Christmas is around the corner as we can tell by a growing number of people looking for gifts, Christmas decorations and various cultural events. One of them is scheduled for 5 December, a Christmas holiday celebrating St Nicholas. That’s when adults or teenagers dress up as St Nicholas, a devil and an angel and ask children whether they’ve behaved themselves. The kids are rewarded or punished depending on what they say. This is probably only fun if you have a kid, or if you play a devil yourself.
For more Christmas related events, visit an exhibition of some 50 historical and current nativity scenes at the Supreme Burgrave’s House at Prague Castle. Displayed are cribs from all over the country, including an 18th century nativity scene from Slaný and an unfinished crib belonging to St Vitus Cathedral. The exhibition runs through 4 January.
The City of Prague Museum is hosting an exhibition dedicated to Viennese architect Adolf Loos and his projects built in Bohemia and Moravia between 1890 and 1933.
If you’ve ever wondered what’s behind the white, cubic façade of Müller Villa in Prague’s Ořechovka and what ideas Loos had in mind when he designed the villa together with Karel Lhota in 1928-1930, don’t miss the exhibition. It is open through 5 April.
The Museum of Decorative Arts celebrates the 100th anniversary of Artěl, an institution specialising in applied arts and design of the first half of the 20th century. A variety of Artěl designs ranging in style from late Art Nouveau to Cubism to Art Deco, will be presented at the exhibition Artěl / Art for Everyday Use 1908-1935 until 1 March.
Don’t miss your last chance to see Amadeo Modigliani’s Portrait of a Young Woman, which has been until 7 December borrowed from Vienna gallery Albertina. The painting from 1918 will be on show at Veletržní palác National Gallery.
Are you having problems finding English language theatre shows in Prague? Divadlo Na Zábradlí is staging a series of performances by The Black Snow Company, an English language theatre company based in Prague, in the upcoming days. The production Edmond by American Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Mamet features cast and crew from nine different countries. It tells the story of a businessman who quits his marriage and takes to the streets of New York once a fortune teller unveils he is not where he belongs. The performance dates are 6 and 13 December at 5pm, 14 Dec 5pm and 8pm and 17 December at 7pm.
The Czech Australia New Zealand AssociationCANZA will hold its annual Christmas Charity Ball on Saturday at Intercontinental Hotel Prague. What to expect? Didgeridoo music and a traditional performances by Australian Aboriginal artist Francis Firebrace, together with live music from Crowded Out, the leading tribute band for the New Zealand act Crowded House. An auction will be held to raise money for Chance 4 Children. The entry fee of CZK 1,950 will include a four course dinner and Australian and New Zealand wines.
As for music: we have Ljiljana Buttler, the mother of Gypsy soul and one of the most famous Balkan voices of the 20th century, playing at Palác Akropolis today at 7:30. Nottingham-based band Tindersticks will present their new album The Hungry Saw at Divadlo Archa on Wednesday together with Irish songwriter David Kitt.
On the same day, Apparat Band from Berlin will play electronic music at Roxy before Prague-based drum’n’bass and breakbeat formation Skyline will take the stage on Thursday.
The Prague Radio Symphny Orchestra will perform the best of Tchaikovsky: Eugen Onegin, The Nutcracker, Swan Lake and more at Prague’s Congress Centre on 4 December.
Pass the popcorn
Prague cinemas Světozor and Aero are hosting the annual Asian Film Festival, Filmasia, between 4 and 7 December. The focus is on Far East film production and popular rather than art films from Korea, Japan and China. Among the more than ten movies are The Silent Holy Stones, a Tibetan film about young Buddhist monks and their fascination with television; Memento Mori, a horror film focusing on physical punishments and mental terror at Korean schools; The Gua Sha Treatment, a movie made to address cultural misunderstanding caused by Gua Sha traditional therapy, which leaves marks on the skin, but is painless (US authorities misinterpreted it as child abuse). For the full programme click here.
Hollywood has also turned to Asia for inspiration. The Pang brothers, Oxide and Danny, made a remake of their 1999 action thriller. In Bangkok Dangerous, Nicolas Stage alias Joe plays a killer who has been hired to carry out four assassinations in Bangkok, but his feelings for a woman and bonds to his assistant work against him. Or perhaps in his favour. Joe realises that maybe he shouldn’t kill everyone, and that Thai food can be really, really spicy, which is cute when having a date.
Gyumri, a movie by Jana Ševčíková, is a documentary about the citizens of Gyumri, the second largest city in Armenia, which was devastated during the 1988 Spitak Earthquake. Many of the locals have not yet accepted the loss. The film pictures their lives 20 years after the disaster.