Krzysztof Warlikowski’s "(A)pollonia" takes the stage at the 17th edition of Russia's Golden Mask Festival in Moscow, along with four other outstanding productions from Polish directors: Krystian Lupa, Grzegorz Jarzyna, Maja Kleczewska and Wojtek Ziemilski. The Polish section comprises the most extensive presentation of Polish theatre in Russia to date...
Krzysztof Warlikowski's (A)pollonia, produced by Teatr Nowy, is presented together alongside four other outstanding Polish productions including Krystian Lupa's Persona. Marylin (Teatr Dramatyczny), Grzegorz Jarzyna's T.E.O.R.E.M.A.T (TR Warszawa), Maja Kleczewska's Babel (Teatr Polski) and Wojtek Ziemilski's Small Narration (Teatr Studio)as well as a collective work-in-progress by the Komuna Warszawa and the Liquid Theatre from Moscow entitled The Railway Opera: Prologue.
The Golden Mask is Russia's most prestigious national prize in the categories of dramatic theatre, opera, ballet, operetta, musical and the puppet theatre. Each year since 1994 the festival hosts the most important productions from all over Russia, along with an alternative programme of productions from neighbouring nations and the Baltic States. This year's edition puts Poland in the spotlight with the Polish Theatre in Moscow project, organised in collaboration with the Adam Mickiewicz Institute. The series comprises the most extensive presentation of Polish theatre in Russia thus far.
Joanna Klass, co-curator of the Polish Theater in Moscow project, stated at a press conference in early March that the goal of the initiative is not only to promote established masters of the Polish theatre, but also younger and independent productions, demonstrating the latest experiments in the area of work with the actor and the dramatic text. The Polish presentation is an invitation to launch a dialogue between the two countries, accompanied by discussions on Polish-Russian relations, stereotypes and theatre aesthetics.
(A)pollonia is Krzysztof Warlikowski's acclaimed adaptation of the texts of Aeschylus, Euripides, Hanna Krall and J.M. Coetzee. It takes up the subject of sacrifice in the context of responsibility, which has become solely a matter of choice in the world of tragedy ironised and demistified. The work deals with the question of sacrificing one's life for the sake of a just cause through a combination of ancient Greek myths with texts on the Holocaust and war-time reality under the German occupation. Warlikowski presents the stories of three women who sacrifice themselves in the name of different values, as a result of different circumstances. These realities are confronted with the silent consent to the suffering of other person prevalent in contemporary culture. The first scene opens in the Warsaw Ghetto with Janusz Korczak and the children in his care just before they are sent off to the death camp in Treblinka, the first stop on an extraordinary journey through the slaughterhouse of human history.
Krystian Lupa, who won the 2009 Golden Mask prize for his staging of Chekhov's The Seagull, returns to Moscow with yet another masterpiece. Lupa's Persona. Marilyn analyses the phenomenon of America's sex icon - Marilyn Monroe. It is a first part of a theatrical triptych dedicated to three mystical personalities of the 20th century - including Simone Weill and George Ivanovich Gurdjieff - whose lives had an impact on history both on and off the stage. The director removes the mask that Norma Jeane Mortenson hides behind and presents a whole set of ways of being - from a childlike dreamer to a spoiled, demanding diva and a fallen icon. All of these opposing personalities build a character that is so complex, she loses her own self within it.
**galeria* gl_persona_tryptyk_marilyn_lupa**Grzegorz Jarzyna T.E.O.R.E.M.A.T, inspired by Pier Paolo Pasolini's film Teorema, has achieved recognisable cult status in international theatrical circles. The show's characters are presented at a critical point of their lives, where, as in a Karl Jasper's theory, one has to either turn away from life or strive to achieve a higher level of consciousness to overcome limitations placed upon them by society or their own psychological inhibitions. In transcending these limitations and attaining personal freedom, individuals can experience an authentic existence. Award-winning T.E.O.R.E.M.A.T is the result of Jarzyna's laboratorial work with the actors - a theatrical palimpsest, or theorem, of this existential path.
Maja Kleczewska's Babel is a three-hour performance that explores issues of death, war and religion and its effects on the lives of human beings. Referred to as "anatomical" theatre, the production takes mystical and sacral themes and treats them literally - reducing the miracle to flesh-and-blood fact. Based on the book by Elfriede Jelinek, the biblical account of the miracle birth, sacrifice and resurrection is turned upside down, revealing the absurdity of such deep-seated religious beliefs. The Catholic ideal of a woman who births a son in dutiful anticipation of his ultimate demise is twisted into a morbid show of pageantry and horror, set to the futuristic sounds of electronic music.
In Small Narration Wojtek Ziemilski deals with the difficult truths one faces in finding out one's identity and roots. The real-life news of his grandfather's (Count Wojciech Dzieduszycki, a distinguished citizen of Wrocław) collaboration with the socialist Security Service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs leaves him stunned. In addressing the subject, Ziemilski presents a lecture which combines a personal story with historical fact, expressed through modern choreography that follows both the great narration and the small.
The Polish-Russian connection comes to a climax in a special work-in-progress performance from Komuna Warszawa and Liquid Theatre from Moscow. The Railway Opera: Prologue tells the story of a couple who consciously choose to inhabit a Moscow railway station. It is a philosophical discourse concerning the place "in-between", a unique category of time and space not subject to reality. The score is based the sounds of a typical train station.
Meetings with dramatists and directors directly after the performances, recitals of new Polish plays and discussions are also a part of the programme. The Polish section has been put together in co-operation with the Polish and Russian Ministries of Culture, The Golden Mask Festival and the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, along with support from the Mikhail Prokhorov Foundation for Cultural Initiatives.
The 17th Golden Mask Festival takes place in Moscow from March 27 to April 14, 2011. The ceremonial gala of the Golden Mask National Theatre Award will be held on April 15 at the Gostiny Dvor.
Performances of Polish productions at the Golden Mask Festival 2011:
- (A)pollonia - March 4 & 5, 2011
- Persona. Marilyn - March 9 & 10, 2011
- Small Narration - March 12 & 13, 2011
- Babel - March 14 & 15, 2011
- T.E.O.R.E.M.A.T. - March 24, 2011
For a full programme, see: www.goldenmask.ru
Source: www.nowyteatr.org, www.wyborcza.pl, www.trwarszawa.pl, www.teatrpolski.pl, www.goldenmask.ru, www.o.pl, www.komuna.warszawa.pl, www.teatrdramatyczny.pl , www.e-teatr.pl