“Requiemachine”: the battle song of the man-machine
On the Nanterre-Amandiers stage, “Requiemachine” is an original and striking musical offering from Marta Górnicka, in which about thirty men and women grouped into a chorus constitute the cogs in a powerfully antiestablishment human machine.
They appear in orderly rows, facing the audience, in no way pretentious or affected, but looking rather like ordinary, barefoot people. In unison, they say “No!” to the excesses of the neoliberal system which alienates, destroys and dehumanises the individual. On stage, the per- formers – now “word-workers” inspired by the rugged writings of revolutionary poet Władysław Broniewski – are caught up in the machinery of production and productivity quotas, which they forcefully condemn with their collective strength, like a combat weapon. Both tragic and contemporary choruses are the centrepiece of Marta Górnicka’s work and previous productions (This Is The Chorus Speaking and Magnificat). Standing amid the audience, the singer and director actively conducts performers utterly absorbed in an astonishing, highly accomplished “post-operatic” performance that is radical in form, although somewhat austere. The demanding score is as precise as clockwork, mobilising every possible resource and modula- tion of their voices, bodies, and entire being. Relentless vocal energy combined with resolute gestures results in robotic, yet nonetheless highly expressive singing, which exudes rousingly impressive spirit, enthusiasm and shouts, thanks to its tragic yet invigorating side.