On second day of Bharat Rang Mahotsav, we choose to go for 'Grotowski - An Attempt to Retreat' which was presented by Chorea Theatre Association from Lodz, Poland. Let's have a quick Photo Journey of this play during second day of Bharangam 2012 (Kamani Auditorium)...
This play started with a small talk by it's Director Tomasz Rodowics, who started telling about his interaction with Grotowski and influence of his questions in the play. Setup on the stage was sort of unique and I had never seen such setup in Indian Theatre, which doesn't mean that it was better but of-course different. Especially it was good for Photography, as background wrapped with transparent polythene sheet look amazing in final results.
As per director of this play - 'This play as an experiment is both exciting and risky: ‘Jerzy Grotowski – the greatest revolutionary of the 20th century, if we talk about theatre’. I am coming back to Grotowski after so many years partly as a result of my protest against what has been done to this person and partly because I feel I owe him something – as a human being, but most of all as an artist. Having seen his Apocalypsis cum figuris in 1974, I decided I have to do theatre – with no possibility of retreat. Today I feel I need to confront his practical achievements, his thoughts related to the theatre, man and religion. I do not want to achieve it through more recollections, conferences or seminars but through the practical experience of people who want to deal with theatre and need to know if they are somehow related to him or not. Is this a closed door or maybe there is a scratch, a mark, anxiety, taint and heritage to be confronted in order to see if you are worth it or if you should stand up to it and reject it?'
Tomasz Rodowics started working on this project with people who, because of their age, had no contact with Grotowski, his para-theatrical and theatrical practice, the ‘art as a vehicle’ period, his actors or anyone who worked with him. What they knew about him is just as much as an average young person does – almost nothing. In most cases, they kept their distance. It was more of a moderate interest than fascination. For them, this man, who turned the world theatre upside down, was a strange, historical and archived cultural figure. It was a perfect starting point. Those people were ready, without any ideology or bias, to start checking who or what he was for them. Each actor/performer tried finding an answer to a question which was important to them, e.g. how does Grotowski’s image of an actor relate to the pro-egocentric education provided by modern theatre schools? Can you ‘refer’ to Grotowski while looking for your own personal identity? To what extent are his rules valid in a mental asylum? Can you create theatre/performance without wanting to be an actor? Most probably, any other group of people would ask different questions.
Play started with some introduction about each role in terms of their habits, likings, things they do, how they live, life around them, family etc. Each character is different on various parameters. Each actor in the play was awesome in a way they presented the character. Each of them got a slot of conveying the questions with other artists around him/her to support the overall environment.
There were very limited props on the sets. Different posture with appropriate expressions and background music was main media of conveying the thoughts and questions.
Cast of this play includes - Joanna Chmielecka, Julia Jakubowska, Małgorzata Lipczyńska, Janusz Adam Biedrzycki, Piotr Grabowski, Paweł Korbus, Tomasz Rodowicz
'Grotowski - A Attmpt to Retreatmpt to Retreat' is a play for Chorea which is celebrating its fifth anniversary. Six young actors from the group reached for Grotowski, since he harmonized with their sense of alienation and disorientation. The play contains many confessions verging on exhibitionism, a lot of physical extremism, fighting with the body, and the desperate search for communication through movement. (courtesy - http://in.bookmyshow.com/events/Grotowski---An-Attempt-to-Retreat-/ET00008612)
The young artists in this play struggle with one another and use quotes from Grotowski's works to talk about their own maladjustment. The most intimate interlude is constituted by the recollections of Tomasz Rodowicz, who talks about a night once spent with Grotowski in a hospital in Chicago. It was a crucial moment... a moment of questioning the certainties, throwing off the balance. 'More...'
Check out about director of this play at - http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomasz_Rodowicz . But it's in Polish I guess.
Each actor of the was extremely flexible and I was wondering if all these Theatre people are so flexible physically and mentally. So far I have seen some of the NSD actors in completely different type of roles, where they needed to dance, sing and do lots of other things. After a short discussion with one of the pass-out from National School of Drama, I got to know that basic things about Dance, Music, design are tought to each actor during the course but at times, they spend lot of time in learning new skills for a particular production. There are some plays where actors had to learn marshal arts as well. And a pure theatre demands lot of such experiments and learning over a period of time.
At times expressions of these actors were unimaginably perfect, even when they had just moved from one scene to other. And appropriate music in the background made this an amazing play to watch during Bharat Rang Mahotsav 2012 !!!
One of the amazing actor of this play who was acting like a person who fumble while saying something and the way he delivered various words during the play was awesome. In fact, many of his dialogs were extremely good and funny. I think he is the one who got maximum claps during the play...
Each actor in the play was unique and extremely talented, although many of the theatre people may have seen some flaws.
Choera group has drwan inspiration from ancient tradition. Researching th srources of dance and music, it explores the culture of antiquity, and pioneers innovative, dynamic performances presenting the confluence of traditional art and modern theatrical forms. This is how Bharangam brochure described Chorea Theatre Group, Poland.
Eminent theatre actress Uttra Baokar presenting flowers and momento to Director of 'Grotowski - A Attempt to Retreat' after completion of the show at Kamani Auditoum, Delhi, India.
With this, time is to wait for Saurabh Shukla's RED HOT which is in huge demand and all tickets have already been booked. Let's see if we would be able to bring you a Red and Hot Photo Journey from Kamani tomorrow...
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