Underfunded but overachieving, Festival novog cirkusa is a Croatian contemporary circus festival with an embattled history that shouldn't overshadow its considerable achievements. In 2009, with minimal financial support, the fifth edition of the festival combined a full five-day programme of international work with the major Women & Circus conference; in 2010, as an almighty provocation, the festival was compressed down from five days to one in protest of the fact that it received about a fifth of the funding it required.
For 2011 the festival is back at five days, and the theme this year (each year the programming takes a different line) is the 'new-circus boldness to challenge the laws of the system in order to realize the seemingly unattainable dreams'. The two main pieces then are Les Colporteurs' Sur la route…, a tightwire piece that's inspired by Henry Bauchau's Oedipus on the Road, but that also contains the story of Colporteurs co-founder Antoine Rigot's terrible injury and subsequent retraining, and Room 100's C8H11NO2, an intense body-based response to schizophrenia that was one of the JTCE 2009-2010 supported projects. Alongside these, there's a cabaret, The Red Room (which Sideshow can recommend for the presence of boylesque king Cohdi Harrell); a platform for local work, Ringenspiel; and a Documarathon of three tightwire films: The Last Tightrope Dancer in Armenia, On a Tightrope, and Man on Wire.