On 22-24 September 2015 (7:30 pm local time), the Sopot Dance Theatre will present The Madman and the Nun, directed and choreographed by Jacek Krawczyk and Izabela Sokołowska, at the Beijing Pioneer Theatre of National Theatre (Oriental Plaza, Dong Chang?an Dajie 1, Beijing). Starring in the performance will be Dorota Zielińska and Jacek Krawczyk. The Madman and the Nun will be presented as part of the 8th Beijing Fringe Festival. The events will be accompanied by lectures, discussion panels and workshops.
About the show:
The Sopot Dance Theatre?s take on Witkacy?s play focuses on the personal and artistic dimensions of FREEDOM. The former aspect concerns social norms which delineate the limits of personal freedom, while the latter refers to the freedom of making artistic choices.
Both dimensions of freedom are inseparably related in the story of Mieczysław Walpurg, a poet, and his relations with the world as a patient treated in a psychiatric ward, most prominent of which is that with Sister Anna, a nun who attends to him. The audience witnesses the struggles of a psychically constrained man (as evidenced by the straight jacket and the isolation room) who is unable to live and create, and therefore starts a relationship with a young woman whom he sees as an ally and redeemer. The relationship is far more than appropriate between a patient and a nun. On her part, Anna gets involved in the relationship in a way which defies the strict norms and constraints of the religious order.
It is a lose-lose situation. Similarly to Witkacy?s original play, in the end the divisions into the Healthy and the Sick, the Free and the Enslaved no longer apply. The makers of the piece intentionally shift the emphasis to Anna, who seems a silent epitome of the words uttered by her superior, Sister Barbara: ?And that?s your psychiatry for you! In my old age I can?t tell who?s mad anymore: me, you, or them. Oh, Lord! Have mercy on me. I think I?ve gone mad already.?
Excerpt from a review:
The Sopot Dance Theatre’s production is a faithful adaptation of Witkacy’s play. Joanna Czajkowska, the author of the scenario, has extracted the motif of Him, an enslaved, isolated man constrained by a straight jacket, and Her, a woman who constrains herself with a nun’s habit. Both sport black costumes contrasting with a white rhombus marked out on the stage, delimiting a stage within a stage, a madman’s cell, the madness zone. ? Sokołowska’s extremely poetic, flirtatious, sensual dance is met with Krawczyk’s firm, sharp, angular movements. They are on the stage together. Every brash, even the slightest touch of the hand, is meaningful; translated into the language of dance, their mutual fascination turns into genuine passion. ? “The Madman and the Nun” is a perfectly crafted piece: in part and in whole. The visual effects furnished by the OKO OTO duo (Natalia Osuch i Dominik Rudasz) look very well. ? Sokołowska and Krawczyk’s dance unfolds to a fittingly difficult, sharp, penetrating music composed by Karolina Rec and Przemysław Etamski. … It is an extremely plastic tale about great passion infused with sadness and bitterness expressed through dance. We witness the birth of a relationship, its development, and consequences. We witness great theatre. And a pair of excellent dancers. Let’s hope there is more to come.
Łukasz Rudziński, Szaleństwo i namiętność, pasja i taniec (Madness and passion, passion and dance), trojmiasto.pl, 2 May 2012.
Directed and choreographed by Jacek Krawczyk, Izabela Sokołowska
Dance: Dorota Zielińska, Jacek Krawczyk
Script: Joanna Czajkowska, based on a play by Witkacy
Costumes: Magdalena Arłukiewicz
Music: Karolina Rec, Przemysław Etamski / Mastering: Mariusz Noskowiak
Set design: Jacek Krawczyk
Visual effects: Natalia Osuch, Dominik Rudasz
Lighting: Artur Aponowicz
Photography: Alicja Byzdra
Premiere: 1 May 2012, Teatr na Plaży
The Sopot Dance Theatre?s visit to the Beijing Fringe Festival is supported by the Polish Embassy in Beijing and
About the festival:
The Beijing Fringe Festival was established in 2008 with the purpose of nurturing young theatre talent, introducing outstanding theatre work by young people, promoting the development of a flourishing theatre scene in China, and fostering international exchange among young theatre practitioners.