choreography and direction
light, space, costumes
Magdalena Jędra, Monika Świtaj (Studio Theatre, Warsaw), Mirosław Zbrojewicz (Studio Theatre, Warsaw)
Gdańsk Dance Festival, Studio Theatre (Warsaw), Koncentrat Artistic Group
23.07.2012, Gdańsk, Poland
"Lamentation" is a multidisciplinary project bringing together languages of theatre, opera and dance (the performers are: an actor a singer and a dancer), kept in in the style of "new dance" by exposing not only skills but also personal profiles of the performers. Writings of William Firbank, "Notes on camp" by Susan Sontag and the legendary solo of Martha Graham - Lamentation are direct inspirations for the piece. Those works are allegedly not connected, but Firbank is an icon of camp art, Sontag's essay is the most complete attempt to define camp and Martha Graham, in the context of contemporary dance art becomes more than its mere "mother", but rather a crazy aunt - a character also camp.
The piece consist of three solo presentations ('lamentations'), in which by different means the same stories are told: of loss and solitude. Those stories are intimate, yet formalized, coded, in other words - choreographed.
The piece attempts to use the 'recipes' for camp given in "Notes...", which can immediately be considered to be a failed attempt, since according to those very recipes camp cannot be created intentionally, it comes out as a result of some innocent and unintended error, a slip. But our aim is not to create camp art, but only to 'borrow' its instruments and to experiment with them.
The choice of that style of storytelling comes from an observation that camp by it consequent avoidance of any painful aspects of human existence, in a very competent and truly moving manner talks exactly about them. Moreover, American modern dance in Graham's version very deeply penetrated the depths of human soul and destiny at its darkest, but the strength of its impact now, lies somewhere else, not necessarily in its topics, or dance technique but in the camp-like (from the point of view of today) expression of the performers. Sontag explains the subtleties of camp, placing the camp art next to classical and contemporary ones as an equally valid way to practise art in general.
Hence those artists are patrons as well as a 'road signs' in intuitional and experimental work on "Lamentations". That work aims to find a convincing way to talk about human intimacy, loneliness and pain, from the stage.