On Friday, 21 September (7 pm), the Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute in Warsaw (ul. Jazdów 1) and the Limen Butoh Theatre will stage the premiere of the performance Szczeliny istnienia [Cracks of Existence], a new solo by Sylwia Hanff featuring electrocaoustic and acousmatic music by the outstanding French composer Pierre Boeswillwald. The two met in 2017 at the international festival ?En chair et en Son? held near Paris, where they presented their joint project Zmierzch opuszczonych miast [The Dusk of the Abandoned Cities]. Following their first collaboration, Pierre Boeswillwald offered to compose a piece dedicated to the Warsaw-based butoh artist.
Part I. Yohaku
Part II. Event Horizon
Part III. 6.6 Billion Suns
Imagine the Abstract
being played in the G major
deep space black with flashes of darker
blackness pornographic obscenity
imagined experienced totality
nothing at all in deep
An exhausted sun slow painless
death moved around
like clouds passing across the moon
The cold of interstellar
Non-Euclidean geometries. Voices green, purple, red.
The universe sent into reverse. Apocalypse postponed
Time running backwards
[Poezja Znaleziona/Black-out poetry ? Sylwia Hanff]
From the Artist:
Having danced for over twenty years, I keep asking myself questions about butoh. Can one dance butoh in a way it used to be danced in the past? What would new butoh be like, and is it possible at all? I have been looking for answers, going back to the roots, knowing that repetition is impossible.
Electroacoustic music carries a special weight with me ? I have always found it fascinating. A soundscape that constitutes an independent universe. I keep entering this parallel world and let it absorb me.
The title of the piece comes from a book by Jolanty Brach-Czaina:
Permeation. The invisible and the hidden happen in the gaps, fissures, and cracks that lead within, underneath the surface, to the other side of the reality. One that is still the same, though. […] By watching, we not only extract the observed reality but we also wake.
[Jolanta Brach-Czaina, Szczeliny istnienia, Wydawnictwo eFKa, 2006]
These words may reflect the essence of butoh to the fullest extent. In Japanese art, Yohaku (ikebana, painting) stands for ?an empty space.? Butoh is a surrender to ?the will to understand? and a practice of the mystique of existence. It results from a humility towards the unknown, the unnameable, the un-present. Hence the 6.6 billion Suns ? the weight of the black hole. It has an edge, referred to as event horizon.
The piece has also been inspired by my last year?s trip to Japan, by the experience of the Other that has appropriated by consciousness through sound, causing transgression and a subsidence of the body-mind into an unusual dream state.
Concept, choreography, butoh dance: Sylwia Hanff
Music: Pierre Boeswillwald
Lighting design: Roman Woźniak
Costume: Monika Moskwa
Co-financed by the Capital City of Warsaw
Special thanks to the ?Łowicka? Centre for granting the artists rehearsal space.
Admission free upon presentation of invitations, available online on the Theatre Institute website:
The number of invitation cards is limited.
BUTOH is a counter-culture form of contemporary dance born in Japan at the turn of the 1950s and 60s. It departs from the canons of traditional art, both on a national and global levels. Butoh was also inspired by expressionism, Antonin Artaud?s concept of the theatre of cruelty, Nietzsche?s philosophy, Bataille?s writing, and Genet?s body of work. It evokes the ludic aesthetics of ugliness, and constitutes a ritual that liberates internal energy and explores the dark corners of the subconscious. Deliberate in its exposition of the forbidden spheres of life, butoh is a dance whose essence involves an extensive perception of the body liberated from everyday automatism, a search for the authentic in the body and its mysterious beauty, an opening to the Self, and the unity of the Universe in its eternal cycle of life and death. Butoh is a state of oneness of the body-mind that enables one to subtly experience the internal and external world; it is a clear experience of the changing states of existence. Positioned at the extremes of time, the dancer opens up a space in which the invisible manifests itself.
Sylwia Hanff is a pionier of butoh in Poland and one of the most recognizable butoh figures in the country. She studied under the greatest masters (Ko Murobushi, Daisuke Yashimoto, Carlotta Ikeda, Yoshito Ohno, Atsushi Takenouchi, Tadashi Endo, Ken Mai, Kan Katsura, and others). Sylwia is a physical theatre performer, and an instructor of dance improvisation, body symbolism, yoga and meditation. She studied modern and oriental dance during many international festivals and workshops in Poland, Germany and the UK; she has taken part in a number of dancing projects. Sylwia was an actress in the Warsaw Pantomime Theatre, and worked with the National Theatre and National Opera. She also cooperates with physical and experimental theatres. A holder of an M.A. degree in philosophy from the University of Warsaw, Sylwia is also a culture a manager ? she has been organising butoh events for many years, and for over ten years she has been organising workshops on body and meditation in movement. As the founder of Limen Butoh Theatre (est. 2002), she has created over a dozen original solo and group pieces, as well as a number of etudes and improvisations. Her body of work was featured in The Body Revolving Stage. New Dance in New Poland, by Jadwiga Majewska (2012) and in Present with the Body. The Technique of Polish Butoh Dancers by Magdalena Zamorska (2014). Sylwia is also the recipient of a scholarship from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. www.limenbutoh.net FB https://www.facebook.com/limenbutoh
Pierre Boeswillwald is a French composer, pioneer of electroacoustic music; born in France in 1934, he studied electronic music (among others with Peter Schaeffer at the Paris Conservatoire and the GRM), as well as visual arts and theatre. In 1954, he began his first experiments in writing incidental music for the theatre, collaborating with numerous directors and institutions (Blin, Sorano, Lavelli, Bataille, Maréchal, Comédie Française, Festival de Gavarnie). Later on, he wrote a number of soundtracks (ca. 300) for such institutions as Centre Pompidou, Sigma Bordeaux, the Avignon Festival, and the CRA. He practiced electroacoustic improvisation as part of the direct expression groups Chateauvallons and Opus N, along with Christian Clozier, Alain Savouret and Jacques Lejeune. A member of Artam (sound processing technology research studio), he was the founder of Nicole Lachartre CACL (an association for the collaboration of instrumentalists and composers) and Studio Delta p La Rochelle (along with the composer Éric Mulard). He is the founding member and the president of the French federation ICEM-UNESCO, and a member of the audio engineering association audio NY and the International Electroacoustic Music Academy in Bourges. A long-time teacher of music composition (Pantin, Evry, IMEB, IRCAM, Lille University, Institut de la marionnette), he was also the founder of the MEA Plessi Robinsson in Bourges and Amiens, where he taught from 1983 through 2002.
Dr hab. Roman Woźniak is a sculptor, installation artist, stage designer, theatre director, cultural event organiser, and artistic director of the Academia Theatre. Born on 30 August, 1952 in Płock, he studied at the Sculpture Faculty of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, receiving a diploma under prof. Jerzy Jarnuszkiewicz. Since the 1980s, he has worked as a lecturer at the Sculpture Faculty and Stage Design Department of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, and for the past few years he has also taught stage design and colour and space direction at the Warsaw Academy of Arts. At the turn of 1980/1981, he was the director of the Repassage Gallery, a Warsaw-based contemporary art gallery which acted as a major centre for the counter-cultural Polish neo-Avant-garde of the 1970s. He created his first plastic and theatre pieces in the 1970s, and in 1993 he founded the independent Academia Theatre with Marcin Januszkiewicz. Roman Woźniak?s pieces are exhibited at Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź, and at the Centre of Polish Sculpture in Orońsko.
Monika Moskwa is former dancer, currently working as a choreographer and costume designer. Consistently inspired by music and images, riots of shapes and colours, she felt the need to supply her choreographic pieces with original costumes, an impulse which over time transformed itself into a cornerstone of her creative vision. A student of costume design and prop design at the Faculty of Painting of the Warsaw School of Arts, she has developed hundreds of projects during her 25-year career (including over a dozen as a student of the WSA).