Kristian Kristof comes from a multigenerational Hungarian circus family. His parents were internationally renowned, professional award-winner artists who performed teeterboard and perch acts all around the world, his father, István Kristof was the director of the Capital Circus of Budapest between the 1988 and 2012. Now we talked with him on the occasion of Father’s Day about among others, how the professional education of his father affected him.
Both of You have directed circus shows. How did Your father affect You in this field?
The primary consideration is the technical level of a production in the given genre. The secondary is that how refined the delivery of this production is. For a composition of a good production one should find the ideal ingredients, which are, in the case of classic circus, the harmonization of the humour, the human performance and the animal productions and to wrap the production into the right thematic. During his life my father showed a very clear and real worldview. He prepared me humanly and professionally for the tasks and possible challenges of an artist. For me, he is not only my father, but my mentor and friend as well.
What are those parts that You do it in Your own way?
At the age of eighteen I set off to explore the world alone… I travelled continuously and worked abroad for more than 30 years. I think I chose my own path by myself, but obviously my upbringing had a huge influence in making those choices.
You directed together the Budapest International Circus Festival with Your father between 1996 and 2012. Could You tell us more about it?
Back at that time the cultural importance of the Hungarian Circus and Variety Nonprofit Ltd. (MACIVA) was in a crisis and that is why we definitely wanted to prove the presence, validity and importance of the Hungarian circus art in the world with an international professional event. The fallout of the competition of ’96 was rather positive and Budapest was put onto the map of circus profession as one of the most important meeting points of the professional world.
You are a father as well, Your daughter, Noella will be fifteen in this August. Tim Burton’s Dumbo is first and foremost for children, and the FlyingCircus show evokes the carefree childhood. How does the fact affect Your direction that You are a father?
Because my daughter has been growing up in front of my eyes, I could get to know the children’s relationship with the circus better. It is important that a director take the needs of the different age groups into consideration and raise their interests with the right tools. For this, classic circus is rather capable, since it can have the same effect for more generations. If a family visits the Capital Circus of Budapest, then many generations can have a wonderful time here!