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 January 2019 
Photo: Witek Orski

Warsaw/Expanding the Field: Paweł Sakowicz “Masakra”

9 January 2019 - 11 January 2019 | 19:00 | Premiere

performance presentation

As part of the choreographic programme of Nowy Teatr and the Art Stations Foundation Expanding the Field, Paweł Sakowicz will present his premiere piece Masakra [Massacre].

 

In 1937, the Polish government sent an expedition to Madagascar to explore the possibilities of colonising the island. The expedition was supported by the Maritime and Colonial League, closely linked to the Polish authorities, and promoted the slogan: “like every free nation, Poland deserves to have its own colonies”. However, Madagascar never became a Polish colony.

 

In 1920, an informal conference of dance teachers in London created a new style: modern ballroom dance. The dances of the enslaved communities of Brazil, Haiti and Cuba were codified and became a popular entertainment for the upper middle class. Over time, samba, cha-cha, rumba, paso doble and jive became Latin American ballroom dances and have been performed ever since at dance competitions.

 

Concept, choreography: Paweł Sakowicz
Created with and performed by: Karolina Kraczkowska, Agnieszka Kryst, Ramona Nagabczyńska, Iza Szostak
Dramaturgy: Anka Herbut
Music: Lubomir Grzelak
Set design: Anna Met
Lighting design: Jacqueline Sobiszewski
Photo: Witek Orski
Thanks to: Centrum Sztuki Współczesnej Zamek Ujazdowski

 

Expanding the Field – a choreographic programme by Nowy Teatr and the Art. Stations Foundation by Grażyna Kulczyk

Curator: Joanna Leśnierowska

 

Notice: During the show, dancers perform with coloured make-up to appear light brown.

 

Paweł Sakowicz is a choreographer and dancer. He graduated from the University of Warsaw with a degree in political studies and holds an MA in performance and choreography from the London Contemporary Dance School. For a few years, he has been working with various artists, curators and theatre makers across Europe. His works, including Bernhard, TOTAL, Jumpcore, and Thriller,  were presented during two editions of the Polish Dance Platform, NYU Skirball and CAC New Orleans amongst others. Paweł Sakowicz has also been named an Aerowaves Twenty19 Artist.

 

Tickets: 35/25 PLN
Entrance cards: 20 PLN

 

Poszerzanie pola [Expanding the field]

 

 

Since the mit-20th century, choreography has been premeditated in situating itself in the fissure between visual arts and [traditionally defined] dance; in the Polish context alsotheatre. This fissure has consistently expanded and unveiled its operational field: a territory of artistic practices consciously and amply borrowing from other disciplines, structuring their own stage language and discourse, and calling for a map of their own.

 

To delineate this map, the organizers of Expanding the Field have extended their invitation to three Polish artists whose practice has made choreo-graphy (i.e. the art of scripting movement, and the movement embedded in the act of writing) ever more noticeable (and visible) while also seamlessly meshing with a leading current in contemporary choreography. In the words of the pope of visual culture Nicholas Mirzoeff, one could refer to this current a choreographic form of visual activism, organized around the problematic of dance perception – discerning and perceiving the moving body and the surrounding reality that is embedded within this notion.

 

Because to see something means to understand, to perceive it in its complexity. Such visualization tactics (which does not stop at merely re-defining the medium) constitutes a most intriguing field of choreographic research. It is a strategy which reveals the seams and discloses the structure of composition. And yet, it is also a strategy which operates with casual movement, separated from its natural context and subjected to special organization that renders it a building block in physical and visual metaphors, and effectively diagnoses individual and social and political conditions. It involves an artistic and critical transformation of the surrounding multidimensional reality, in order to visualize (i.e. render perceivable and understandable) its governing mechanisms. At the same time, it entails a practice of counter-visualization, i.e. creating new ways of seeing, a practice of “un-seeing” the modes of perception (of the world and of the body) imposed from without and naturalized, and supplanting them with new representations.  

 

The programme poses a transfer of choreography from literal and metaphorical peripheries to the very centre, along with a celebration of “in-betweenness” as its natural habitat.

 

Thus, the field of choreography will expand. The field of its perception, its operation and influence, and – last but not least – the field of struggle for its autonomy. The motto behind all of Nowy Teatr actions, “Go. See. Think,” hence provides an interesting starting point for choreographic scores.

                            

Dance is hard to see, said Yvonne Rainer in 1966, at the highpoint of the dance revolution which is now officially recognized as the outset of contemporary choreography, of which Rainer was a pioneer. (Making her statement, Rainer consciously used the ambiguity of the English verb to see, which means both discerning something and understanding it). This revolution was accompanied by the now-familiar demand to democratize dance, expressed most directly through a radical expansion of dance vocabulary to include everyday actions, such as running and walking, which enabled choreographers to create an egalitarian space for the community of the performing and the perceiving. In fact, it was all about something more: learning a new way of seeing and discerning dance and its organization, i.e. choreography which, as an ephemeral art, escapes our perception. I want my dance to be a superstar!, added Rainer, thus opening grounds for a split within the traditional narrative, which deprived dance of its cause-and-effect binder, and rendered the body the main protagonist of the art: the subject and object of choreography. Through a programmatic disclosure of choreographic seams, concentration on simple tasks, and exposure of the governing principles of movement, a framework has been created that ennobles the moving body and elevates it to the rank of an object worth perceiving as any other work of art. Most importantly, the audience’s attention has been redirected to the previously inconspicuous, yet omnipresent, choreography of everyday life, thus transforming the surrounding reality (including its social and political aspects) into a vital frame of reference shared by performers and audiences alike.

 

 


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