Amareya Theatre was founded in January 2003, by Agnieszka Kamińska, Katarzyna Julia Pastuszak and Aleksandra Śliwińska and since its inception it has operated in Winda Club/Gdańsk Archipelago of Culture (GAK). The artists define the group as a movement and body theatre, what reflects their focus on corporeality and exploration of physical expression techniques. The group’s name derives from old Japanese, meaning heroic devotion and unconditional commitment. It defines specific features of the group operating in three areas: art, education and organization. The first covers production of performances and theatre projects, the two latter refer to organization of butoh, dance, theatre, movement and voice workshops, as well as lectures and publications. The group created their own method of creative and educational work, based on butoh aesthetics, physical theatre and contemporary dance techniques, Marta Graham modern dance techniques, afro dance, song, yoga and psychosomatic relaxation techniques.
In its activities, Amareya attempts to refer to ever changing social, political and cultural contexts, influencing the manner of work and issues raised. The artists consider the group as “nomadic theatre” allowing for meeting unhindered by styles, conventions and genres. The theatre is an opportunity for them: to share, exchange and learn from one another. Thus, Amareya derives from a strong need for community and meeting – with themselves and with others.
The group’s experiments concern a common area of dance and theatre, or psychophysical presence of a performer. As the artists say: „we want to go back to the basics – to the body, its organic character and infinite creative potential, believing that the total presence of the actor-dancer, emanating from under the costume of form and technique, has the power to touch the audience, to lead them inside themselves.”
The theatre’s experiments cover:
- psychophysical presence of a performer,
- individual, non-daily movement technique,
- organic character and infinite creative potential of the body, raising of body consciousness,
- developing creativity and spontaneity,
- expressing emotions through movement and voice,
- treatment of the body in contemporary societies: violence, control, objectification, dehumanization of death
- interpreting the reality through movement and body
The group was granted several awards: a visual beauty award for The dream of Icarus (2005), an original form award for Xenos (2007) and an award for creative ability to excite the audience’s imagination for Exit (2008) at the Tychy Theatre Festival (2nd Jury Award).