Igor Gorzkowski, Iwona Pasińska and PDT team laureates of the "Living Classics" Competition
The 46th edition of the Opole Theatre Confrontation Festival / VII Staging Former Works of Polish Literature „Living Classics” Competition ended on June 5th. Jury’s verdict brought equivalent individual prices to Igor Gorzkowski - for best director, and to Iwona Pasińska - for choreography of Polish Dance Theatre’s „Kurka Wodna albo urojenie” performance.
Polish Dance Theatre team was appreciated by the Jury (prize of 30,000PLN to be divided equally) „for precision and commitment” in the „Kurka wodna albo urojenie” performance, directed by Igor Gorzkowski and choreographed by Iwona Pasińska. In the explanatory statement to the directing and choreography prizes Jury pointed out the fruitful cooperation of both creators.
Best performances of polish classics in 2021 were chosen in Opole by a Jury composed of: Andrzej Mastalerz, Małgorzata Piekutowa, Jacek Raginis-Królikiewicz, Agnieszka Wójtowicz oraz Michał Zadara.
The Grand Prize of Wojciech Bogusławski in the amount of 80,000PLN - granted to enable the theatres to prepare another classic premiere - „for establishing a dialogue with the original text, and a skilful work with the verse and consistent staging” - went to Opolski Teatr Lalki i Aktora, for staging Juliusz Słowacki’s „Balladyna”. The creators of the performance also won a team award of 30,000PLN (to be divided equally) „for the ability to play as a team and proving, that Słowacki’s line sounds up-to-date, even without lavaliers”.
Tomasz Leszczyński was awarded (a prize of 3,000PLN) for the musical arrangement and perverse game with the convention in the „Cud mniemany, czyli Krakowiacy i Górale” performance, directed by Cezary Tomaszewski. The prize of 5,000PLN to Iga Barańczak and Daria Kubasiak, responsible for adaptation and dramaturgy in the performance by The Juliusz Słowacki Theatre in Cracow.
This year’s edition of Opole Theatre Confrontation Festival / „Living Classics” presented six titles: „Balladyna” directed by Konrad Dworakowski from the Alojzy Smolka’s Opolski Teatr Lalki i Aktora in Opole, „Cud mniemany, czyli Krakowiacy i Górale” directed by Cezary Tomaszewski and „Dziady” directed by Maja Kleczewska (both performances from The Juliusz Słowacki Theatre in Cracow), „Kurka wodna albo urojenie” directed by Igor Gorzkowski from The Polish Dance Theatre in Poznań, „Lalka” directed by Radosław Rychcik from The Aleksander Fredro’s Theatre in Gniezno, and „Lilla Weneda” directed by Grzegorz Wiśniewski from the Teatr Wybrzeże in Gdańsk.
The selection of performances shown in Opole - among 35 submitted for the Competition - was made by The Artistic Committee consisting of: Patryk Kencki (head of the committee), Ewa Konstancja Bułhak, Zenon Butkiewicz, Tadeusz Kornaś, Beata Popczyk-Szczęsna, Karol Suszczyński, Maryla Zielińska.
- I hope that our audience came out of this festival enriched, with a thought of how classics deal with reality - said the director of the festival and the host theatre, Norbert Rakowski during the solemn awards ceremony.
- I am happy that despite the difficulties the theatre was facing last year, while slowly emerging from the pandemic, theatre creators are still turning to polish classics. In the year of the 200th anniversary of Romanticism, I am particularly happy with a large representation of Romantic drama in the festival’s programme. The idea of the „Living Classics” Competition was and still is a constant confirmation of the presence of classics, proving, that the texts are still up-to-date and perfectly correspond with the contemporaneity. I hope, that you could see it for yourself in the past few weeks - emphasized Elżbieta Wortnowska-Gmyz, director of the Theatre Institute - the organizer of the „Living Classics” and co-organizer of the festival.
Prior to the inauguration of the 46th OTCF/LC, the head of the Artistic Committee Patryk Kencki drew attention to the fact that the VII Staging Former Works of Polish Literature „Living Classics” Competition has proven the presence of canonical items of polish drama. - Mickiewicz’s „Dziady” staged by Maja Kleczewska in The Juliusz Słowacki’s Theatre turned out to be an extremely resonating work. Słowacki’s „Balladyna” prepared by Konrad Dworakowski in the Opolski Teatr Lalki i Aktora once again presented its stage appeal, and „Lilla Weneda”, which staging in the Teatr Wybrzeże was a work of Grzegorz Wiśniewski, has proven, what power Romantic theatre can still have.
This year, during the 10 days of the festival, apart from communing with the best stagings of polish classics of 2021, the Opole audience could participate in various accompanying events: concerts of bands such as Jarecki, Ala Zastary or Jucho, workshops related to the performances, lectures and discussions about the language and backstage of classics in contemporary polish theatre, and introductions to each of the festival performances. Organizers also prepared special activities for families and groups with kids.
„Living Classic” Competition is organized by Zbigniew Raszewski’s Theatre Institute from the funds of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. Its main goal is to promote the use of polish classic texts in the repertoires of contemporary theatres and strengthen the interest in them among contemporary theatre creators and recipients and also bring back valuable, forgotten or rarely staged works of polish drama to the repertoire.
Let us remind, that „Kurka Wodna albo urojenie” is a tale about a young artist, who in his pursuit of artistic and personal fulfilment is confronted with the hostile world and inability to find the meaning of life. It balances on the edge of a story and a Pure Form manifest. The irony, dark humour, the wittiness of connotations, word plays and dialogues, taken from Witkacy’s „Kurka Wodna”, „Matka”, „Tumor Mózgowicz” i „Bellatrix” is combined with the formal clarity of gestures and dense emotionality of the movement of the Polish Dance Theatre performers, a flickering feast of lights and rich costumes, catching the eye with shapes, lightness, patterns and timbre of matter. The musical layer of the performance is made of compositions by Zbigniew Kozuba and George Friedrich Händle’s Sarabande. The new premises of the Polish Dance Theatre at 8 Taczak Street in Poznań serve as a natural scenography. An outstanding Polish film and theatre actor, Adam Ferency, plays in the performance.
The performance will be seen by the audiences of the International Competition of Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz’s Works „Witkacy pod strzechy” in Słupsk (September 2020) and Contemporary Music Festival in Gorzów Wielkopolski (October 2022).
Source: Instytut Teatralny im. Zbigniewa Raszewskiego / Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute
photo by Andrzej Grabowski