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On Saturday, 12 May 2018 (repeat performances on 13 May as part of the Bilet do teatru za 300 groszy ticket plan, and on 15 May), the Stanisław Moniuszko Wielki Theatre in Poznań will host the premiere of Trojan choreographed by Viktor Davydiuk, set to the music of Gabriel Kaczmarek. The authors of Trojan take on an ages-long myth that has shaped the perception of war as an honourable struggle. However, the story of the valiant Odysseus, Paris, Agememnon, Hector or Helen  will not yield any heroes this time. The ballet premiere at the Wielki Theatre in Poznań reverses the meanings embedded in the myth ? it takes de-heroizes war. In their analysis of geopolitical situation, the artists reject the traditional presentation of the protagonists ? the sheer number of casualties in the Trojan War should not change warriors into heroes. The hands of those who do not partake in the killings are also dirty. The authors Trojan  show that the situation has not changed, and that a decision of one person can result in the annihilation of an entire city. This unstoppable, intergenerational loop is a virus that dwells within humans. Is it an evolutional failure? A subconscious drive for self-destruction?

 

The characters that we know very well – Achilles, the conqueror of many cities; Hector, who overshadowed everyone in battle; the supreme leader Agamemnon; the gallant Paris; Odysseus of many a wise ruse. And her – supposedly the most beautiful – Helen. They are fighting a perennial fight, one that will never end. Not here, not now, not in this Troy, not ever.

 

Victor Davydiuk’s choreography, created for Gabriel Kaczmarek’s new musical composition, is an attempt at expressing the cruelty of battle through dance, as well as the pain and despair that lingers after those who died refuse to leave. The authors, by telling one of the most popular stories about the long-standing conflict, tackle issues that are all too prevalent in our reality. What is the price of battle? Who is fighting it and what for? Which side will be on tomorrow? Do we still have chance for a better world?

 

The choreography has been developed  by Viktor Davidiuk, a soloist of the Wielki Theatre in Poznań, with whom he has also collaborated as assistant choreographer with such productions as Feliks Nowowiejski?s The Legend of the Baltic Sea,  Giuseppe Verdi?s Macbeth, or Leoš Janáček Jenůfa. In 2017, his choreography to Haydn?s The Seasons was presented at the Brigitta Festival in Tallinn. The stage design and costumes were created by Magda Flisowska, known to the Poznań opera goers from her scenography to Bruno Coli?s Anioł The Angel of the Odd and Ruggero Leoncavallo?s Pagliacci. Gabriel Kaczmarek?s music was composed especially for the performance, and will be performed by the Orchestra of the Wielki Theatre in Poznań, along with the simultaneous, computer-programmed instrumental layer.

 

Developed by:

 

music: Gabriel Kaczmarek

choreography: Viktor Davydiuk

stage design and costumes: Magdalena Flisowska

screenings: Karolina Mikołajczuk

dramaturgy: Katarzyna Frątczak

lighting design: Wiktor Kuźma

 

 

Co-financed by the Marshall Office of the Wielkopolskie Province.

 

 

CAST:

12-13 May 2018

 

Helen:  Marika Kucza

Paris: Mateusz Sierant

Achilles: Arkadiusz Gumny

Hector: Gal Trobentar Zagar

Andromache: Asuka Horiuchi

Bryseis: Diana Cristescu

Patroclus: Koichi Kamino

Keres: Julia Korbańska, Agnieszka Wolna, Dominika Babiarz

Odysseus: Taras Szczerbań

Agamemnon: Artur Furtacz

Priam: Paweł Kromolicki

Menelaus: Andrzej Płatek

Iphigenia: Lena Trafankowska

 

15 May 2018

Helen: Marika Kucza

Paris: Mateusz Sierant

Achilles: Arkadiusz Gumny

Hector: Allesandro Pulitani

Andromache: Risako Seki

Bryseis: Silvia Simeone

Patroclus: John Svensson  

Keres: Natalia Trafankowska, Agnieszka Wolna, Dominika Babiarz 

Odysseus: Taras Szczerbań

Agamemnon: Artur Furtacz 

Priam: Paweł Kromolicki 

Menelaos: Andrzej Płatek 

Iphigenia: Lena Trafankowska

 

Premiere: 12 May 2018

 

 

TEASER

Making of

 

 

SYNOPSIS

 

Act I

 

Helen is contemplating her situation. The environment in which he was thrust is oppressive, her beauty became an imprint, a notion which she is unable to transcend:

Helen is the most beautiful woman in the world, but her perception is bound to the fact only. Helen wishes she were some place she could decide about who she is on her own, some place she could have space and liberty. In a vision that unfolds before her eyes, that place is Troy. Helen?s dream is interrupted with Achilles?s arrival. The warrior-observed by Menelaus-gives an account of his most recent deeds. It is a string of crimes and virulent murders administered with thoughtless, brutal force. Achilles is not alone in this respect, as he is emulated by Patroclus. Achilles is followed by the Keres, goddesses of violent death, and a river of death that engulfs their nameless victims.

 

As Achilles finishes his story, Menelaus begins the feast to celebrate his consecutive victories. Among the guests at the feast is Paris, who came from Troy (one of the few territories independent from Agamemnon?s yoke), while Helen is the main attraction of the night, even though she is reluctant to participate in the event. Guests arrive. Menelaus and Paris ponder the possibilities to avoid an open conflict. Helen eventually joins the company.

 

The feast begins, attentively observed by Odysseus. Helen sees Paris as the one who may help her get out of the confined space in which she lives and escape to the land of her dreams ? Troy. Paris is not indifferent to Helen?s charm and beauty. Odysseus aptly interrupts the feast, calling for Agamemnon?s commanders and warriors. Achilles stays poised. His task is to find a find a pretext to advance on Troy, which Agamemnon is set to do despite the new peace treaty. Achilles follows the lovers as if they were his prey, waiting for an opportune moment to strike. Sensing the upcoming bloodshed, the Keres appear. Unaware that they are part of a game, Paris and Helen succumb to their feelings and decide to abscond together.

 

Agamemnon?s camp is host to the council of commanders. Agamemnon cannot stand resistance and immediately gets rid off any opponents: both warriors and their leaders are but puppets in his hands. Achilles brings the news of Helen and Paris?s flight. The vision of imminent battle drives the warriors into an animalistic frenzy. To whet their appetites and make their blood boil, the first victim is required that will become the symbol of all those bound to follow in her footsteps. It turns out to be Iphigenia, Agamemnon?s daughter.

 

Troy hosts a feast. Certain of their newly struck peace with Agamemnon?s forces, Trojans rejoice in their safety and prosperity ensured by Priam and his sons. No-one suspects this is the last feast that will take place in Troy. As Paris and Helen arrive, the mood instantly goes bad. The promise of peace immediately changes into a prospect of war. Fear creeps in and dominates the resident?s attitudes. Troy is no longer the place envisioned by Helen. Soon, the lovers are followed by the Greek forces. The residents hide behind the city walls, which turn Troy from a shelter into a prison. The only person that chooses an alternative solution is Bryseis, who consciously remains outside of the city walls and is immediately devoured by the inbounding Greeks.

 

Act II

 

Dubbed the root of all evils, Paris coaxed into a fight. The others witness his inability to take on the challenge ? contrary to the popular expectations, he is not a warrior. Terrified, he runs away, much to the dismay of the onlookers.

 

The battle begins. Successive warriors fall victim to exhaustion. The only ones left on the battlefield are Patroclus and Hector, who continue their murderous combat until only one of them is left standing. It is Hector. After the battle, weepers take to the battlefield, including Helen, who cries over the tragic choice she has made.

 

Achilles did not participate in the battle; his aggression was tamed by the meeting with Bryseis, who is not afraid of death. A simultaneous meeting of two couples takes place ? Paris and Helen, who have just lost their chance, and Achilles and Bryseis, whose story could begin  now. The illusion is short-lived, though, as it is interrupted by the news of the battle and Achilleses? friend, Patroclus. Achilles rages and kills Bryseis, and then goes out to challenge Hector, killing him in a duel. Hector?s body is claimed by the vengeful Achilles.

 

Priam appears on stage, fully aware he is unable to save the city. The only thing he wants now is to give a proper burial to his son and let him depart in peace. Achilles initially thwarts Priam?s plea, but eventually yields . Both parties in the conflict proceed to bury their dead ? this is the only moment in which they are briefly united, as the dead join the living. Funeral corteges set off. At the end, Iphigenia takes to the stage, bringing out the Trojan horse: a symbol of ultimate destruction. Its shadow consumes the light.

 

***

 

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Performed as part of the Public Day Theatre and the accompanying ticket plan, Bilet do teatru za 300 groszy, financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, and coordinated by the Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute.

 

Instytut Teatralny - logo na 15-lecie (miniaturka)MKiDN dofinansowanie (miniaturka)

Tickets sold as part of the Bilet do teatru za 300 groszy ticket plan will go on sale on 12 May 2018 (up to 2 tickets per person).

 

 

 

 

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