practiced till late at night. However, the rehearsals had their price, the second member of our group got injured and is walking an croches now…

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Apart from long ways between places, our stay at Istanbul also involved changing places to sleep quite often. Which was a good thing, as it was getting better every time!

82After staying at Kabile and a friend’s place, we were supposed to stay at a place above a friend’s restaurant – which already seemed pretty good to us, as it’s located next to Galata tower. When we came „home“ at night and had a last goodnight Raki on the restaurant’s doorstep, one guy offered us to stay in his apartment he wasn’t using anyhow. This turned out to be the best place we could have hoped for, especially the roof terrace with an amazing view over the whole city. Thanks a lot to all these nice people! Sadly, the first two Zirkrobajka members had to go home from Istanbul, so we prepared a huge goodbye dinner on the terrace.

We also performed on the street for the first time – in front of a sunset at the seaside. It would have been nice to play in Taksim, but after the protests we guessed it wouldn’t be the best place for doing a street show with 13 people. Still, also there were some people watching and applauding, and we could even enjoy a nice view while doing the show!
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On friday, it was time to get going – we were looking forward to Izmir, but didn’t want to leave at the same time. Now, we already spent an amazing time in Izmir and are heading to some days at the beach before almost everybody is heading home. Stay tuned for impressions of many street shows in Izmir!
Love and less police violence please, Zirkrobajka

8813th- 16th September 2013
Izmir – dusty feet and Turkish hospitality

Like last year, we went to Izmir to play some street shows. As it’s smaller and less stressful than Istanbul but still a crowded and busy city, it’s a really good place to perform on the street. This was a good opportunity to practice the small show we had prepared – also, these performances revealed some big cultural differences. Just when we started painting our faces, we were already surrounded by a big crowd that came so close they almost sat in our costume bags. Like that it took a lot of time to prepare, and before starting the show another 15 minutes to convince people to leave some space for a stage. Still, it was great to get so many spectators and they seemed to really like what they saw.

Unfortunately, we don’t have many photos of the street shows and rehearsals as we rather took videos. In some months the documentary of our journey is going to be online, until then we have to leave you with these few Pictures: 90 91 92 93 94 96 97 98

From peoples’ reactions, you could tell that circus art and street performances (apart from music) are not very common in Turkey. As we know and met several Turkish circus performers, we already knew about that, but seeing how curious people were proved it. Apart from coins and applause, we also enjoyed the Turkish hospitality – when we were making a break, people brought us grapes and nuts, wrote down the name Zirkrobajka and invited us to coffee when we were walking along the street with white faces.

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Again, we were invited to stay with the family of a friend – incredibly friendly people who spoiled us with delicious food, a Saz concert (Turkish guitar) and the traditional balik raki (dinner with lots of fish and Raki) on the last night. Keep in mind that we are 12 persons! We definitely didn’t have to worry about an empty stomach.101 102

103After one more artist injured and both cars broken in Istanbul, the (hopefully last!) accident happened in Izmir – the third member of our group hurt her foot and had to be taken to hospital. We were shocked when she came back in a wheel chair, but relieved when we found out they just didn’t have any croches left. We tried to laugh about our bad luck and had fun going from spot to spot with a freakshow parade consisting of a wheel chair, a guy on croches, one with a broken arm and all others with painted faces and costumes. By now, the two persons can even walk again.

The saddest point of this entry: today is our last day. On monday, we went to a calm beach near Izmir to spend the last days together and relax. Tonight, the majority of the group is heading back home and the others are starting to travel back slowly. Stay tuned for some last pictures of the beach coming up soon!

Love and salty skin,
Zirkrobajka
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