Poison – the new production of the Polish Dance Theatre that will have its premiere on the 25 February, refers to medieval dance epidemics. Poison is choreographed by Marta Ziółek and Anka Herbut is responsible for the texts and dramaturgy. Choreographically, Poison refers to non-theatrical, extra-social dances (social dancing) that have the power to build physical community and physical empathy – especially during social gatherings, protests happening in the urban space or clubs.
The premiere will take place on 25 February 2020 at 8 p.m. in the Great Hall of the Castle in Poznań. The second presentation is planned for 3 March 2020 at 8 p.m. in the same venue.
– What does dancing mean to you?
– Everything. It's all I have. When I dance, I can afford to be someone.
– Someone other than normal.
– The best possible worse version of myself.
– Do you believe in paradise?
– When I dance sometimes I think I get this high.
– Your worst nightmare?
– Not being able to move, losing the ability to feel.
– What would you do if you couldn't dance?
– I would like to disappear.
Poison refers to medieval dance epidemics, whose various forms were defined in the 19th century as choreomania. Etymologically, choreomania combines the Greek words choros (dance) and mania (madness), thus calling spontaneous, non-canonical and inconvenient movement manifestations of bodies in public space. Historically, the “dance plagues” took place in medieval Europe, but in Poison they are placed in the current social context. So there are references to Climax by Gaspar Noé or to the folly madness that Keith Flint – the Prodigy frontman – sang about in the song entitled Poison.
Choreographically, Poison refers to extra-social dances (social dancing) that have the power to build physical community and physical empathy – during social gatherings, protests that take place in the urban space or clubs. Working with a group of dancers from the Polish Dance Theater, Marta Ziółek (choreography) and Anka Herbut (texts and dramaturgy) study dance as both a passion and an intoxication. They observe how these two aspects of dance materialise themselves in individual bodies and personal stories. They move between individual perspective and group dynamics, taking a closer look at how dance can make a group out of a bunch of individuals, thus becoming a collective experience.
Choreographer and director: Marta Ziółek
Choreographer's assistant, choreographic cooperation: Wojciech Grudziński
Texts and dramaturgy: Anka Herbut
Music: Lubomir Grzelak
Visualizations: Rafał Dominik
Costumes: Tomasz Armada
Lighting design: Aleksandr Prowaliński
Voice: Dobromir Dymecki
Photos, video: Karolina Sobel
Assistant: Paulina Jaksim
Costume designer's assistant: Martyna Konieczny
Choreographic cooperation on voguing scenes: Magdalena Marcinkowska
Choreographic cooperation on krump scenes: Piotr ZONTA Król
Dancers and contributors:
Amy Basely, Evelyn Blue, Kacper Bożek, Julia Hałka, Paulina Jaksim, Patryk Jarczok, Katarzyna Kulmińska, Dominik Kupka, Paweł Malicki, Daniel Michna, Michał Przybyła, Adrian Radwański, Katarzyna Rzetelska, Sandra Szatan, Emily Wong-Adryańczyk
Performance service: Adriana Cygankiewicz, Przemysław Gapczyński, Piotr Grywaczewski, Zuzanna Majewska, Grzegorz Potocki, Daniel Wiśniewski
Producer: Robert Chodyła
Production: Polish Dance Theatre
Media partners: Vogue, WTK/www.e-poznan.pl, www.kulturapoznan.pl /IKS, Gazeta Wyborcza
Media support: www.taniecpolska.pl
Partner: Koleje Wielkopolskie/Wielkopolska Railway
The premiere takes place as part of the Year of Scoffs – the Polish Dance Theatre’s programme, planned for 2020 – which is a time of liberation through laughter and appreciation of the role of humour in life and theatre.