The interactive street theater – Balaton 1982 as a reminiscence on the era of summer holidaying in the socialist era. Leveraging the artistic expression and entertainment, the performance will be a socio-historic insight into the era – not only from a political perspective but also from an individual level. The show will be performed by two expressive characters using modern clown features, pantomime, and physical theatre. The comedy on a unique water-bicycle will be created under the leadership of a Spanish director and a creative team from the central and eastern Europe.     

The effort will bring together and train a group of actors and professionals from all Visegrad countries and create an original performance combining theater, comedy and dance and thus enhance international cooperation of artists and professionals from both western and eastern Europe (including but not limited to the project partners: Sziget Festival, ArtProm and Sztukmistrze). When created, the show will be presented on major festivals and venues in all Visegrad countries and beyond. As the show will be non-verbal, it is easily presented internationally and adaptable to the local context.


Festival Sziget (HU)

Fundacja Sztukmistre (PL)

Artprom (CZ)

The director will work with a group of artists and improve their acting skills, interactions with audience. The show itself will identify commonalities of the cultures across Czechia, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland. Balaton is a well-known place and symbol for the first three countries, while Poland will recognize many familiar features of the character, sounds and smells of the holidays in the past. As part of the project, after one of the performances, we will host a panel discussion with the audience (with focus on youth) on the topics of the importance of freedom, remembering the restrictions of the communist era, etc.

The symbolism of the lake Balaton is not just about Balaton or Hungary for that matter, but rather a represents the historical heritage, ethical dilemmas of the Visegrad region. Through the performance we want to bring up more serious topics. Through the creative process and cooperation of representatives from all Visegrad countries, we will identify commonalities of the countries when it comes to: what people were doing on holidays, what were they eating, what were the interactions among the tourists, what was the fashion, music, etc. Through the story, we want to bring back the nostalgia of the everyday life in reflection of a bigger picture of the political and societal challenges at the dusk of the communist era. We want to make people laugh but also on the second though think about more serious issues and remind us that democracy, tolerance and all freedoms that we enjoy today are not a given. The regional relevance is in fostering relationships and active participation of cultural stakeholders from all Visegrad countries. The project will intentionally bring together artists, costumer, music composer, props designer and festival organizers to work together. At the same time we will organize a debate about freedom, democracy, learning from the historical experience,…involving panelists and contribution from all Visegrad countries.

At the end of the day, the performance will not be about point to good vs. bad or east vs. west context, but rather aims to challenge the perceptions and dilemmas in broader terms.  

The project is co-financed by the Governments of Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia through Visegrad Grants from International Visegrad Fund. The mission of the fund is to advance ideas for sustainable regional cooperation in Central Europe.