Death is an experience which cannot be told to anyone. It is a border, after which there is no turning back. One who experiences it, is vanished forever. In her performance, choreographer Renata Piotrowska, with a big dose of distance and humour confronts this philosophical statement with the theatre. This confrontation takes place due to Peggy Phelan’s thought that theatre is a place where society ‘prepares for the loss, especially for death’. Piotrowska, while trying to stage an encounter with death, gathers different scripts. An outcome is the performativediptych. During its flow choreographer travels through ages of (not) experiencing the death and uses artistic, cultural and social representations of this ultimate experience.
The artist starts with an ascertainment that mortality has nowadays been more than ever negated and that medial omnipresence of death is accompanied by a wish to obliterate it from everyday life. The artist turns to some historical phenomena and phantasms connected with the death problem, such as: medieval iconography, dance macabre, rite, grim reaper’s personification, macabre, gore aesthetics or erotic petite mort. Continuously creating encounter with death, pulling it into the choreography like an intangible partner, Piotrowska studies contemporary understanding of dying. Or maybe lack of understanding.
Concept, choreography: Renata Piotrowska-Auffret
Performing: Maria Stokłosa
Dramaturgy: Bojana Bauer
Lighting design: Ewa Garniec
Production: Burdąg Foundation
Partners: Center In Motion, Wawerskie Centrum Kultury, Center for Contemporary Art – Laboratory Hall , CND Pantin Paris, La Briqueterie – CDC du Val-de-Marne, Teatr Soho in Warsaw, STSpot in Yokohama, Art Stations Foundation in Poznań
Premiere: October 2014
Special thanks for Michał Kurkowski, Joanna Leśnierowska, Ula Zerek and Teatr Ochoty in Warsaw.