Next Saturday, 15 June (8 pm), the Polish Dance Theatre will present its newest performance at the Zamek Culture Centre in Poznań (ul. Św. Marcin 80/82), marking the 40 years of the ensemble’s existence. The choreography of Czterdzieści [Forty] was created by Norway’s Jo Strømgren. The production is a tale of a woman’s life from her birth in 1973 to her birthday in 2013. The four decades reflect times of disillusionment, hope, struggle, choices and unexpected developments, guided by the heroic virtues of desire to live and will to survive. Travelling across chaotic Europe, the character manages to find compromise between her own ambitions and the circumstances forced upon her.
In many of its aspects, the performance portraits not only an individual’s quest but symbolises the journey made by Poland and the Polish Dance Theatre. The country has seen radical chances throughout the last 40 years: what will be her future? The 40th anniversary of the Polish Dance Theatre brings about similar reflections. Being an art piece, the show does not focus on particular facts or figures. A fictitious point of view, even from a stranger, may provide the necessary distance to find common grounds for communication. As even the truth is never the whole truth, and everything boils down to what details get underscored, ignored or exaggerated. A subsequent performance is scheduled for 16 June.
They say that life is a book. But it is not. Life is written on thousands of loose pages. You may tell a story, indeed you may even claim that the story is real, yet – in truth – it is all a matter of choice, a selection of pages and their arrangement. Our story is just that.
World premiere: 15 and 16 June 2013 in Poznań, Zamek Culture Centre
Direction, choreography and stage design: Jo Strømgren
Lighting design: Hans J. Skogen
Costumes: Bregje van Balen
Music: Jo Strømgren, Viljo Vesterinen, George Brassens, Fryderyk Chopin, Giacomo Puccini, Francisco Tarrega, Serge Gainsbourg, Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, Antonio Vivaldi, Norbert Gabla, Ronan Hardiman, Ich Troje, Astor Piazzolla, Alfredo Catalani, Eleni Karaindrou, Lars Årdal
Premiere cast: Andrzej Adamczak, Karina Adamczak-Kasprzak, Urszula Bernat-Jałocha, Artur Bieńkowski, Niels Claes, Adriana Cygankiewicz, Agnieszka Fertała, Paulina Jaskim, Zbigniew Kocięba, Katarzyna Kulmińska, Kornelia Lech, Karol Miękina/Guillermo Millan Merida, Jacek Niepsujewicz/Paweł Malicki, Daniel Navarro Lorenzo, Josefine Patzelt, Tomasz Pomersbach, Luca Scarpa/Marcin Motyl, Daniel Stryjecki, Katarzyna Rzetelska, Paulina Wycichowska
Jo Strømgren was born in 1970 in the Norwegian city of Trondheim, where he studied classical ballet and worked for a few years as a contemporary dancer, before an injury forced him to venture on a more multidisciplinary artistic career. As an independent choreographer Strømgren is often employed by different ballet ensembles, including Wiener Staatsopernballet, The Royal Danish Ballet, Staatsoper Nürnberg Ballet, Gothenburg Ballet, Ballet de l’Opera National du Rhin, Royal Swedish Ballet. Currently, he is working with the Norwegian National Ballet. Jo has created many contemporary dance shows for such ensembles as Cedar Lake Dance Company, Danish Dance Theatre, Carte Blanche Dance Company, Cloud Gate Ensemble, Scottish Dance Theatre, Helsinki Dance Company, Repertory Dance Theatre Utah, Iceland Dance Company, Bern Ballet, Staatsheater am Gärtnerplatz München, or Staatstheater Braunschweig. As a theatre director he is a big admirer of Ibsen’s dramas and works mainly in Scandinavian countries: the Norwegian National Theatre, the Royal Danish Theatre, Reykjavik City Theatre, the National Theatre of Bergen, Malmö City Theatre. Internationally, he has worked e.g. with Philadelphia Live Arts and the Pushkin Theatre in Moscow. He has written 15 theatrical plays, which were staged by many theatres. At this point Jo is also involved in film directing. His first fiction film Destination Moscow came to life in 2003. In turn, his dance film The Neighbour won the prestigious Rose d’Or w Lausanne in 2010. Jo Strømgren’s activity on the international stage is extensive – in 2013 as many as 20 of his various productions were performed across the world.
The production is part of the project “Signs of Time – To Overcome Borders. Artistic and educational activities in Poland, Norway and Iceland”, as part of the programme “Promotion of Diversity in Culture and Arts within European Cultural Heritage” within the EEA Financial Mechanism 2009-2014.
Supported by a grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.