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By Paul Allain

In 1977, the Gardzienice Theatre organization, an experimental theatre corporation used to be based in a tiny Polish village. by way of 1992 The Observer used to be hailing "Brilliant Gardzienice...and orgy of pleasure, ache, prayer and lamentation played in candlelight with hurtling power and at breakneck speed...Physically reckless, thrillingly good sung...On no account to be neglected. " this day the Gardzienice Theatre organization is hailed as Poland's top theatre team, education Royal Shakespeare corporation actors and traveling the area. Paul Allain describes and analyses their sung performances, strenuous actual and vocal education, and anthropological fieldwork among marginalized ecu minorities. this is often one of many first unique makes an attempt to evaluate advancements in Polish experimental theatres for the reason that 1989. the writer questions no matter if these artists can continue their imaginative and prescient within the face of Poland's financial problems and elevated commercialization of the humanities.

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Extra info for Gardzienice: Polish Theatre in Transition ((Contemporary Theatre Studies))

Example text

This he displays both in conversations and concretely in an interview with Richard Schechner: ‘I don’t like to speak about my connection with Grotowski. ’1 In spite of these obstacles, the obscure paths which led to the creation of this rural theatre company can be clearly traced through the activities of student theatre and paratheatre. The main path to follow to Gardzienice is Staniewski’s, the Artistic Director and leading inspiration and energy of the Association. His story ends with a vivid description of falling off his motorbike in the village and then deciding to settle there, impressed by the land’s geographical sweep.

One 26 GARDZIENICE occasionally sees satellite dishes on the sides of wooden cottages. Both the assertion of minorities through political structures and the repatriation of many people have affected the Polish countryside. However, the changes of the last decade of this millenium will be more all encompassing than those which have happened since the end of the Second World War. Whilst on some levels manipulating rural culture—visible in educational programmes and control of folk arts—Communism suppressed and fossilised it.

Their rural activities of Expeditions and Gatherings initially seemed to answer social needs for selfexpression and public interaction that grew from the restrictions of Communism. Now cultural activities are less limited and not controlled by parameters of Communist policy. These changes have evolved alongside increased influences from the West and reassessment on an international, a European and a more localised level. Theoretical notions of carnival provide a bridge between theatre and Polish society and give Gardzienice’s activities a political frame of reference.

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