On Tuesday, 3 October, the Polish Dance Theatre held a press conference for the upcoming premiere of Wesele. Poprawiny [The Wedding: The After-Party], the final premiere of 2017, staged as part of The Year of Sorcerers. The piece will be presented at the ZAMEK Culture Centre Grand Hall on Friday, 13 October at 8 pm (the repeat performance will take place on 14 October at the same time).
Invited by Iwona Pasińska, director Marcin Liber takes on Stanisław Wyspiański?s classic piece for the second time, following his previous interpretation at the Polski Theatre in Bydgoszcz in 2013. Working on the appropriate means of expression for a dance piece in Poznań, Liber was supported by dancers and amateur senior dancers. His attempt to transpose the aesthetic of critical theatre onto dance is a situation which called for a close collaboration between the director and the choreographer. Both admitted that their co-operation proceeded organically, as the two had collaborated in theatre in the past.
A piece like this must bear the traits of historical awareness, professes Liber. It must be immediate and political. The fragment presented at the conference featured references to the history of earlier staging of The Wedding, including the commentary to the current situation at the Stary Theatre in Cracow. As declared by the authors, their work on the piece was informed by the search for balance, one that was not devoid of troublesome issues, such as e.g. how to thematize intergenerationality, which had surfaced at the time of casting. Seniors selected in the course of the Polish Dance Theatre Dance Lab, which took place in August, contribute a great historical wealth that is juxtaposed with the new, imminent generation that is currently searching for its own identity. Their experiences are so divergent that to see how these two groups of dancers were combined within one ensemble will no doubt be astonishing. The dramaturgy of the piece was overseen by Magdalena Zaniewska.
The very observation of the history of the ritual leads on towards original reflections, which partly accounts for the timelessness of The Wedding. The authors of the Poznań Dance Theatre production have opted for posing questions rather than providing answers; in reconstructing the wedding feast, they aimed at disenchanting myths. We examine our reflection in the various historical takes at ?The Wedding?, says Marcin Liber. The participation of senior dancers has also bolstered the panoramic representation of Polish society. Iwona Pasińska, who was the choreographic coach with the production, adds that in examining ourselves against the mirror provided by Wyspiański, we wish to create a broader set of associations.
The authors of The Wedding: The After-Party also draw from the tradition of Polish national dances. To facilitate the production, Leszek Rembowski, folk dance specialist, held workshops on the oberek, kujawiak and polonnaise dances. The ample reservoir of folk dances will thus provide an additional reference for the choreographic plane of the piece, resurfacing as choreographic afterimages. They will be visible and recognizable, even though they have been transposed into contemporary tunes. Moreover, RSS B0YS, one of Poland?s most mysterious DJ duos, will contribute incidental music based on electronic sound.
The conference also saw Mirek Kaczmarek, stage designer and author of videos and costumes for the piece, give the audience a teaser of the premiere. Kaczmarek admitted he had tried not to hinder the dancers while also pointedly expressing pop-cultural themes, as evidenced in the teaser, which presented an excerpt from Straw-Wrap?s dance featuring poignant, red and white costumes.
Polish Dance Theatre Director Iwona Pasińska stresses the vital role of dancers in creating the piece, as well as the artistic maturity of the Poznań-based company.
The Wedding: The After-Party brings together critical theatre and dance. The rich production history of the piece will be interwoven with present-day Poland, promising an intriguing show.
The nearest plans of the Polish Dance Theatre include presentations in nine cities in Poland, a tour of China, and a move to the company?s new seat in ul. Taczaka, as well as a cycle of weekly dance talks held on Thursdays by curator Anna Królica. In December, the Theatre will announce the results of the competition ?1 strona, 1 spojrzenie, 180 sekund? [1 page, 1 view, 180 seconds], which attracted 70 international submissions.
Compiled by: Magdalena Małysz