about the production
The name slapstick comes from the batacchio or bataccio. A batacchio was a club-like object with two wooden slats. When hit, the two wooden slats would smash into each other, producing a loud sound that replicated a punch or slap.
In origin, a magic wand was used by the devil character to change the scenery of the play.
It was also used by Harlequin in his comic capacity to hit other characters.
The stick makes a loud noise when clapped, without transferring much force.
One of the earliest ever „special effects“, dating back to at least the 1500s
“Batacchio is inspired by the poetics of old travelling theatre companies, whose performances were a pastiche of all sorts of human skills and creations. From circus acts and dramatic and musical sketches, through the wonders of then cutting-edge technologies to displays of the anatomical anomalies of animals and humans.
Batacchio is bound to charm you with an atmosphere of olden shows, loaded with magic tricks, breath-taking acrobatics and humour. A performance by seven acrobats and actors in an original fusion of contemporary circus with disciplines that have disappeared from the stage long ago.
The project was authored and directed by Maksim Komaro, a Finnish director, who has already collaborated with Cirk La Putyka on Slapstick Sonata and Play.”
“Komaro presents the world of circus like a magician’s cabinet. His script is a cleverly arranged sequence of individual artistic performances. The director skilfully interweaves moments of artistic excellence with ‘magical’ displays, blends authentic performance and illusion, and tops all that with humour. (…) The visual aspect is pleasantly decorative and nostalgic, and equally pleasantly worn down. It carries us somewhere far away into the heroic times of circus – and by that, I mean cosy bargain-basement Romanticism. It is precisely this atmosphere that we, among other things, seek in circus performances. Like ballet, circus is an art form that has not yet awakened from its romantic dream. Despite all of the gimmicks of contemporary circus and its irresistible appeal, it is also the atmosphere of the ‘old’ circus that keeps such a tight grasp on us. The Romanticism of the century before last remains a beloved haven of reverie, also of the artistic kind. And Komaro, with the style of Batacchio – ragged velvet, vintage costumes, puppet characters and injections of the romantic – evokes this atmosphere and ironically builds on it. (…) Also somewhat ‘vintage’ is the morality, the atmosphere here is slightly morally tangy; we have to understand that this too is part of recreational Romanticism.”
(divadelni-noviny.cz, 30. 5. 2017, Nina Vangeli)
The audience laugh more and more, but everyone has goose bumps running on the back of their head: there are no digital tricks here, everything is a matter of reflex and tight muscles.
Before the final act, in which four acrobats fling through the air in rapid sequence, La Putyka offers many a musical, magical, titillating and outright ‘disgusting’ feat. The clown pulls something familiarly long out of his nose; a long-haired singer performs a stunning rendering of chanson in the manner of Edith Piaf, then Marlene Dietrich and then and old hackneyed Prague pub song. La Putyka reaped success in Edinburgh. (…) “They are amazing acrobats and performers,” says James MacKenzie, director of ZOO Southside. “I’m fascinated by how careless and free their performances are. Other acrobats try to be precise, like in the old circus. But an artist from La Putyka performs a difficult trick and looks as though he had drunk seven pints of beer. “MacKenzie says La Putyka is very popular in Edinburgh and always sold-out. For that reason, it has also received the festival Herald Angel Award.”
(Hospodářské noviny, 11. 8. 2017, Magdalena Čechlovská)
“The recent productions by Cirk La Putyka have grown somewhat more solemn – the trilogy Family Roots in Black Black Woods or the earlier piece Dolls were not merely superficial entertainment but also urged audiences to think, they tried to have a certain effect on them. The climax of this tendency was the almost existential (and enthralling) experiment Black Black Woods [presented at Divadelná Nitra 2017]. Now Batacchio is a sort of counterbalance to the previous work. It brims with playfulness, conspiratorial winks at the audience and above all with the joy of movement, underlined by Jan Bal- car’s amazing music. But it too grows more serious toward the end as humorous prancing is replaced with staggering acrobatic performances.”
(kultura.idnes.cz, 20. 5. 2017, Tomáš Šťástka)
directed by Maksim Komaro
choreography: Ilona Jäntti
set design: Hynek Dřízhal
costumes and make-up: Kristina Záveská
music: Jan Balcar
lighting design: Jan Mlčoch
sound design: Jan Středa
rigging, technician: Jonáš Tichý
graphic design: Martin Sršeň
production: David Ostružár
producer: Cirk La Putyka
cast: Šárka Bočková, Michal Boltnar, Vojtěch Fülep, Daniel Komarov, Anna Schmidtmajerová, Alexandr Volný, Jiří Weissmann
Maksim Komaro is a former juggler, director of a multitude of circus productions and one of the most distinctive personas of the art of circus in Finland. He took active part in developing the Finnish contemporary circus scene.
In 1996, he was one of the founding members of the first international contemporary circus company in Finland Circo Aereo, where he remains artistic director to this day. He also co-founded Cirko – the Center for New Circus (2002), where he was Chair- man of the Board until 2012. He is the founding member of CircusInfo Finland, where he was likewise Chairman of the Board from its founding in 2006 until 2012. He co-founded the 5-3-1 Festival of New and Experimental Juggling (1999), Cirko Festival (2006) and Cirko Pikkolo (2011 – 2013).
Besides his creative activity as a circus artist and director, he also took part in various festival and educational activities in the genre of circus around the world, and taught at prominent European circus schools. In 2003, he was the first circus artist to receive a five-year scholarship from the Finnish government. Komaro is presented at the Divadelná Nitra Festival for the first time.