Teatr Ewolucji Cienia (Shadow Evolution Theatre) (Poland)
The Recognized Unrecognized
July 6, at 9:30 pm., Metro Słodowiec
Teatr Ewolucji Cienia from Poznań has existed since 2008. Its founders are Wioletta and Sławomir Dadej, who specialize in physical theatre and visual theatre. The artists try to put an emphasis on the human being and interpersonal relationships, while avoiding exaggeration in the use of props and set design. Hence their performances are characterized by an almost ascetic set design, with high dynamics of scenes based on the rhythm and expression of the actors and on the music that illustrates the action. Going beyond this formula is the last premiere of The Recognized Unrecognized. Here, the actors hide in costumes as if in cases, and suggestive images are the main asset of the performance.
In their productions, the artists touch upon universal themes such as: love in Fin Amor, death in DEMONstration, power in The Forgotten History, hatred in The Time of the Wolf, religion in Millenium + 50. The Beginnings of the Polish State, freedom and enslavement in The Recognized Unrecognized. What connects all these performances is a large emotional charge, but also taking care of the aesthetics, dynamics and intellectual qualities that trigger the viewer's reflection.
The theatre presents its performances at home and abroad at international theatre festivals (including Sommerwerft in Frankfurt am Main, White Tower in Brest, Belarus, Yalla Yalla in Bethlehem in Palestine, and also the largest festival of medieval culture in Europe in Selb in Germany).
The Recognized Unrecognized is a performance referring to the work of Magdalena Abakanowicz - to her most monumental outdoor sculpture installation, entitled The Unrecognized, located in a park in Poznań at Cytadela. The work presents a group of 112 human figures made of cast iron, deprived of their heads and individual character. More than two-meter tall figures are heading in different directions, creating the impression of a nameless, chaotic crowd. The clusters of anonymous, almost identical figures were a recurring motif in the artist's work, they aroused horror and anxiety, were received as a shocking existential metaphor. As Karol Sienkiewicz describes her work: "Figures of Abakanowicz do not have a face, this element of autonomy which is most decisive in defining the individual characteristics of a human being. Without faces, they have no identity, they cannot express themselves, and they do not have the right to speak. Although each character retains some special or distinctive features differentiating one from another, these are not actually noticed. Only repeatability, identity and impersonality count. The individual is always lost in the crowd, but also takes the place assigned to them in this crowd."
From the company's statement:
„Starting our spectacle at the point where Magdalena Abakanowicz left her crowd - we take up the challenge. The performance is, like the works of this excellent sculptress, an autonomous artistic statement that touches upon universal matters, in this case the issue of freedom and enslavement of the individual and even entire communities.
By reviving The Unrecognized, we show what is going to happen when the crowd of almost identical figures begins to gain individuality: discoverers, manipulators, chiefs, saviours and criminals. We show how "the unrecognized" who struggle for individuality yield to prophets or ideologues, only to resemble, after a while, a unified and shapeless crowd all over again. By showing the individual against the background of the community, we reflect on the essence of the human identity, what stimulates him/her to action and what the effects of these activities are. We reach conclusions that are not optimistic.
The performance is a visual and physical journey through history, shown from the perspective of the community. Although we refer mainly to the experience of European nations, we can also find here wider historical references, which makes the message universal.”
Directed by: Wioletta Dadej
Script, set design: Sławomir Dadej
Music: Paweł Głosz
Costumes: Izabela Kolka
Light and sound: Dariusz Dadej
Performers: Aleksandra Woźniak, Aleksandra Mazurek, Alicja Wachowiak, Aniela Kokosza, Anna Dadej, Anna Świątnienko, Damian Dadej, Edyta Kaczyńska, Edyta Sosnowska, Emilia Drożdżyńska, Emilia Dadej, Jan Chojnacki, Jeremiasz Kokot, Kacper Kujawa, Kamil Zawadzki, Katarzyna Hildebrańska, Lena Wawrzynkiewicz, Maja Osińska, Mirosław Ogórek, Piotr Rawicki, Sławomir Dadej, Wioletta Dada.
"/ ... / this is a story about ourselves, about robbing us of our souls, our own views, independent thinking and judgement. Extremely perfidious, because almost unnoticeable robbery /.../. It is a sad and terrifying story. Is this how we are? Yes, I think so. Only in this spectacle do we have the opportunity to watch ourselves from a distance. And what can we see? A group of supposedly thinking beings that are willingly getting rid of this priceless privilege in exchange for empty promises. And it does not matter if they promise us eternal light and happiness after death, or conquering the world and creating a society of happy people, or eventually limitless shopping and constant sales. Those who promise always lie. And the human race has never ceased to believe…”
Lilia Łada, TenPoznan.pl, 21.10.2018