Rita Szerencsés


The Hungarian street theatre has a huge historical background. There are many types of street happenings which includes traditional habbits and contemporary street performances as well. In the Hungarian „repertoire” the audiance can find puppet elements, masquerade, pegeantry, circus and dance actions. The most important part of the street theatre is the visual appearance and straightaway connection with the audience.

The origin of the street theatre can be found in the folk traditions. In the bases of these folk festivals we can discover the same elements which makes the street theatre operable.   Some of our folk festival has a special occasion like „expelling the winter- Busó walk, openning the summer, welcoming the automn- Harvest pegeantry” and so on. They are operating with colorful costumes, impressive outfits and equipments like man-sized puppets, flags, stilts, life music.

The contemporary street theatre in Hungary re-interpretes traditions and takes on the show elements of festivals mentioned above.  Besides the embedded folk traditions the second most important common base is the tales, legends and so-called myth. (Which is by the way quit similar in the Middle-East European region.) There are several wanderer motifs, patterns like the Dragon-Valiant fight, Devil-Valiant fight, which are implemented in the contemporary Hungarian street plays also.

The street performers has to be qualified and they need special skills to establish artistical products on the street. We can agree that the street theatre has its special rules and tricks which makes it vital and ephemeral.

One of our main street theatre festival takes place in Nyírbátor (East-Hungary) and called Winged Dragon Festival. This is a melting event for the Hungarian street performers, artist and actors. Every year since 1990 the organisers set up the festival in the middle of July and invite the well-known street artist all over the world. Besides the performances the old and great generation (mainly puppet players, stilts walkers, musicions, circus acrobats) are holding workshops for the young artist and creating some plays together.

There are several spots around the country where the visitors can find similar festivals, most of them based on heritage preserving. In the historical venues like Castle of Eger, Abbey of Pannonhalma, Gorsium in Szombathely the concentration of the festivals and streat theatries are higher during the summer. Lake Balaton is the another frequented destination of the street celebration, mostly combined with the wine and pálinka greetings.
Being a street performer is a lifestyle when the artist has to be on the road during the whole season. We can take pride on some great and well functionating Hungarian street art companies like Szárnyas Sárkányok (The Winged Dragons Theatre), who grounded artistic stilts and giant puppetry plays.

Besides the traditional base events there are many innitiatives, which include fine arts, contemporary happenings, jamming sessions in the combination of performative actions and physical theatre. These young artists aimed to re-occupy the public places all around Hungary and reach and teach the audience on a non-formal and non-commercial way. 
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Gateway to La Strada. 2015 CKiS. Wszelkie prawa zastrzeżone.