THIS IS THE CHORUS SPEAKING only six to eight hours, only six to eight hours…
As it spits sand lingering in the throat.
As it takes the floor.
As it constructs the Tower of Babel.
Who is the chorus?
Modern drama excluded it, dumped sand on it and sentenced to silence.
Today THE CHORUS OF WOMEN wants to regain, to create voice.
THE CHORUS OF WOMEN is a modern form of choral theatre created by Marta Górnicka. The libretto for the performance is a collage of cultural texts: the chorus mixes fragments of Antigone and works by the likes of Agamben, Barthes, Jelinek and Butler with colloquial speech, advertising slogans, recipes, computer sounds, film quotes and fairy tales. A modern tragic chorus is composed of women of various professions and various ages. It undermines linguistic clichés and reveals the language in its ideological dimension: it speaks with the words of excluded texts.
The modern drama broke up with the chorus, thus depriving itself of a certain dimension of the tragic. We must restore the chorus to the stage and find new forms of its theatrical presence; we have to restore women to the chorus. The chorus of women will shout, whisper and sing. It will treat words as music. It will change language into voice, it will initiate its subversive force.
STAGES OF WORK
The project was initiated on December 1, 2009 by way of an open casting call. The selection process did not take into account the age of the candidates or their experience in the fields of acting or music. 28 women were selected from a group of 130 candidates. THE CHORUS OF WOMEN began work in January 2010 with a movement and voice workshop. That same month, the libretto and score were created for the first project: “THIS IS THE CHORUS SPEAKING: Only 6 to 8 hours, only 6 to 8 hours…” (which premiered on June 13, 2010). One year later, on June 27, 2011, the second performance of THE CHORUS OF WOMEN, entitled “MAGNIFICAT”, held its premiere.
The CHORUS experiments and researches the following areas:
+memory: it recalls Polish songs, forgotten drama texts, as well as chorus songs from ancient dramas
+voice: it searches for a chorus voice detached from the language, for example in rhythms, echolalia or in a drone
+gender: tries to regain | create woman’s voice in culture
+THE CHORUS OF WOMEN | the chorus of overdone sounds, rhythm, the elements and contrasts
+THE CHORUS OF WOMEN | a little performative | a little cabaret | a little pop | a little opera
The CHORUS OF WOMEN project was created in the framework of the programme of the Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute – New Theatre Institution. The performance was voted as “Teatr” magazine’s BEST ALTERNATIVE AND MUSICAL THEATRE PERFORMANCE IN POLAND in the 2009/2010 season. Chorus of Women represented Poland and successfully performed during more than 60 theatre and art of directing festivals in Czech Republic, France, Germany, Japan, India, Ireland, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Ukraine, United Kingdom. The second project MAGNIFICAT has been awarded a Grand Prize of the Jury of the XLVII Review of Small Form Theater KONTRAPUNKT 2012 as well as the main prize for the best director and audience prize and the audience award on the M-theater Festival 2012 in Koszalin. MAGNIFICAT also won prestigious award for the best performance at the Mess Festival in Sarajevo in Future MESS category as well as two special awards by journalists of Radio Sarajevo and Hrabri Novi Svijetmagazine. Marta Gornicka was also awarded the First Prize for Directing of MAGNIFICAT at the FastForward European Festival of Young Directors
In the article entitled “What’s heading to Europe? Half a year of Polish culture” (“Gazeta Wyborcza”, July 1, 2011) THE CHORUS OF WOMEN was deemed one of the ten most interesting events from the cultural program of the Polish EU presidency.
cast: Maniucha Bikont, Justyna Chaberek, Ewa Chomicka, Alina Czyżewska, Paulina Drzastwa, Alicja Herod, Anna Jagłowska, Natalia Jarosiewicz, Katarzyna Jaźnicka, Ewa Konstanciak, Ewa Kossak, Agnieszka Makowska, Kamila Michalska, Jolanta Nałęcz-Jawecka, Natalia Obrębska, Magda Roma Przybylska, Anna Rączkowska, Anna Rusiecka, Monika Sadkowska, Katarzyna Lach, Kaja Stępkowska, Karolina Szulejewska, Iwona Tołbińska, Agata Wencel, Karolina Więch, Anna Wodzyńska, Anna Wojnarowska.
concept, libretto,direction: Marta Górnicka
choreography: Anna Godowska
scientific and literary co-operation: Agata Adamiecka
costumes and set design co-operation: Maja Wolak, Anna Maria Karczmarska conductor consultation: Agnieszka Symela
light design: Tomasz Sierotko
stage management: Marek Susdorf
duration: 50 minutes (no intermission)
Premiered at the Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute in Warsaw on 13 June 2010.
production: The Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute in Warsaw