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 December 2018 

Warsaw/Expanding the Field: Anna Nowicka “This is the Real Thing”

8 November 2018 | 20:00 | Warsaw: Nowy Teatr/Nowy Theatre, ul. Madalińskiego 10/16

performance presentation

As part of the choreographic programme of Nowy Teatr and the Art Stations Foundation Expanding the Field, Anna Nowicka will present her premiere piece This is the Real Thing

 

I crush my skin's landscape. I roll it up, put it on, drop it, move it, reveal it, hide it, send it back. Searching, losing and finding it, in the absolute here and now, before "it is!”. I am slowly transforming, constantly forming, I unexpectedly destroy, knot, tear apart and carefully unscrew. The endless process of becoming enchanted into a visible image/object. I put together a poetic, fleshy album for newspaper clippings, mythical stories heard by chance and carefully hidden dreams.


“this is the real thing,” or “this is it / this is the real thing” is a piece where the body is at the centre of the performance. A single dancer creates and deconstructs her environment, playing in the landscape of visual meanings and possible references. Her own body flickers and transforms, remaining in the process of continuous becoming. Various qualities, textures, fragments of emotions, associations, situations, intentions, characters, actions, become embodied, but none of them is fixed in the form of a visual object. The physical body functions rather as an infinite hypertext, referring the viewer to more and more new associations. The dialogue between the real body and its visual representations raises the question of what the body actually is, how we perceive it and to what extent we can consciously construct it.

 

Concept and development: Anna Nowicka
Dramaturgy: Mateusz Szymanówka
Lighting design: Aleksandr Prowaliński
Music Adam Świtała
Costumes: Tanja Padan / Kiss the future
Photographs: Katarzyna Szugajew

 

The artist is currently a resident with the Fabrik Potsdam programme.

 

The premiere will be held as part of the Expanding the Field series.

Curator: Joanna Leśnierowska

 

Anna Nowicka graduated from the SEAD dance school in Salzburg, the Ernst-Busch/HZT in Berlin, also receiving a master’s in psychology from the University of Warsaw. Her research focuses on the relation between the dancing and sleeping body, and on the notions related to the choreography of the imagined. In her practice she investigates a multiplicity of seeing perspectives and possibilities of using different points of view as tools to discover and reveal all possible images, even those seemingly unavailable to the eye. She considers choreographing as a continuous examination of the relation and tension between the creative process and its outcome. She practices dreaming at the School of Images under the supervision of dr Cathering Shainberg, and works with dreams under Bonnie Buckner, dividing her time between Berlin and Poland.


Tickets: 35/25 PLN
Entrance cards: 20 PLN

 

Poszerzanie pola [Expanding the field]

 

 

Since the mit-20th century, choreography has been premeditated in situating itself in the fissure between visual arts and [traditionally defined] dance; in the Polish context alsotheatre. This fissure has consistently expanded and unveiled its operational field: a territory of artistic practices consciously and amply borrowing from other disciplines, structuring their own stage language and discourse, and calling for a map of their own.

 

To delineate this map, the organizers of Expanding the Field have extended their invitation to three Polish artists whose practice has made choreo-graphy (i.e. the art of scripting movement, and the movement embedded in the act of writing) ever more noticeable (and visible) while also seamlessly meshing with a leading current in contemporary choreography. In the words of the pope of visual culture Nicholas Mirzoeff, one could refer to this current a choreographic form of visual activism, organized around the problematic of dance perception – discerning and perceiving the moving body and the surrounding reality that is embedded within this notion.

 

Because to see something means to understand, to perceive it in its complexity. Such visualization tactics (which does not stop at merely re-defining the medium) constitutes a most intriguing field of choreographic research. It is a strategy which reveals the seams and discloses the structure of composition. And yet, it is also a strategy which operates with casual movement, separated from its natural context and subjected to special organization that renders it a building block in physical and visual metaphors, and effectively diagnoses individual and social and political conditions. It involves an artistic and critical transformation of the surrounding multidimensional reality, in order to visualize (i.e. render perceivable and understandable) its governing mechanisms. At the same time, it entails a practice of counter-visualization, i.e. creating new ways of seeing, a practice of “un-seeing” the modes of perception (of the world and of the body) imposed from without and naturalized, and supplanting them with new representations.  

 

The programme poses a transfer of choreography from literal and metaphorical peripheries to the very centre, along with a celebration of “in-betweenness” as its natural habitat.

 

Thus, the field of choreography will expand. The field of its perception, its operation and influence, and – last but not least – the field of struggle for its autonomy. The motto behind all of Nowy Teatr actions, “Go. See. Think,” hence provides an interesting starting point for choreographic scores.

                            

Dance is hard to see, said Yvonne Rainer in 1966, at the highpoint of the dance revolution which is now officially recognized as the outset of contemporary choreography, of which Rainer was a pioneer. (Making her statement, Rainer consciously used the ambiguity of the English verb to see, which means both discerning something and understanding it). This revolution was accompanied by the now-familiar demand to democratize dance, expressed most directly through a radical expansion of dance vocabulary to include everyday actions, such as running and walking, which enabled choreographers to create an egalitarian space for the community of the performing and the perceiving. In fact, it was all about something more: learning a new way of seeing and discerning dance and its organization, i.e. choreography which, as an ephemeral art, escapes our perception. I want my dance to be a superstar!, added Rainer, thus opening grounds for a split within the traditional narrative, which deprived dance of its cause-and-effect binder, and rendered the body the main protagonist of the art: the subject and object of choreography. Through a programmatic disclosure of choreographic seams, concentration on simple tasks, and exposure of the governing principles of movement, a framework has been created that ennobles the moving body and elevates it to the rank of an object worth perceiving as any other work of art. Most importantly, the audience’s attention has been redirected to the previously inconspicuous, yet omnipresent, choreography of everyday life, thus transforming the surrounding reality (including its social and political aspects) into a vital frame of reference shared by performers and audiences alike.

 

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