Bucharest was more animated than ever during the four days of International Street Theater Festival, during which some 20 groups from seven countries surprised and entertained the bystanders. The groups came from Holland, France, Spain, Switzerland, Belgium and Germany with different sounds from fanfare to chamber music, acrobats and costumes. Giant puppets and artists on stilts were a nice surprise for the young ones, strolling through the cobblestone streets in the old city center and both tourists and locals were quick to take pictures with them.

The shows took place in different public squares in the city, in front of the Romanian Atheneum, near Intercontinental Hotel, in front of Unirea Shopping Center, in the old City Center. It all culminated on Sunday evening with a parade of the participating groups, a parade by 250 dancers from different Samba schools and a magnificent fireworks display.

The fourth edition of this street festival coincided with the celebration of 553 years of documented existence for Bucharest, the capital of Romania first mentioned in a paper from the time of Vlad the Impaler.

A Romanian marching band accompanied various characters like a giant snail, driven by an artist from Racont’Art (France), or the punk looking gorilla, the giant bicycle rider and the ogre that kidnapped a woman from Les Geants du Sud (France) or the African women on stilts from Planet pas net (France).
The laddies who made a spectacle out of sewing came with their own music. The Sound of Sewing is an interactive street show by Het Mobiele Naaiatelier (Holland), during which the sewing machines are powered by a couple of stationary bikes, by women who volunteer for some workout and want to help for the making of some dressing accessory.

The festival coincided with other musical events that happened in the city in open air. Piano singer David Moreno (Spain) gave a thrilling concert, while suspended some feet above the ground, in front the National Bank. His representation was very refined, mixing the unusual of his posture with light effects and projections on the white canvas of his piano.
The folk festival “Folk You” held one of its editions in the old city center, with guitar singer Dinu Olărașu and Gipsy ensemble Taraf Rromark warming the public.
Not far away, an excellent classical concert was held by a string quartet, in front of Manuc Inn, in St Anthony Square.

The most impressive representation given during this festival was that of French group Fanfare le Snob. The unsuspecting bystander might have thought he had encountered some witchcraft ritual, with circles of fire and black dressed magicians. But soon you would realize you were witnessing a fine artistic moment from the members of this fanfare. The artists were sliding through spectators on their wheels hidden under long black robes on crinoline. They all wear fire torches on their heads and also used fire to draw circles and patterns on the street. The music is really excellent, inspired from James Bond movies soundtrack and from Goran Bregovic.

The evenings and the closing show that took place in the Constitution Plaza, in front of the Palace of Parliament, were reserved to Spanish acrobat group La Fura dels Baus. Their show had a creepy music, that seemed to prologue the show more than needed. They employed some heavy cranes to pick up a giant iron wheel, that was lifted and rolled among the public. The great moment was the display by 50 acrobats, dressed in white to reflect the colored lights. Their final representation on the closing day was followed by a giant fireworks.

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Theater in the street, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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