Our journey began like any other of our journeys: completely chaotic and confused ;) Sophie quickly picked up from school, threw the last things in the car and off we went!! But now quickly, otherwise the time to set up will be really tight.
After a good 3 hour drive and a stop at the exchange office, we finally made it and stood in front of the Hybernia Theater. I was really impressed that the organizers managed to rent such a beautiful and apparently well-established theater for a pole dance event: best location on the outskirts of Prague's old town, beautiful building and a large auditorium.
Arrive and be amazed
After our initial shock that smoking is allowed in the foyer of the theatre, which shows once again how widespread the non-smoking standard has become in Austria, we began to unload the car and set up our stand. We couldn't find an organizer, but we won't let something like that get us down! While we were setting up, Sophie and I kept checking in on the rehearsals. I'll tell you: It's so great when you can watch people who are unique in their field at work!
Shortly before admission began, we were finally done and satisfied. By the way, the organizer found herself after all. Or rather they us. We were greeted warmly and asked if we needed anything else. The poor woman was so stressed that we simply said no and she wished us a lot of fun. And she was gone again.
5 p.m.: the doors open. Gradually, more and more guests came and the foyer began to fill up. To our great surprise, the audience was very diverse and international. There were many familiar faces among the spectators, all kinds of nationalities and, above all, a large number of German-speaking visitors. Once again a big thank you to everyone who stopped by and an apology if anyone missed out or had to wait longer. To be honest, we were overwhelmed by the rush and will definitely prepare better next time!
Of delays and waiting times
Now came what had to come..... The show was late. Yes, of course we are more or less used to that from all shows. Unfortunately it was more than an hour late. To all event organizers, existing or future: Please plan such things and don't let it get that far! Of course there can always be something and nobody has anything against a little delay. But when guests stand their feet up for more than an hour, the mood suffers a little.
8:15 p.m.: The guests were finally allowed to take their seats in the auditorium. Well, that didn't mean that the show started. Again it was time to wait. In order to shorten the waiting time and later also the breaks between the performances, small spots from the sponsors and the event trailer were projected onto a screen. For my taste with too loud sound but tastes are known to be different. Let me say: I love our logo!! I not only love it, I think it *hammeraffenrattenspitzgeil* and it's the prettiest, best and smartest logo ever! However, after that event, even I struggled to bring the same love to our logo. After what felt like the 398,431st repetition, it was very difficult for the audience to keep their spirits up.
It's (finally) starting!
After about another half hour it finally started!! Wow what an opening show!! All performers were on stage together, the choreography presented the individual sub-areas (exotic, art, flexibility and comedy) wonderfully and each dancer was assigned to a category. After that, well I think you know what's coming: Exactly: waiting and commercials.
Well, that's how it went for the whole show. The wonderful, diverse and impressive shows were interrupted by endlessly long breaks in which countless repeats of the sponsor spots and an introduction to the artists were seen. Personally, I thought the introduction spots were a good idea! Unfortunately, however, they were rather long overall and they were not translated. If you now consider that an estimated one third to half of the audience does not speak Czech or Russian, this can lead to quite a bit of boredom. And people noticed that too.
The individual performances were really great and very diverse. All artists have prepared a show on the theme of love. And it was very entertaining to see how the individual dancers approached it. My personal highlights were the That Pole Guy and Dae-Sung Yoo shows. The former managed to create a mood that no one else could. His approach to the topic was: Love yourself. And his show made the hall roar and scream. The guy just sets the mood! The latter came on stage as Charly Chaplin and made the audience laugh and marvel. Choreography perfectly matched to the music, appropriate facial expressions and gestures and absolute creativity characterized his performance.
As soon as the first videos go online, we will of course post them for you so that you can form your own opinion.
An evening full of great performances comes to an end
After 2 breaks and special performances by Alex Shukin and Eva Bembo (also great!) the award ceremony had come. By the way, it was already about 11 p.m. After a very unspectacular announcement via microphone by an unknown female voiceover, the winner was clear: Adam Lin from Australia won the competition. Congratulations at this point!!
After a long, eventful and exciting day, all we had to do was dismantle and pack up. Sophie fell asleep a long time ago and we too just fell into bed like dead. So we didn't make it to the after show party ;)
My personal summary: Pole Dance Championship in Prague definitely has what it takes to be a great event. The great line-up, the location and the beautiful city were just great. The technical errors (jerky videos, wrong formatting, wrong videos played, too loud, ...) will hopefully be better next time and hopefully the problem with the extremely long waiting time will also be fixed. I would have expected more professionalism from the announcement by the organizers (we work so much for television and are professionals). However, it was the first time and I don't want to be like that ;) And we'd definitely like to be there again next year!