On Saturday and Sunday, 29 and 30 November, at 7 pm, the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw (ul. Emilii Plater 51) will host the premiere of Ecdysis (Wylinka), a choreography developed by Maria Stokłosa together with dramaturge Wojtek Ziemilski. The piece’s subject matter is everything that happens between a trio of performers ? the way they coexist. It all begins with foil. Foil binds the performers together, assigns them tasks. It also helps them experience what it is like to share your skin with somebody else. In the end, the function of foil is take over by movement. It helps to overcome the border between what is mine, what is outside, and creates a community of tempo and shape.
The piece’s departure point was my interest in the end of the world and disintegration. One of the images that launched the creative process was a photo of a 2008 sculpture by Maurizio Cattelana featuring nine bodies lying under a white sheet. I was shown the photo by Wojtek Pustoła. And it was the photo that prompted me to introduce foil into the working process. During rehearsals I realised that it is not death or the end understood directly that are important but the dramatic passage from one life stage to another. Influenced by experiences, we do not die for real, nor does the world end, but we simply learn to operate in the new order, which in the end becomes a new universe.
What made us, has long disappeared.
There’ll be no dusted antiques, memories of granddads, our exes, mothers, aunts, and children. There’ll be no stories of a fantasy performance whose audience suddenly finds itself on the beach, in the mountains, at a stadium, on an alien planet. All of that came up during rehearsals, and sometimes stayed for longer. We walked the way. And we walked farther. Once in a while we’d spot a new world ? it would erupt like an unknown volcano, leaving behind ashes and fertile soil. Remaining are leftover ? matter that remembers something, but is mostly wrong, remembers wrong, can’t go back, so it goes forward, towards a different version of itself. Towards a different body. Uncomfortable at most times, but domesticable.
What now? What remains when all that’s left on the battleground are coils of plastic so crumpled that it might hide the genealogy of events?
Now we’re testing the terrain. Staring from scratch, although we’ve tried it so menu times before.
We’re testing, building, freeing ourselves. One more time again.
Conception, choreography: Maria Stokłosa
Dance, artistic coollaboration: Magda Ptasznik, Iza Szostak, Wojtek Pustoła
Dramaturgic collaboration: Wojtek Ziemilski
Research residency: Anka Herbut
Lighting design: Michał Głaszczka
Production: Fundacja Burdąg
Partners: Institute of Music and Dance, Centrum w Ruchu
Collaboration, support: Museum of Modern Art, Wawer Centre of Culture
Partners of the research programme: Dwutygodnik.com, taniecPOLSKA.pl
The premiere comes as part of the programme Research/Production. Dance in the Process of Articulation, which embraces artistic residencies and discourse on experimental choreography.
A key concept for Ecdysis is choreographic sculpture, in which everything moves everything, and everything and everything influences everything else, no matter if we talk about performers or objects. A performer and an object function in a similar way, wrote Anka Herbut, journalist with Dwutygodnik.com, reviewer and dramaturge, about the piece a few months before its premiere
Anka Herbut was present during Ecdysis’s development. As a guest researcher she took part in the rehearsals and the residency. Observing the creative process, she wrote a documentary text, or a text-in-progress about the production, before the work was completed.
Ecdysis‘s premiere comes as part of the Burdag Foundation’s programme Research/Production. Dance in the Process of Articulation, which is meant to boost creative collaborations between practitioners and theoreticians of performance art, artistic residencies, and constructing a discourse on experimental choreography. The Burdąg Foundation and Space for Performng Arts and Institute of Music and Dance have invited selected participants to accompany Magdalena Ptasznik, Maria Stokłosa, Renata Piotrowska, and Maija Reeta Raumanni during their artistic residencies devoted to the development of new choreographies. During rehearsals participants witness the creative process, learn about the working methods and ways of communication employed by the artists when making dance. Based on these experiences they write texts analysing the process of developing a performance. The project’s partners are taniecpolska.pl and dwutygodnik.com.
To-date the project has brought about an interview with Eleonora Zdebiak, interview with Magdalena Ptasznik i and Anka Herbut’s text published on taniecPOLSKA.pl, as well as an analysis by Zofia Smolarska and texts by Mateusz Szymanówka and Teresa Fazan published on Dwutygodnik.com.
The project us supported by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage of Poland and the city of Warsaw. The research project is implemented in association with the Institute of Music and Dance in Warsaw.