Script, direction, process work, lights: Sławomir Krawczyński
Choreography: Anna Godowska, Tomasz Wygoda / the show also features fragments of Nijinsky’s choreographies for the ballets The Afternoon of a Faun and The Rite of Spring
Dance: Tomasz Wygoda
Music: The Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky performed by the New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein conductor, 1958
Costume concept: Sławomir Krawczyński, Tomasz Wygoda
Content-related consultancy: Jadwiga Majewska
Process oriented psychology consultancy: Agnieszka Wróblewska
Technical production: Łukasz Kędzierski
Production: Art Stations Foundation by Grażyna Kulczyk
Première: 1 September 2013, Stary Browar, Studio Słodownia +3, Poznań
The première was produced as part of the What About Polish Dance 2013 series supported financially by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage.
Special acknowledgments to Ashtanga Joga Studio for their assistance in the realisation of the project.
A new staging of Igor Stravinsky’s great ballet, a solo performance consisting in a journey across Vaslav Nijinsky’s altered states of consciousness, created on the basis of his Diary and his works. The Rite of Spring as The Rite of Dreams.
“I am God in a body. Everyone has that feeling, but no one uses it. I do make use of it, and know its results. I love its results.”
Vaslav Nijinsky, Diary
From a psychiatric perspective, the above-quoted words, stated not as a metaphor but with complete seriousness, will nearly always point to the splitting of the personality. There is, however, a wider perspective that makes it possible to see them as a manifestation of some kind of cosmic yet human truth. It was this perspective that we used for our work. Using various techniques of working with the subconscious, we followed the images and experiences contained in Nijinsky’s Diary and his works towards a deeper dimension and concealed meaning. One of the many tropes led to the symbol of the faun. “The Faun is me” wrote Nijinsky in one of the passages of the Diary. And, in a sense, he really was a faun. But what can a faun do in the modern world? Indeed, what can such a naïve and carefree creature that lives on dreams, basks in the sunshine and emanates unabashed sexuality do? A creature like this can only live to the full on stage because an ordinary, adult and rational life is a burden much too heavy. For many reasons, the character of the Faun became crucial to our show.
An important element of our work was the Diary which seemed to us a book of dreams, dreamt while awake and hastily recorded. This was how we found ourselves in a world which continuously balanced between ecstasy and oblivion, torn apart by contradictions. It is quite remarkable that the piece which is an especially apposite and deep reference to this situation is The Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky, a ballet for which the first ever choreography was created by none other than Nijinsky. This is a piece which, conveying an image of the volcanic forces that fight for their own formation in the world, faces us almost directly with the reality which Nijinsky’s experienced every day. A psychiatric diagnosis should not close us to the essence of this experience, a mysterious process which still speaks to us today. In his ballets and his Diary, Nijinsky – consciously or unconsciously – posed some important questions about the essence of our existence. These impart a yearning for humanity’s childhood when the community grew from a ritual and unifying dance whilst contact with God was as direct as with another human being.
The work on the show was another step in the realisation of Sławek Krawczyński and Anna Godowska’s art and research project Taniec śniącego ciała (Dance of the Dreaming Body, conducted since 2004) dedicated to the implementation of the ideas of Carl Gustav Jung’s analytical psychology and Arnold Mindell’s process oriented psychology into dance and theatre practice.
A fascinating and, at some points, shocking show created with Sławomir Krawczyński and Anna Godowska, about a great Polish artist’s passion for life and passion for dance. A tale woven from fragments of Nijinsky’s choreographies for The Rite of Spring and The Afternoon of a Faun, about a liberated artist who pays the ultimate price for his oversensitivity. With each minute the fantastically choreographed gestures acquired more and more traits of insanity.
From Nijinsky, the god of dance filled with a passion for life, Tomasz Wygoda transformed into a trapped man overcome by demons who sought understanding and approval.
An absorbing solo performance consisting in a journey across altered states of consciousness.
Rzeczpospolita, Nagość, która usypia, Jan Bończa-Szabłowski
On an empty stage, Wygoda, in a black suit, fell into narcotic states and revelled in dance. Apart from the beauty of citations from original shows and the performance quality, the show had something valuable – a point of mass in the form of a distinctive protagonist. The creators, fascinated with Nijinsky’s Diaries, reconstructed his character as the embodiment of dance itself featuring a hint of madness. Starting with small gestures, Wygoda imparted his insanity and the impulses that stemmed from the subconscious with a growing boldness.
TaniecPOLSKA.pl, A Ty, lubisz patrzeć? – o XII edycji Festiwalu Ciało/Umysł, Adela Prochyra