The calendar of the 2015/2016 season is filled with visits by Polish theatres to various international stages. We will hear of Warlikowski in France, Kantor in China, Hindu widows, and the discoveries of a Polish dancer and choreographer who transformed Afro-Brazilian possession cults.
Culture.pl highlights the most important Polish performances, events, and projects hosted by some of the best stages at festivals across the world. Here they come:
(A)pollonia and The Bat in Pilsen
- Performances by Nowy Teatr and TR Warszawa will be staged on 9th and 10th September, 2015 at the Pilsen International Festival Theatre.
Magda Hueckel, a renowned theatre photographer and co-author of the autobiographical, Academy Award-nominated picture Our Curse, will open the 23rd edition of the International Theatre Festival in Pilsen with an exhibition of her photographs. The event is one of the most prestigious Czech reviews of contemporary theatre. Two showings from Poland are on the festival's programme – TR Warszawa brings Kornel Mundruczo's The Bat, with Dawid Ogrodnik's famous role, and Nowy Teatr will show their hit (A)pollonia. This performance is one of the most acclaimed stagings in contemporary Polish theatre, directed by Krzysztof Warlikowski and featuring the unforgettable Magdalena Cielecka. The project is supported by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage as part of the Promoting Polish Culture Abroad programme.
Apocalypse in Slovakia
- Apocalypse, 24th September 2015, Divadelna Nitra, Slovakia
Michał Borczuch invites viewers to encounter cutting-edge political journalism from the 20th century. His Apocalypse, directed at the Nowy Teatr in Warsaw is going to inaugurate the international theatre festival Divadelna Nitra, whose theme this year is Empathy. Apocalypse is a performance inspired by the texts of the Italian reporter Oriana Fallaci. Pierre Paolo Pasolini also makes an appearance, as well as African refugees and the growingly uncomfortable questions about Europe’s future fate. The performance is supported by Culture.pl and the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.
African Tales According to Shakespeare in Georgia
- African Tales According to Shakespeare, 6th and 7th October 2015, pavilion B, Georgian National Film Studio, Tbilisi
After showings in Belgium, France, China, and Italy, the award-winning Nowy Teatr performance by Krzysztof Warlikowski will now travel to Georgia in October 2015. African Tales According to Shakespeare will be presented to audiences at the Georgian International Festival of Arts in Tbilisi. Based on King Lear, The Merchant of Venice, and Othello, and mixing in fragments of J.M. Coetzee’s Summer, the performance also includes monologues especially written for the piece by Wajdi Mouawad. It depicts the tragic fates of those who are rejected because of their otherness. Cast in the main roles are Adam Ferency, Magdalena Popławska, and Jacek Poniedziałek.
Chopin Without Piano in the USA
- 19th October, 2015, Boston, USA
This brave recasting of Polish national heritage by director Michał Zadara and actress Barbara Wysocka travels to the United States this autumn. Chopin Without Piano is an award-winning realisation of Frederic Chopin’s concerts, realised in such an innovative form for the first time in history. Instead of a piano, the instruments that play concertos are reduced to voice and text. With the accompanying Sinfonietta Cracovia, and under the baton of maestro Jacek Kasprzyk, Barbara Wysocka performs the piano part as rewritten into a literary text by Adam Wiedemann.
Chopin bez fortepianu. Trailer from Centrala Teatr on Vimeo.
Performances are to take place in Philadelphia, Boston, and Swarthmore. CENTRALA has prepared the US tour of the performance in collaboration with Swarthmore College, Arts Emerson in Boston, Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra, Philadelphia Live Arts, Pew Charitable Trust in Pennsylvania, and the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.
Song of the Goat Theatre Sings Chekhov in China
- 21st-24th October, 2015, Wuzhen Theatre Festival, China
Trailer "Portrety Wiśniowego sadu" from Song of the Goat Theatre on Vimeo.
The world-famous and acclaimed Wrocław-based Song of the The Goat Theatre (awarded at the Edinburgh festival, among others), heads to China with the musical poem entitled Portraits of The Cherry Orchard. Based on the play by Anton Chekhov, the staging is performed with music composed by Guy Pearson and Maciej Rychły. The performance is directed by Grzegorz Bral.
Performances by Song of the Goat Theatre will be presented in the antique city of Wuzhen, a place sometimes called the Venice of the East, divided as it is by a network of canals. The performances of Song of the Goat in China are supported by Culture.pl.
Polish Dance Theatre in Berlin
- Jewrope, 23rd-24th of October, 2015, Berlin, DOCK 11 stage
"Dancing on the edge of pain", commented German journalist Thomas Linden upon seeing the Polish-German production entitled Jewrope. Performed by the Polish Dance Theatre and the 'bodytalk' collective from Cologne, the staging is directed by Japanese artist Yoshiko Waki. Linden underscored that the show is an event difficult to compare with anything else in the German independent theatre scene. The performance incites huge, and at times extreme, emotions, provokes discussion and takes dance theatre into a new dimension of themes while opening a huge field for the individual personalities within an international group. German audiences have already been able to see Jewrope, but their second chance comes on 23rd and 24th October, 2015 in Berlin, on the DOCK 11 stage.
In December, Paweł Malicki is to take his choreographic triptych beyond the Oder river. The series comprises pieces entitled Hello, My Friend, Hello, Stranger! and Hello. And Goodbye, which are a means of confronting stereotypes that surround the notion of masculinity. The showings are scheduled for 17th December, as part of DAnsArt in Bielefeld. The following day, viewers can appreciate two more stagings from the Polish Dance Theatre – Need Me by Andrzej Adamczak and Tysiąc kolorów (A Thousand Colours) choreographed by Takako Matsuda.
The performances in Bielefeld are funded by the Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation, and they will be accompanied by workshops conducted by the Polish Dance Theatre.
A grand tour of The French by Warlikowski
Following a fantastic reception in Germany, The French sets out on a tour of Europe in 2016. Stop-overs on the journey include Switzerland, Austria, and France, and the protagonist is Marcel Proust with his monumental, 7-volume oeuvre, In Search of Lost Time. How is it read by Krzysztof Warlikowski? The answer comes soon to Warsaw, and later also to other European cities. Here's the list:
• 23rd-24th January 2016: Clermont Ferrand
• 11th-13th February 2016: Geneva
• 22nd-23rd March 2016: Tarbes
• early June: Vienna
• late June: Munich
• 18th-19th, 22nd-25th November 2015: Paris
Kantor in China
- 1st-30th November 2015, Beijing
After Brazil, Scotland, the United States, France, and Germany, birthday celebrations of Tadeusz Kantor move on to China. In November, a study seminar devoted to the work of this great artist is scheduled to take place, as well as events that promote two books – Krzysztof Milkaszewski’s Encounters with Kantor, recently translated into Chinese, and Dariusz Kosiński's Teatra polskie (Polish Theatres), which is awaiting its Chinese release later this year. The Central Theatre Academy in Beijing will host Krzysztof Miklaszewski, Anna Róża Burzyńska, Ph.D., and Lech Stangret, Ph.D. An additional highlight of the programme includes an exhibition of photography organised in a gallery near the Academy, with hundreds of photographs by Tadeusz Rolke which document the work of Kantor both in Poland and abroad. The programme will be crowned with a screening of the film documentary about The Dead Class.
Read more about the Tadeusz Kantor year celebrations in Culture.pl
Yanka Rudzka, a Polish woman on Brazilian stages
- YANKA RUDZKA PROJECT, April 2016, the international Vivadança festival and the Instituto Sacatar (Itaparica, Bahia), Brazil
"Her story is worth remembering”, say the authors of the Polish-Brazilian PROJECT YANKA RUDZKA, who are going to follow the South American traces within the biography of a dancer and choreographer hitherto completely unknown in Poland.
In the early 1960s, Rudzka appeared in Salvador, Brazil and was soon hailed the mother of the region's contemporary dance. She was the first to blend the tradition of modern dance (which she had learned from German expressionist artists) with elements of local African culture and Orishas ritual dances. In her works, she transgressed the limit of cheap exoticism and folklore: she creatively delved into Afro-Brazilian possession cults and transformed their elements. She also introduced the traditional berimbau instrument, used in the martial art-dance capoeira. We will soon find out more about her, as the acclaimed dancer-choreographer duo of Janusz Orlik and Joanna Leśnierowska will acquaint us with Rudzka’s practices. According to Leśnierowska, this original production is going to be a deepened reflection on the art of Rudzka, as well as a means of searching for inspiration within her work. This goal will bring together dancers from Poland and Salvador to allow for an exchange between the dance milieux.
The effects of this Polish-Brazilian encounter will be shown in April, 2016 as part of the international Vivadança festival. The premiere of the staging is a culminating point within a period of intense showings from Polish choreographers in Brazil. The event is also accompanied by a conference devoted to Yanka Rudzka and contemporary dance in both countries.
Nancy dances in France
- June 2016, Horizon festival, Mulhouse, France
The story of the tumultuous love affair between the frontman of the Sex Pistols and one of his groupies is told in the dance-performance art piece entitled Nancy: An Interview.
In June 2016, it is going to be presented as part of the Horizon festival in Mulhouse, France. The performance is directed by Claude Bardouil, a French choreographer and co-founder of the Parlez-moi d’amour theatre group. It features Magdalena Popławska in the titular role. Bardouil has collaborated with Krzysztof Warlikowski since 2010, preparing the choreography for performances such as The End, African Tales According to Shakespeare, and most recently, The French.
Polish-Indian "Widows from Vrindavan"
Vrindavan is a holy place where Krishna is said to have spent his childhood. It is also known as the "city of widows”, because women who have lost their husbands travel here from across all India. And it is exactly the stories of Hindu widows and their social status that sparked the interest of playwright Magda Fertacz and director Łukasz Chotkowski. Documentary material, fragments of conversations, and workshops conducted with widows in an ashram all make up the material of the performance, the premiere of which is scheduled for 2016. Its Indian version is going to be prepared in collaboration with the Group Kasba Arghya theatre from Calcutta. Łukasz Chotkowski comments:
"We have visited India on numerous occasions, and we know how specific this country is. The performance that we are working on is going to be based on interviews that we conducted inside an ashram of the non-government organisation called Maitri, which takes care of the women. We want to portray the individual stories of these widows and their everyday reality. We want to render those who are invisible visible. We want for the women to speak with their own voice. A voice that is not heard.”
The Widows from Vrindavan project is supported by Culture.pl
Lupa’s festival at the Odeon
The Teatr Polski in Wrocław has an intense year ahead. After returning from showings in Beijing and the spectacular success of HOLZFÄLLEN at the festival in Avignon, the performance has received an array of invitations to theatre stages across the world. Twelve showings of Krystian Lupa's performance are scheduled to take place at the Odeon in Paris, and later in other venues in Paris, Tokyo, and Hong Kong. The show is supported by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. A proposition has also been submitted to organise a month of Lupa in France, with an international co-production of the director’s upcoming staging. We will surely hear of HOLZFÄLLEN again!
source: press materials, Culture.pl, edited by AL
Translated by Paulina Schlosser, 7/09/2015