On Monday, 6 January (7 pm) the Museum of Modern Art in Warsawwill present Paulina Ołowska’s performance Alfabet [Alphabet] to conclude the exhibition W sercu kraju[In the Heart of the Country]. The piece will feature dancers of Centrum w Ruchu: Ramona Nagabczyńska, Iza Szostak and Karol Tymiński, and was choreographed by Nagabczyńska, Maria Stokłosa and Daniel Yamada.
Paulina Ołowska’s Alphabet was inspired by the book entitled ABECEDA by Karel Teige, the key figure of the Czech avant-garde who created in 1926 the experimental “moving alphabet”, in cooperation with Milca Mayerova.
Referring to Teige’s project, Paulina Ołowska combines rhythmicity with constructivist fascination for typography and points to the rhetorical function of dance: three performers arrange their bodies to form 26 letters, from Ato Zand, confronting the alphabet of the written language with the “alphabet” of gestures and movements, create anew system of expressing meanings.
Moreover, Paulina Ołowska’s Alphabet is set in the dialogue with poems by Josef Strau, Frances Stark and Paulus Mazur which, on the one hand, are the sources and grounds for the dancers (the letters, as it were, emerge from the text read by the narrator and create unexpected dialogues with him) but, on the other, perform the function of ordinary music (their bodies – letters are more or less extravagant dance figures). Such slackening of the too rigid attitude to language and meanings, such “poetry of senses” – as Teige called his alphabet, seem to be treated by Paulina Ołowska as away to present the flexibility and dynamism of the language, as well as the multitude of the ways of communication.
The “Alphabet” was first shown in Berlin in 2005 (Galerie Meerrettich). In 2012 it was staged in the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Held in conjunction with the exhibition W sercu kraju[In the Heart of the Country]
Choreography:Daniel Yamada, Ramona Nagabczyńska
Performers: Dancers of Centrum w Ruchu: Ramona Nagabczyńska, Iza Szostak, Karol Tymiński
Narrator: Kacper Ołowski
Cooperation: Maria Stokłosa