Iphigenia in Aulis
directed by Wlodzimierz Staniewski
In a highly-unusual occurrence, this European-created IPHIGENIA AT AULIS by Gardzienice Theatre -- which makes its home in the small village of Gardzienice near Lublin in eastern Poland and tours widely on the international theatre festival circuit, where it is a favorite of the avant-garde -- will be given its world-premiere in the U.S. during this fall engagement at LaMaMa. One of the top theatre companies in the world, Gardzienice created IPHIGENIA AT AULIS, as it does all it works, over a period of several years with periodic work-in-progress presentations, eventually incorporating the company's trademark use of classic texts, rural folk traditions of Central and Eastern Europe, dance and music into a singular evening of theatre. IPHIGENIA AT AULIS -- featuring original music by Zygmunt Konieczny, recognized as one of the most outstanding living film and theatre composers in Poland today -- is a visual spectacle that examines how lives are affected by sacrifices made in the name of religion, politics and love. The production is performed in English, Polish and Ancient Greek, with scenes built on shadow and light, movement, gesture, and music to tell Euripides' classic story of betrayal, deception, and sacrifice in a time of war. Founded by Wlodzimierz Staniewski, The Staniewski Centre for Theatre Practices -- better known as Gardzienice Theatre -- has enjoyed an international reputation for its extraordinary theatre performances since 1978 and over the years has provoked extravagant praise from eminent theatre scholars and practitioners such as Richard Schechner, Andre Gregory and the Royal Shakespeare Company. Productions are based on collaborative research, rural folk traditions of Central and Eastern Europe and classic texts, and feature dance and an original musical score due to artistic director Staniewski's deeply held belief that music is "a key which opens the heart and soul." Gardzienice has been credited with creating a unique genre of theatrical culture based on musicality, theatrical dynamism, and gesture. Staniewski's work is known for its synchronistic interweaving of text, gesture, and body movement. Musicality in the works of Gardzienice replaces verbal discourse and its works are best viewed as living creations. The cast of IPHIGENIA AT AULIS, led by Mariusz Golaj and Joanna Holcgreber, includes Maniucha Bikont, Charlie Cattrall, Karolina Cicha, Anna Dąbrowska, Benedict Hotchins, Justyna Jary, Tanushka Marah, Agnieszka Mendel, Marcin Mrowca, Jacek Timingeriu, and Barbara Wesolowska. In addition to original music by Zygmunt Konieczny, the production team features Grzegorz Podbieglowski (light operator); Maciej Znamierowski (sound operator); Monika Onoszko (costumes); and Julia Bui-Ngoc (choreography). Gardzienice has performed to critical acclaim around the world in countries including Great Britian, Sweden, Germany, Japan, Egypt, Brazil, Russia, Spain, and the United States -- making its New York debut at La MaMa in 2001 with METAMORPHOSES which New York Theatre Wire proclaimed an "exhilarating display of history and art." The NY-based Polish Cultural Institute is dedicated to nurturing and promoting and nurturing cultural ties between the US and Poland, both through American exposure to Poland's cultural achievements, and through exposure of Polish artists and scholars to American trends, institutions, and professional counterparts. The Polish Cultural Institute's productions have grown in scope from the 50-seat Knitting Factory to the 2000-seat Carnegie Hall. It has collaborated with cultural institutions including La MaMa, Art at St. Ann's, Lincoln Center, BAM, Lincoln Center, MoMA and many more. Previous productions include Scena Plastyczna KUL's ODCHODZI (PASSING AWAY), created and directed by the highly acclaimed visual theatre artist Leszek Madzik from text by famed author Tadeusz Rozewicz; SAINT OEDIPUS, a critically acclaimed adaptation of Gombrowicz's satirical novel FERDYDURKE; Slawomir Mrozek's OUT AT SEA & STRIPTEASE; and SERENADE & PHILOSOPHER FOX; two productions by Krzysztof Warlikowski at BAM Next Wave Festival: DYBUK (2004) and KRUM (2007); RISK EVERYTHING directed by Grzegorz Jarzyna at Art at St. Ann's; and THREE SISTERS directed by Krystian Lupa at the American Repertory Theatre (Cambridge, MA); plus a spectacular four-night performance under the Brooklyn Bridge of the street-theatre classic CARMEN FUNEBRE.
10/4/2007 at 7:30pm