Buskers Braunschweig 2023: kids are the secret stars
Last year I was hooked on the „Buskers“ festival. Today I still like to remember the six Frenchmen from the year 2022 who amused me so much. This year there is once again a diversified programme made of floor shows and bands. This time I join the festival already on Friday watching the performance of Cirque Tango from Argentina and Floor LegendZ & Olga Show from Stuttgart. There are also some stars on the fringes of the stage who have not been announced: the many kids, who follow the shows of the artists enthusiastically and support them whenever help is needed.
Swinging swords and flying fists
Maren and me made a plan. Every hour there is a highlight. We start at two o’clock on the Schlossplatz with Jonglina from Austria. Although the weather could not be any better than this there is not much of a crowd around us. People are idly walking or go shopping. However the most loyal fans are already there: a large number of kids are sitting on the floor with big eyes, a smile on their face and a piece of pizza in their hands. Jonglina throws the tossing alternatively balls and cudgets in the air. Slowly but surely the square gets crowded whereas the atists plays Diabolo preparing the audience for the highlight of the show: juggling on a unicycle. Fort hat the young woman from Austria needs support. A little girl from the audience lifts her hand und steps onto the stage fearlessly. She is supposed to hand over the swords to Jonglina sitting on a unicycle.
The girl is a real show talent as if she did not do anything else all her life. With an unmoved expression on her face she hands the swords over to the artist and does not care about the risky action taking place on the stage. Chapeau!
Our next act performs at the Ringerbrunnen and comes from Italy: Katastrofa Clown. Whereas we are still wondering what kind of catastrophes will be served the the clown already started. The dark haired artist marks a big circle around him with charcoal. This area, he let us know, should not be stepped on due to reasons of safety. Katastrofa Clown shows a couple of conjuring tricks. In between he sends a wave of soap bubbles into the sky. At this point some kids just stand up trying to fetch the hollow ball of soap water.
The artist seems to find home in a couple from the audience. To the viewer’s pleasure Katastrofa Clown makes eyes to the guy, puts himself right in between the couple and hugs his beloved. Then it gets serious: the Italian guy gets two men and two women on the stage and of course his darling. The two men are being wrapped with adhesive tape and thus form a boxing ring. One of the ladies acts as a tally counter, the other one passes water on. A quite intractable girl wearing a pink outfit crosses the stage again and again even though Katastrofa Clown already tried to get rid of the youngster with a water pistol. The parents do not seem to care. Antiauthoritarian upbringing?
Rocky and baldy at loggerheads
Things become serious. „Sexy“ how the clown calls his tally counter, indicates the first round. Much tot he audience’s pleasure the Italian is brought to his knees. The second round starts and once again the artist cannot score. At the end he puts a kissing mask on his face and caresses his friend from the viewers. Totally justified both, the Clown and his counterpart earn some thundering applause.
We move on to the Burgplatz: we want to see El Goma from Argentina. We have been out and about for quite a while and feel like sitting down. Realizing that one oft he benches in front of the cathedral is free, we storm the seating. Too late. El Goma took notice of us and lies on the bench. We are a little bit irritated and wait. When he gets up we sit down. Now it is EL Goma who is irritated. Out of sight he fools around, at our expense as we learn after a while. He is looking at us all the time making funny faces.
The five euros trick
Once again the artists needs help from the audience. And who joins in? Right, once again a little girl who almost steals the show from him. After her scene she is meant to leave the stage again. However she likes the attention so much that El Goma struggles to get rid of her. Slightly desperate he finally thrusts five euros in her hand. And it works. The girl takes the money and walks away with a triumphant smile.
Between trance and romanticism
Slowly but surely the home stretch starts. We were meant to watch die „Achtgroschenband“ from Braunschweig. It is too bad, but the singer’s voice is so vague that we cannot understand a thing. We move further towards the Sack and reward ourselves with a beer. It is a pretty good decision becase from here we can watch the bands on the streets. Level Spaces from Berlin fires the audience up – everybody is swaying and dancing for all one is worth.
At the „Kleine Burg“ we meet the Compagnia Bergheré from Italy. The two artists present their programme „Rendez-vous“. It is juggling once again and some pantomime. The show does not really gather momentum to my mind.
Actually, we have higher expectations for the last show of the day and therefore move on. The two artists handling with fire are called Pyrovaghi and are also from Italy. They are already doing their warm up on the Schlossplatz. Once more they build a big circle around them and ask the viewers to stay out o fit. Sure, they are playing with fire!
Before they start, Marilù Nardelli, one of the artists explains what the programme „Back to Life duepuntozero“ is about. A woman gets rid off her chains from a violent relationsship and returns to life with the help of a new love. And in the end, of course, love succeeds, like a burning heart on the tarmac shows.
Fiery rhythms and charming elegance
I have to admit: Two days of festival puts my legs to the edge. Still, I want to be part of the also on the third day, accompanied by two friends. I need the Flamenco show from Catalonia. The weather is still fine, even though it is not as sunny and warm as it was before. In front of the Ritterbrunnen there is a crowd standing. „Blechsalat“ from Austria are still performing. The four guys from the neighbouring country play a medley of well-known hits and heat up the atmosphere. Once again a young girl is getting up on the stage and feels fit as a fiddle.
We are waiting for the performance of Sarsalé Flamenco from Catalonia. Three men and a woman are sitting on the stage. One is drumming, one is singing, one plays the guitar and the lady is dancing, what else? The presentation surprises with a twist when the artist ask the audience to participate in the show. Thus it becomes clear quickly how challenging the step sequences and the fast rhythm of the Flamenco dance really is. On the stage everything looks easy but in case you try to copy it … Many of the artists point out how many hours of preparation and training are necessary for show like this.
Just some metres up ahead the Argentine artist, Laura Del Mar her name, as a representative of the duo „Cirque Tango“ performs once again. Her injured partner circuits the show with a leg in plaster and a walking stick to make a video. I think it is gorgeous that she appears besides that. The venturesomeness and elegance of her acrobatic presentation is fascinating to me. Del Mar owns an elastic boday just like a rubber band and emanates grace. It is simply nice to watch the artist. The fantastic and fascinating show is over too quick. It is completely justified that „Cirque Tango“ is awarded with an audience award at the end of the day.
Argentine attitude to life wearing superman costumes
After the live act wes troll to the main stage on the Platz der Deutschen Einheit. The band „Super Cumbia y la Liga de la Alegría from Argentina is playing. Just by their costumes they provide high spirits. Again and aigain the band wants the audience to sing along. The lead singer shouts three words into the crowd „bueno“ (good), „bonito“ (nice) and „barato“ (cheap). It does not really work but still the atmosphere on the square is very good. This band also gets and audience award.
We walk over to the „Neue Straße“. We expect „Mr. Copini“ to perform. Unfortunately, he does not show up. Maybe he is ill. We go back to the Kohlmarkt and sit down in a café. By the way we listen to the music of „Daiana Lou“ and later of „Level Spaces“, again to winners of the audience award.
It was a long and quite stressfull weekend. However I had a lot of fun and enjoyed the performances. I’m curious about next year’s artists. Altogether, It is an exciting show. We could do with more oft hat in Braunschweig, I think.