On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between Poland and Korea, the opening of the Uijeongbu Music Theater Festival will feature the outdoor staging of ‘Macbeth’ by the Biuro Podróży Theatre, while Tęgie Chłopy band will play for dancing and at the closing of the festival.
Two Polish theatre productions have been presented so far at the Uijeongbu Music Theatre Festival: in 2014 Macbeth by the Jan Kochanowski Theatre from Opole directed by Maja Kleczewska, and in 2018 Songs of Lear by the Song of the Goat Theatre from Wrocław. This May, the festival will once again feature Macbeth, this time performed by the Biuro Podróży Theatre from Poznań.
The Biuro Podróży Theatre, founded in 1988 by Paweł Szkotak, is one of the most interesting alternative theatres in Poland, drawing on the experience of Jerzy Grotowski’s Laboratory Theatre, Gardzienice Centre for Theatre Practices and The Eighth Day Theatre. The performance directed by Paweł Szkotak is a modern adaptation of Shakespeare’s famous drama, in which horses have been replaced by motorcycles. The show portrays a world of chaos, full of atrocities and crime, in which killing has become the norm – it neither provokes objections, nor arouses the conscience. The performance was commissioned by the city of Cork – European Capital of Culture in 2005.
Paweł Szkotak talked about staging Shakespeare’s dramas in an interview for Gazeta Wyborcza:
I would very much like to create a trilogy, including Hamlet and Richard III. Shakespeare has created our whole contemporary mythology. He refers to every kind of interpersonal relationship: lovers, married couples, parents and children, friends, subordinates and superiors... And in addition, his dramas are full of swift, thrilling action. I am not surprised at all that today’s filmmakers are so eager to adapt his plays for the screen. Besides, it’s really frightening that not only human nature has remained unchanged for centuries, but also the whole sets of behaviours are still the same. (from 'Gazeta Wyborcza', 21 May 2005, trans. AW)
The closing of the festival will feature the performance of Tęgie Chłopy band who continues the traditions of live dance music from Kielce region. The musicians will also conduct special dance workshops for children, during which they will teach the basic steps of such dances as a mazurka, oberek or polka, and introduce traditional Polish instruments.
The aim of the band is to revive the music that used to be performed in the villages in the old days. Kielce region is known for its brass orchestras – that is why Tęgie Chłopy include a strong brass section, namely trumpet, clarinet and bass. One of their most important masters is Stanisław Witkowski from Opatów, an 84-years old clarinet player. Together with his four brothers he created a legendary band that performed traditional music during hundreds of wedding parties. Tęgie Chłopy is a word-play and stands for ‘tough chaps’. At the same time, chłop is a local name for the type of mazurka popular in the region of Kielce – a dance tune in triple meter, characteristic for Polish traditional music.
The band has performed at major Polish festivals and events, including Jazz on the Odra Festival, Cross Culture Festival, EtnoKraków / Crossroads Festival, Jagiellonian Fair, Mazurkas of the World Festival, at the Szczecin Philharmonic and National Philharmonic in Warsaw. The musicians also played at the Korro Festival in Sweden and at the book fair in Abu Dhabi.
Source: press materials, originally written in Polish by EC, 29 Apr 2019, translated by AW, 1 May 2019