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On Thursday, 2 October 2014 (7 pm) the City Culture Institute in Gdańsk (ul. Długi Targ 39/40) and the Dada von Bzdülöw Theatre are presenting Celebration, a documentary directed by Michał Popczyk. The film was shot in December 2012 while the company was rehearsing Celebration, czyli koniec. I jeszcze raz! [Celebration, or the End. And One More Time] which was the final chord of the celebrations of Dada’s 20th birthday. Working on the production were 21 people, including Mikołaj Trzaska, Paweł Szamburski, Izabela Chlewińska, Dominika Knapik, Filip Szatarski, Radek Hewelt, Dawid Lorenc, Ula Zerek, or Tatiana Kamieniecka, that is everybody who had been involved with Dada over the preceding few years.

 

Celebration the film documents the performance’s creation. The chaos of the preparations and emotions preceding the premiere combine with the joy of the many artists getting together. The roles have been assigned, the choreography is in the process of making, music emerges out of improvisation. While following the production’s progress, the viewer is also told the history of the company and its founders ? Katarzyna Chmielewska and Leszek Bzdyl ? told by their collaborators. Each has left an artistic trace on Dada’s subsequent productions; each approaches the company in a different way, and provides a different account of his or her encounter with the philosophy of the Dada theatre.

 

It is commonplace for jubilee-inspired documentaries to be rather eulogistic. Michał Popczyk’s picture is deeply ironic. The irony makes the preparations for the jubilee celebration look like a playful and Dadaistically chaotic meeting of an artistic group whose members believe in the freedom of creative expression and a motto borrowed from Romain Gary’s book The Life Before Us:

 

“You won’t catch me putting ribbons on life.”

 

Celebration

written and directed by:

Michał Popczyk

Irena Siedlar

 

in collaboration with:

Magdalena Hajdysz

 

cinematographers:

Michał Popczyk

Mateusz Sendrowicz

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