6th edition of Stefan Niedziałkowski`s International Mime Art Theatre Workshops "Silence of the Body/Milczące Ciało" took place in Theater X in Tokyo.
The author and artistic director of the International Mime Art Theatre Workshops is Stefan Niedziałkowski – mime artist, actor, director choreographer, teacher and script writer for pantomime. He created the project thanks to collaboration with Japanese artists like Jidai and Neiro. The first edition was held in late May and June 2009. Since then, Stefan Niedziałkowski regularly organizes international workshops, during which he invites artists and gives them the opportunity to present their works, participate in workshops and exchange experiences with other participants.
In 2014, the first part of the workshop and presentation of "Silence of the Body / Milczące Ciało" was held on 19th – 22nd May in Mazovia Institute of Culture in Warsaw. The second part took place on 7th – 10th November. This time, workshops and presentations were held in Theater X in Tokyo. Polish-Japanese Presentations Mime Art Theatre 2014 coincided with the 50th anniversary of Stefan Niedziałkowski's artistic work.
Stefan Niedziałkowski was born on 12th May, 1945. From 1964 to 1975, he was a member of the Henryk Tomaszewski Wrocław Mime Theatre, one of the best theatres of its kind in the world. In 1975, he initiated and co-created the Stage of Mimes at the Warsaw Chamber Opera. In 1979, he decided to stay in the USA, where he started a new stage in his activity. He took up residence in New York and in Manhattan he opened a mime school called the American School of Polish Mime and created the group of mimes Mimedance Theatre. In 1982, a critic of Dance Magazine wrote the following about the Polish artist's performances:
… a hybrid of dance, theater, athletics, poetry, and blatant eroticism called "mimedance"… a bodily speech that touched greater depths of experience than language alone could express. There is a certain rightness about combinations that elevates a great artist from more pedestrian ranks. Niedzialkowski’s genius lies in employing generalized whole body poses in place of the more commonly seen particularity of gesture… A sense of rightness stretches his performance beyond the ordinary… goes beyond the mime’s craft of creating illusion with his body. He accomplishes this with only two tools; his own body and the human imagination. He can take an illusion and tell us a piece of the truth about ourselves.
After Niedziałkowski returned to Poland in 1994, he took over the artistic directorship of the Warsaw Mime Theatre at the E. R. Kamińska State Jewish Theatre in Warsaw, which he kept until 2002. Since 2005, Stefan Niedziałkowski’s Mimes Studio has been situated at the Mazovia Institute of Culture in Warsaw.
Director, artistic director: Stefan Niedziałkowski
Organizers: Theater X, Japan Art Mime Society
Support: Culture.pl, Polish Institute in Tokyo
Partners: Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Tokyo, "V4＋Japan 2014", Hokkaido-Poland Cultural Association