The city of Toruń, in Poland, has managed to turn the lights into a spectacle that leaves the audience absolutely amazed. Here's why.
In northern Europe, an innovative festival brings together the cultural richness of medieval architecture the with astronomy, in a powerful display of lights and technology. It is known as the Bella Skyway Festival and takes place during the month of August each year, in the city of Toruń, Poland.
The Polish city of Toruń is famous for its medieval architectural treasures. There are more than 300 monuments in the historical downtown and in the adjacent streets, and many of them are included in the list of jewels of European art history.
The remarkable state of conservation of buildings in Toruń, its medieval wall and its accesses allow visitors to admire in detail the particularities of the Gothic and late Gothic architectural style. This architecture had great development during the 12th and 13th centuries in the ancient Pomeranian region, north of Poland and Germany. In 1997, UNESCO declared Toruń a World Heritage Site.
The Bella Skyway Festival is also an occasion to pay homage to its most notorious son, the astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus. In the fifteenth century, this scientist formulated the then-revolutionary Heliocentrism, the astronomical model in which the Earth and planets revolve around the Sun. In honor of Copernicus, astronomy is protagonist in the Bella Skyway Festival.
In Toruń they have managed to link masterfully their medieval past with futuristic art and science. Every night of the festival, the imperturbable Gothic beauty of the old buildings is contrasted with a surprising and interactive spectacle of light, color, shapes, music, and movement.
Through large-scale artistic productions, combined with avant-garde audiovisual techniques and 3D mapping, the crowd is immersed in a dreamlike experience.
Some of the productions usually incorporate ecologic and environment-friendly concepts, in tune with the young audience that attends the event. This festival is an event for the entire family and it’s a great opportunity por the community of Torun to enjoy the outdoors, and for an increasing affluence of visitors, as it’s become one of the most important interactive cultural events in northern Europe.
The shows of lights are carried out by artists and graphic designers supported by multidisciplinary teams. In a sense, the Bella Skyway Festival is a gigantic science fair made by professionals who experiment with novel ideas in the entertainment field. The French ensamble Compagnie Carabosse will feature an interactive on the ruins of the local Teutonic castle, while Italian artists from AeraOdean will present their Laser Symphony on the Old Town Hall courtyard.
Some important projects, such as Urban Poetry, the Nie-Art Foundation, artist Andrzej Syska’s Luminancia 3, and Water Concert, among others, have been shown in their maximum splendor at the festival. Water Concert combined light, water, animation and projection screens to create the first aquatic theater with a 360º animated history. Sounds like we can’t miss this show. ■
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