DECEMBER 19 AND 20. CHOREA THEATRE (LODZ) PRESENTS "AFTER THE BIRDS"
In the framework of The 6th Meyerhold Meetings
Directors: Jessica Cohen, Jim Ennis, Tomasz Rodowicz Music: Maciej Rychły Choreography: Jessica Cohen, Jim Ennis, Suzanne Firth, Cai Tomos, CHOREA Light: Gerard Tyler, Tomasz Krukowski Cast: Dominika Krzyżanowska/Joanna Chmielecka, Malgorzata Lipczyńska, Dorota Porowska, Izabela Śliwa, Elina Toneva, Iga Załęczna, Adam Biedrzycki, Hubert Domański, Pawel Korbus, Tomasz Krzyżanowski/Kuba Pałys, Maciej Maciaszek, Sean Palmer, Tomasz Rodowicz Premiere location: Współczesny Theatre (Wrocław), Nowy Praga Theatre (Warsaw) Premiere date: 09-14 December 2005
After the Birds is the second part of the triptych created by CHOREA and Earthfall. It is a result of another international theatrical project which originated in Cardiff (Wales) in December 2005. Using two absolutely different aesthetics and working methods, the two groups jointly created a brand new language on the border of genres and styles. CHOREA and Earthfall confront ancient Greek choral songs with modern music, urban space choreography and fears of the modern world.
We have attempted to answer the question: what is left after Aristophanes’ The Birds, ancient Greeks and their culture, and what do we have in common with them? We must remember that Athens in Aristophanes’ times went through devastating wars with Sparta, collapsing democracy, political crises, plots and power struggles among different political factions. Social and religious values started to crumble. In such circumstances, there always appear some guides to a brave new world which may be created on the ruins of the old one thanks to utopian ideas, populist slogans, manipulations and operating exactly between the ones who succeeded and the ones who lost. Both these groups cannot exist without one another, so, in the areas where their paths cross, the power belonging to the first group and the dreams belonging to the second one must be taken away. Everything must be surrounded by a wall, guards must be employed and strangers must be driven away, as it happened in Cloud Cuckoo Land – the Aristophanes’ ideal new state. But from behind the tall walls, gods look like corrupted idiots, and people look like dwarfs deprived of dreams. Can a paradise on Earth be built only behind barbed-wire fences; do all world healing visions become equally bitter and dangerous when we start putting them into practice? During the play performed in a post-communist state, in the global terrorism era, we pose these questions not only to Aristophanes…
Choreia, the most important thing for us, derives from the Antiquity. The actual Greek spelling of the word is choreia, while chorea is its Latinised variant. Choreia was a principle of Greek theatre [...]. It is this principle that our association derives its name from – it defines all possible means of actor’s expression and gathers them into a single stream, one creative process. Means of expression, such as text, movement, singing, music, dance and gesture constitute one whole. This term, a keyword, defines what is most important for me in the theatre at the moment. I would like it to be a path and a way of thinking about theatre – modern, not ancient. (Tomasz Rodowicz)
NEW CHOREA consists in the fact that, while respecting the principle of organic unity of singing, words and movement, we try to create a new quality in the theatre, by involving in our work contemporary literature, music and extreme movement which derives from dance techniques and experiments of radical trends in contemporary theatre, based on the sharp, dirty and violent movement that always involves lowering the centre of gravity and acting in very stretched scales of meaning in space. At the same time, there must be enough room for sound, rhythm and voice, spoken word and song. We use not only melody and singing, but all the organic sounds which people carry in themselves and are able to emit. We use both full texts and their fragments, sometimes even reduced to syllables and single sounds. The body in music and the body in motion creates a special intensity of actor’s presence – it authenticates the message.