Teatr Ognia i Papieru (Fire and Paper Theatre) (Poland)
July 7, at 9:00 pm., Metro Słodowiec
Teatr Ognia i Papieru is the original theatre of Grzegorz Kwieciński - a director and graphic artist from Łódź. The theatre was established in Lublin in 1978, and after three years it moved to Łódź, where it has its headquarters until today. The first performance of the Fire and Paper Theater took place during the Qualifying Course for Puppet Theatre Instructors, on August 1, 1978 in Gardzienice. As Grzegorz Kwieciński says: "It turned out that there was nothing there. But the construction work was going on, i.e. a renovation of the palace /.../. And I started to build my sculptures, objects there. There was nothing to illuminate them with, so I thought I would illuminate them with fire. And when I started using fire, I thought, ‘Ah, great, it’s beautiful like that’." And so the visual theatre was born, with fire as a driving force. The artist has developed his own original style using visual signs and images, the style that is now recognised not only in Poland but also abroad. The Fire and Paper Theatre, together with its creator, wanders around the world. The company has participated in the most important puppet and alternative theatre festivals in Hungary, France, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, India, Panama, Pakistan, Ecuador and the USA.
The theatre's repertoire includes open-air performances as well as performances that can be presented in chamber halls, small theatres, on small stages. Some of them take place in a little cage that fits on a tabletop, while the action of others is held in the space of a cage not much bigger than the actors. All performances are safe for the viewers and the rooms in which they take place.
The performances of the Fire and Paper Theatre are not produced in a traditional rehearsal process. First the director composes his vision, but only the confrontation with the audience shapes the final version of the performance. "It’s a 100% free ride", emphasises Grzegorz Kwieciński. "This is something between a happening and a theatre, although closer to the theatre..."
„This is an extraordinary visual theatre, because its driving force is the element of fire. Fire is an animator of artistic forms made of paper or cardboard, it is also a basic artistic medium as a means of expression and light. The performances are in the form of one-off happenings, but they take place according to a set scenario created by Kwieciński. /.../ The Theatre of Fire and Paper is considered to be a puppet theatre that uses solely visual means of expression."
Anna Stafiej, Słownik Wiedzy o Teatrze, wydawnictwo Parkedukacja, 2005
„Real fire enlivens and incinerates paper figures, destroys their paper reality”
Piotr Mitzner, Teatr Światła i Cienia, PIW, Warszawa 1987
The Reliquary - a performance in the author's original convention of the Fire and Paper Theatre. The sets, objects, and dolls were made of various kinds of prepared paper, cardboard, and steel sheet subjected to rust of varying intensity. An extremely important means of expression here is fire, both the destructor as well as the constructor of theatrical reality. The symbolism of colours, fire, steel and paper creates a universal story about the imponderables, the most important things and matters. The stage is a cube placed on a table; it is a kind of a reliquary, in which the most important scenes from the artist’s life appear highlighting important meanings and values – his personal relics.
Music has an important role in the spectacle. It was composed and recorded by a professional young theatre composer and multi-instrumentalist Piotr Zygma.
Direction and set design: Grzegorz Kwieciński
Music: Piotr Zygma
Cooperation: Marcin Wartalski
Performers: Grzegorz Kwieciński, Emilia Obara, and Piotr Zygma (performing live music)