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THE YEAR OF GROTOWSKI IN NEW YORK PROGRAM


Presented by the Polish Cultural Institute in New York

and the Performance Studies Department,
Tisch School of the Arts, New York University

Curator: Richard Schechner, NYU University Professor, TDR Editor
Associate Curator: Dominika Bennacer, NYU
Project Coordinator: Agata Grenda, PCI















photo by Andrzej Paluchiewicz
Exhibition: Grotowski in Poland -
The Photographs of Andrzej Paluchiewicz
Friday, February 6 – March 20, 2009
• Windows at the Kimmel Center, New York University
Located on the exterior of the Kimmel Building
La Guardia Place and West 3rd Street,
New York, NY 10012
• NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Riese Common Room, Ground Floor, 721 Broadway, New York, NY 10003



Andrzej Paluchiewicz worked with Jerzy Grotowski from 1966 to 1976. He was not only an actor in the Polish Laboratory Theatre; he was also the ensemble’s resident photographer. He is the author of some of the most iconic images of Grotowski’s productions. Combining images of Grotowski’s work with more rarely seen photographs, this exhibition traces the trajectory of Grotowski’s work in Poland from the “Theatre of Productions” phase to the “Theatre of Sources.”



The Year of Grotowski in New York Opening:
The Theatre of Thirteen Rows (1959) and
The Grotowski Institute in Wroclaw (2009)
Friday, February 6, 2009, 7:30 – 11:00 PM
NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Cantor Film Center
36 East 8th Street, New York, NY 10003

This event brings together former literary director and co-founder of the Theatre of Thirteen Rows (later the Polish Laboratory Theatre), Ludwik Flaszen and the current directing team of the Grotowski Institute in Wroclaw, Poland: Jaroslaw Fret and Grzegorz Ziólkowski. What brought the Polish Laboratory Theatre into existence? What was the Polish theatre scene like in those days of the Cold War and the Iron Curtain? What is the current work of the Grotowski Institute? How is the Institute preserving, researching, and using Grotowski’s archives and his Polish heritage? The panel discussion, moderated by Richard Schechner, will be preceded by a screening of a film on Jerzy Grotowski.

Participants' bios



 
Ludwik Flaszen, photo by Andrzej Paluchiewicz

Ludwik Flaszen: Grotowski’s Devil’s Advocate
Sunday – Monday, February 8 – 9, 2009
Sunday 5:00 PM; Monday 7:00 – 10:00 PM
NYU Performance Studies Studio, 6th Floor
721 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

Limited seating available. Please RSVP to yearofgrotowski@nyu.edu

At this intimate lecture-meeting, former literary director and co-founder of the Polish Laboratory Theatre, Ludwik Flaszen speaks about various practical, theoretical and historical aspects of Grotowski’s work from the perspective of his closest collaborator. In this cycle of lectures, he addresses the mysticisms and fundamental errors that have arisen in interpreting the early period of Grotowski’s work. Through his direct personal testimony, Flaszen traces the trajectory of Grotowski’s development over time.



Polish Laboratory Theatre on tour in Mexico,
photo by Andrzej Paluchiewicz

Actors of the Polish Laboratory Theatre: Mieczyslaw Janowski
and Andrzej Paluchiewicz
Thursday, February 12, 2009, 7:00 – 9:00 PM
NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Riese Common Room, Ground Floor
721 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

Mieczyslaw Janowski worked in Grotowski’s Polish Laboratory Theatre for 8 years playing in all their core productions. In 1999, he was honored by the President of Poland for his entire artistic work with the Golden Order of Merit. Andrzej Paluchiewicz worked with Grotowski for over a decade as an actor in the Polish Laboratory Theatre and as a participant in the paratheatrical work conducted by Grotowski. The two actors will discuss daily life inside the Polish Laboratory Theatre – from the rehearsals, role preparation, and performances, to what it was like to work with the Grotowski of that period. Moderated by Dominika Bennacer. Q&A will follow

This event is made possible through the generous support of the Drama Department at NYU.



 
Grotowski and Maud Robart: Encountering Afro-Haitian Tradition

Thursday, February 19, 2009, 7:00 – 9:00 PM
NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Screening Room 006
721 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

Maud Robart is an artist and master teacher whose lifelong investigations draw on her direct experience with the traditional practices of her native Haiti. She is the co-founder of the artistic group Saint-Soleil. Grotowski’s fi rst encounter with Robart took place in 1977 in Haiti. Subsequently, she became a co-creator of the “Theatre of Sources” project in Haiti and Poland from 1978 to 1980, which was conducted under the direction of Grotowski. Robart’s position is signifi cant and unique in that she is the only collaborator who was involved in all of the post-theatrical phases of his research from “Theatre of Sources” to The Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski. The discussion will be devoted to Grotowski’s initial encounter with the living Afro-Haitian tradition and his consequent long-term collaboration with Maud Robart. Moderated by Dominika Bennacer.

This event was made possible by the generous support from the New York University Department of English Joe A. Callaway Lectures.



 
Citlalmina, a mixture of a Tibetan and
a Prehispanic sacred dance
authorized by His Holiness,
the Dalai Lama as a tool for training the mind, plaza of Santiago de Compostela's cathedral, 1991

Grotowski in the Americas

Thursday, March 12, 2009, 7:00 – 9:00 PM
NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Screening Room 006
721 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

This panel featuring Nicolás Núñez and Helena Guardia from Mexico, Ryszard Nieoczym and Dawn Obokata from Canada, and Stacy Klein from the U.S. will explore how the methodology of Grotowski and the Polish Laboratory Theatre was adapted (and is still being adapted) by theatre artists in the Americas, in order to further their creative searches. The invited artists worked with Grotowski and other members of the Laboratory Theatre during “Theatre of Productions,” “Paratheatre,” and “Theatre of Sources” phases. The panelists will discuss Grotowski in light of their own unique social, cultural, material, and artistic contexts. Moderated by Kermit Dunkelberg, whose 2008 Ph.D. dissertation focused on Grotowski and North American theatre.

This event was made possible by the generous support from the Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes (FONCA) in Mexico.



 
rehearsal from the play
"The Feathered Serpent", 1992
Work Demonstration by Taller de Investigación Teatral UNAM -

National University of Mexico
Friday, March 13, 2009, 7:00 – 9:00 PM
NYU Performance Studies Studio, 6th Floor
721 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

Limited seating available. Please RVSP to yearofgrotowski@nyu.edu

Helena Guardia and Nicolás Núñez, founding members of the Taller de Investigación  Teatral UNAM collaborated with Grotowski on “Theatre of Sources” projects. They participated in the paratheatrical project “Tree of People” in Wroclaw in 1979, and were the main organizers of Grotowski’s “Theatre of Sources” project in Mexico in 1980. Joined by their daughter Miranda Núñez they will give a theoretical introduction to the principles of their work as well as step-by-step practical presentation of the concept and practice of one of the Taller dynamics, “Olmeca I.” Dynamics are pre-Hispanic postures developed by the Taller and designed to elevate one’s energy. The work demonstration calls for active participation involving people in the psychophysical training process of the Taller’s work.

This event was made possible by the generous support from the Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes (FONCA) in Mexico.



 
cover image, Teatro de Alto Riesgo
by Nicolas Nunez
Anthropocosmic Theatre Techniques: A Workshop by Taller de
Investigación Teatral - UNAM National University of Mexico
March 14 – 15, 2009, 10:00 AM – 1:30 PM
NYU Performance Studies Studio, 6th Floor
721 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

Limited seating available. Please RVSP to yearofgrotowski@nyu.edu

This workshop conducted by Helena Guardia, Miranda Núñez, Nicolás Núñez, and Deborah Middleton, Head of Drama at University of Huddersfield, UK, will give a practical introduction to the actor training developed by the Taller. Participants will be exposed to some of the group’s 23 dynamics, pre-Hispanic postures such as Tonatiuh, Quetzalcoatl, Hurakan, Teozintli, In Yollotl. Most of the dynamics are named after pre-Hispanic deities, and are the direct outcome of the Taller members’ search for roots.
 
This event was made possible by the generous support from the Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes (FONCA) in Mexico.



 
Cover: An Acrobat of the Heart:
A Physical Approach to Acting
Inspired by the Work of Jerzy
Grotowski
,
written by Stephen Wangh

Grotowski’s Influence on American
Actor Training
Saturday, March 28, 2009, 4:00 – 5:30 PM
NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Room 108
721 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

This roundtable brings together expert teachers who have been influenced by Grotowski to discuss the growth and some of the varieties of Grotowski training in the United States as it has developed over the last thirty years. Panelists include Stephen Wangh from Naropa University in Boulder, CO, author of An Acrobat of the Heart, a physical approach to acting inspired by the work of Jerzy Grotowski (Vintage Books 2000) and Kevin Kuhlke and Wendy Vanden Heuvel from the Experimental Theatre Wing of New York University. Richard Schechner will chair.

The panel is made possible through the support of the Center for Teaching Excellence at NYU, Tisch School of the Arts Dean’s Office, Experimental Theatre Wing and the Drama Department, NYU.







 
Ang Gey Pin, photo by M. Zakrzewski
Women in the Grotowski Diaspora:
Training, Transmission, Creativity
Thursday, April 16, 2009, 7:00 – 9:00 PM
Martin E. Segal Theatre at the CUNY Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10016

This evening of conversation and work demonstration features three former Grotowski collaborators: Rena Mirecka (Poland/Italy), Stefania Gardecka (Poland), and Ang Gey Pin (Singapore/Italy). Although the particularly strenuous physical training emblematic of Grotowski’s approach is not gender specific, it has historically been associated with a masculine conception of the performer because of the central position occupied by Grotowski’s male collaborators in most of his theatrical work and paratheatrical experiments. However, as evidenced by archival sources, personal testimonies, and transmission processes, but – interestingly – rarely by printed materials, several generations of women from different cultures and traditions actively participated in all phases of Grotowski’s research, and continue to play a pivotal role in today’s intercultural Grotowski diaspora. What in Grotowski’s approach has inspired women to dedicate their life to such research? Moderated by Virginie Magnat, Assistant Professor of Performance at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan, Canada.

Participants' bios




Jerzy Grotowski's passport photo,
probably 1955
Grotowski in Communist Poland

Friday, April 17, 2009, 7:00 – 9:00 PM
John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY, Room 630-T
899 Tenth Avenue New York, NY, 10019

Panelists: Professor Kazimierz Braun, director, former Grotowski colleague and author of Ten Days in Poland Under Communism; Seth Baumrin, director, theatre historian, Assistant Professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY, author of Ketmanship in Opole: Jerzy Grotowski and the Price of Artistic Freedom; Agnieszka Wójtowicz, theatre historian; Assistant Professor at the University of Opole, author of From Orpheus to the Hamlet Study: Theatre of the 13 Rows in Opole (1959-64) discuss Grotowski’s political activities in Communist Poland. They explore the complex and often contradictory political realities of cultural production in Poland at that time. The period in question spans the establishment of the Laboratory Theatre in 1959 through to the years of Solidarity in the 1970-80s and beyond to the fall of Communism in Poland in 1989. Just what was Grotowski’s (a Communist Party member for more than two decades) and the Laboratory Theatre’s relationship to the Party, to the emergent anti-communist activism of the 1970s-80s, and to the censors who passed on all phases of cultural production, including the theatre? How did the “political realities” affect Grotowski’s artistic work? Moderated by Daniel Gerould, Professor of Theatre and Comparative Literature, CUNY Graduate Center.

Participants' bios

This event is made possible by the generous support of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice Department of Communication and Theatre Arts and the Research Foundation of the City University of New York.



The Way - A Workshop with Rena Mirecka
April 18 – 22, 2009
Judson Memorial Church
55 Washington Square South, New York, NY 10012

This workshop is not open to the public.

Rena Mirecka was one of the key figures in Jerzy Grotowski’s “theatre of productions” and paratheatrical experiments from 1959 to 1982. She was instrumental in the conception and development of the “plastic exercises” and created all of the leading female roles including those in Acropolis and Apocalypsis cum Fuguris. Since 1982, she has pursued her own personal research in physical and spiritual theatrical expression. Since 1993, she has directed her own Theater Center in Sardinia, Italy. Her current work is called “The Way”.

This workshop is made possible through the generous support of the Center for Teaching Excellence at NYU, Tisch School of the Arts Dean’s Office, the Department of Drama, NYU, and the Judson Church.



Rena Mirecka, Wroclaw, 1975, photo by Andrzej Paluchiewicz




Polish Laboratory Theatre actor
Mieczyslaw Janowski (left) in the
Constant Prince. Photograph by
Andrzej Paluchiewicz.
Actor of the Polish Laboratory Theatre:
Mieczyslaw Janowski
Thursday, April 23, 2009, 7:00-9:00 PM
NYU Performance Studies Studio, 6th Floor
721 Broadway, New York, NY

Mieczyslaw Janowski worked in Grotowski's Polish Laboratory Theatre for 8 years, playing in all their core productions, including Faust, Akropolis, and The Constant Prince, and he traveled with the company to such theatre festivals as the Theatre Des Nations in Paris, the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, and the Holland Festival in Amsterdam.

After leaving the Laboratory Theatre, Janowski received a one-year scholarship in Paris from the French Ministry of Culture. He continued acting in the Dramatic Theatre in Walbrzych and the Wspolczesny Theatre in Wroclaw in Poland. Janowski's acting was not limited to the theatre; from 1962 to 1986 he appeared in over 85 feature films. In 1999 he was honored by the President of Poland for his artistic oeuvre with the Golden Order of Merit. Janowski leads educational youth projects and continues to speak about the actor's craft and his work with Grotowski at seminars and conferences worldwide.

During this evening of conversation, Janowski will discuss daily life in the Polish Laboratory Theatre – from physical and voice training, rehearsals, role preparation, and performances, to what it was like to work with Grotowski at that time. Q&A will follow. Moderated by Dominika Bennacer.




 
Jerzy Grotowski, photo by Andrzej Paluchiewicz
1967: Grotowski in New York, The First Encounter
Wednesday, April 29, 2009, 7:00 – 9:00 PM
La MaMa E.T.C., The Club
74A East 4th Street, New York, NY 10003

A discussion with participants in Grotowski’s fi rst American workshop which took place at NYU in the autumn of 1967. Ellen Stewart, founder and director of La MaMa E.T.C., who was instrumental in bringing Grotowski to America, will also be on the panel. Two participants in the NYU workshop – Thomas Crawley and Jerry Mayer (both deceased) – kept a careful journal of this workshop. The observations concerning Grotowski, his principal actor at the time, Ryszard Cieslak, and the work process are “naive” and thus a very interesting document of American actors’ fi rst encounter with Grotowski and his training methods. Richard Schechner will read from the Crawley-Mayer journal.



 
left: Tadeusz Kantor
right: Jerzy Grotowski, Bologna, Photo: Francesco Galli 1997,
courtesy of The Grotowski Institute in Wroclaw
Grotowski and Kantor
Monday, May 4, 2009, 7:00 – 10:00 PM
NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Room TBA
721 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

A conversation about Jerzy Grotowski and Tadeusz Kantor moderated by CUNY Graduate Center Professor Daniel Gerould. Two internationally known scholars, Zbigniew Osinski, Professor of Polish Studies at Warsaw University and, from 1990 to 2004, the founder and first Director of The Centre for Study of Jerzy Grotowski's Work and of the Cultural and Theatrical Research in Wroclaw (now The Grotowski Institute), and Michal Kobialka, Professor of Theatre Arts and Dance at the University of Minnesota, whose most recent book on Kantor, Further on, Nothing: Tadeusz Kantor's Theatre, will be published in 2009, will assess the distinctive achievements of these two revolutionary artists from Poland and will endeavor to dispel some of the myths surrounding their work in order to reveal clearly the legacy of each for the future of theatre.

Participants' bios



Paratheatre, Theatre of Sources, and Objective Drama
Friday, July 10, 2009
NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Room TBA
721 Broadway, New York, NY 10003
7:00 – 8:30 PM
Paratheatre and Theatre of Sources
Moderated by Lisa Wolford Wylam
With paratheatre participants and
key work leaders from Grotowski’s
intercultural research from 1976-82
Speakers: Margaret Croyden
Magda Zlotowska, Jairo Cuesta,
and Pablo Jimenez
     8:30 – 10:00 PM
     Objective Drama
     Moderated by Lisa Wolford Wylam
     With key work leaders and long-term participants
     from Grotowski’s research at UC-Irvine, 1982-86,
     and the period of “Objective Drama,” 1987-92
     Speakers: James Slowiak, Jairo Cuesta, Magda
     Zlotowska, Massoud Saidpour,
     and Pablo Jimenez















These two linked panels focus on the “Paratheatre”, “Theatre of Sources”, and “Objective drama” stages of Grotowski’s performance-based research. These phases have been sparsely documented, in part because the work was less accessible to the public than that of the theatre of productions. “Theatre of Sources” focused on identifying those elements of embodied behaviors present in the traditional practices of diverse cultures and on exploring their impact when performed by practitioners from outside that cultural milieu. “Objective Drama,” centered at the University of California-Irvine, extended this investigation on the psychophysiological impact of elements derived from ritual traditions, alongside a renewed emphasis on performance craft. These interrelated panels gather important contributors to Grotowski’s research from the mid 70s through the 80s, including those who traveled with Grotowski on his expeditions to conduct field research, and those who served key leadership roles in his US-based research.

This event is made possible through the generous support from the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at Rutgers University-Newark.

Participants bio


Left to right: Slanislaw Scierski, Jerzy Grotowski, Ryszard Cieslak; Holstebro, Denmark, 1970, photo by Andrzej Paluchiewicz




GROTOWSKI AND HIS LEGACY
A THREE-DAY EVENT AT LINCOLN CENTER

Grotowski’s Laboratory Theatre and Theatre of Sources Period:
Film Documentation
Saturday, July 11, 2009 at 6pm & 8:30pm
The Film Society of Lincoln Center, Walter Reade Theater
165 W. 65th Street, upper level
Admission: $11 public, $8 senior (62+); $7 Film Society members, students and children.

The Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards:
Film Documentation
Sunday, July 12, 2009 at 1pm & 4pm
The Film Society of Lincoln Center, Walter Reade Theater
165 West 65th Street, upper level
Admission: $11 public, $8 senior (62+); $7 Film Society members, students and children.

Although it is difficult, if not impossible, to capture on film the full experience of Grotowski’s work, some sense of his accomplishments can be represented in the film medium. During two days of screenings, audiences will have a chance to see films of some of Grotowski’s most famous productions from his theatre period, and a rarely shown film documentation from the final phase of his life’s research, known as “Art as vehicle.” Also on view will be a documentary concerning Grotowski’s “Theatre of Sources” period and films and fragments of the recent performing arts research of  the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards. Each film will be introduced by an expert, including Paul Allain, Mario Biagini, Thomas Richards, and Lisa Wolford Wylam, who will put what is seen in its historical and artistic context.


Thomas Richards, photo by Frits Meyst       
 
Thomas Richards, photo by Frits Meyst



















Thomas Richards and Mario Biagini:

On Grotowski’s Legacy and the Workcenter
Monday, July 13, 2009, 6:30 – 9:30 PM
Lincoln Center Festival
Rose Building, Kaplan Penthouse, 10th Floor
70 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023

For the last 13 years of his life, Grotowski worked very closely with Thomas Richards whom he called his “essential collaborator,” eventually changing he name of the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski to include that of Richards. During those years of intense practical work, Grotowski transmitted to Richards the fruit of his lifetime research, what he called “the inner aspect of the work.” Grotowski entrusted Richards and Mario Biagini, a key member of the Workcenter since its beginnings and presently its Associate Director, as the sole legatees of his Estate, including his entire body of written work, specifying this designation as a confirmation of his “family of work.” Since Grotowski’s passing in 1999, Richards and Biagini have been continuing to develop the Workcenter’s performing arts research in new directions. The discussion will center on the performing arts research of the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards, the directions of its past and present creative impulses, and on the potentiality of Grotowski’s performing arts heritage to thrive today as a living legacy. Moderated by Richard Schechner. Grotowski and his Legacy: This three-day program at the Lincoln Center is presented in partnership with the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards and the Jerzy Grotowski Estate. The film program is curated by the Jerzy Grotowski Estate.

These events are made possible through the generous support from the Italian Cultural Institute in New York.