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Retroperspektywy 2019


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International Theatre Festival Retroperspektywy 2019

Spectator / Participant / Co-creator

15th Anniversary of CHOREA Theatre

23 of August/ 1st of September



Spectator / Participant / Co-creator and 15th Anniversary of CHOREA Theatre


The subject of the 2019 RPS Festival is a spectator and his/her importance, role and participation in a play or performance. We have chosen performances and artistic creations in which a position of a spectator changes from a passive observer to an active recipient, participant and even a co-creator of an artistic event. This practice is related to Jerzy Grotowski's ideas, a man who, in his second phase of search, wanted to overcome audience-actors division and make all the participants equal creators of the performance. Drawing on this tradition, we also reach for outstanding performances of contemporary theatre which activate the recipients of them. We want that the subject is understood in a broad sense, in order to become an inspiration for the artists and participants of the events. In order to create a new, original, and, what is most important – valuable, model of culture participation. Developing participants' potential and talents as well as opening new spaces for creation, has been always one of the most important purposes of CHOREA Theatre, which for years has been setting up socially-oriented artistic projects (involving those with socially-excluded youth, disabled, elderly and homeless people). Audience activation broadens their co-responsibility and opens up new spaces for identity and community construction, an essential value these days. All these activities are conscious and consistent attempts of developing an audience which has been faithful to CHOREA Theatre for years. Festival's programme involves a wide spectrum of artistic events. Performances that will be put on are based on tradition (play "Tragedia Jana" was based on a drama by Jakub Gawatowic and it draws on old-Polish fairground theatre) as well as on recent means of artistic expression (performative activities by Arti Grabowski based on scripts by German group Fluxus). We will also put on a play by an outstanding Russian group AKHE, also called The Engineering Theatre, a distinguishable performance "Akty" by Aurora Lubos and a moving "Pigmalion" directed by Wojtek Ziemilski. As always, we have taken care of an international aspect of the Festival and so theatres and artists from the USA, Russia, Great Britain, Ukraine, Sweden and the Netherlands were invited. 


In this edition of RPS 2019, we want to link performances of all the mentioned theatres and artists with CHOREA Theatre's 15th anniversary. For a number of years CHOREA was co-created by brilliant artists, actors, dancers and choreographers (i.a. Paweł Passini, Dorota Porowska, Jim Ennis, Jessica Cohen, Rosanna Gamson, Elżbieta Rojek, Maciej Rychły, Paweł Korbus, Iga Załęczna, Izabela Śliwa, Katarzyna Tadeusz, Julia Jakubowska and Dominika Krzyżanowska Gorzkiewicz) who significantly shaped the Theatre's oeuvre. The anniversary is an excellent occasion for presenting their new productions of different artistic forms on the one hand, and reminding the audience iconic plays by CHOREA on the other (e.g. "Po Ptakach / After the Birds" based on a tragedy by Aristophanes and created with British contemporary dance company Earthfall). CHOREA's achievements from the last fifteen years will be summarized by performative activities along with the audience, remarkable theatrologists, artists and other authors and creators associated with the Theatre.

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During last ten years (throughout five editions of the Retroperspektywy Festival and two editions of the Perspektywy Festival) 88 performances and concerts as well as 35 workshops took place. 300 invited guests from 14 countries (including USA, India, Sweden, Great Britain, Norway, Portugal, Belarus) showed up at our venue along with 28.000 spectators and participants. We want to consistently continue with our development, which has been occurring for a couple of years now, and organize yet another edition of the international festival to invite outstanding artists with their theatre, dance and music performances. We will make it possible for the audience to take part in the World of Theatre whose main aim is a discourse on contemporary reality as well as a search for original means of artistic expression. Long-time consistency of getting through to various social groups (intellectuals, people from underserved communities, elderlies, students, youth, families with children) and building festival audience development contributed to the event being popular and widely recognized on the cultural map of Łódź. 2016 edition "Theatre marked with music" was awarded with a Golden Mask for the best event on the off-stage. Festival goes beyond regular undertakings of CHOREA Theatre and it allows to put on performances by Polish and international artists who deal with the art of theatre and dance. It is an excuse and an extraordinary chance for performances that CHOREA Theatre co-creates with international theatres and artists. In 2019 such projects involve cooperation with the USA and Great Britain. 


An important idea, that promotes the festival from the very beginning, is creating a bridge between searching novices and stage masters, between tradition and avant-garde. Due to fast-developing new technologies, communication techniques and following them changes of art perception, this edition is devoted to changes and frictions which occur when the new reception of performing arts meets the traditional one. It is a conscious search for new perspectives and forms of expression of contemporary theatre's language. We assume that in the rough times of the 21stcentury, it is a spectator and art's addressee who is the most crucial reference point for an artist