It's quite simple in the synopsis. An intellectual from town marries a country girl. Then things got complicated. Communities in which people lived all their lives fell apart, farmers moved to cities, their children went to college. More change followed as democracy arrived, bringing capitalism along, while post-modernity was busy with "here and now", undermining the role of tradition and continuity.
Various Polish generations meet on stage. Those of our grandparents' and parents', whose experience drove the tectonic plates of history and social transformation. They are the medium, living chains between us and the past. Their private "wedding stories" mirror the fortunes of Poland and its people, as family myths become part of a greater historical narrative. The generation of twenty-somethings, who do not share the experience of war, industrial action by Solidarity, sleeping on Styrofoam. Known as the Millenials, the Y generation. The dates they find important are not in distant history, but rather
focused on consumption and pop-culture: the rise of social media, fast-food outlets on the streets, new drugs, ever thinner laptops, passport-free travel, music from all over the world in your pocket.
The littlest ones are also there. We don't know yet what will shape their experience.
What does this intergenerational dialogue with Wyspiański, this collective memory event, tell us about ourselves and the Poland of today?
What do we fear, what are we ashamed of and what do we wish for?
We like to think about Poland as a lost community project, straight from the frolic tavern in the epicpoem Sir Thaddeus, where people of different social strata, religious affiliations and wealth listen attentively to the Jewish cimbalom player's music in a shared moment.
Wyspiański debunks this illusion, and the subsequent stagings of the "Wedding" that accompanied Polish transitions and dramatic events over the years only prove the fiasco and utopia of thinking about Poland in this way.
Is our fate to always start again in a circular, melancholic cycle of ever returning for the golden horn, like Jason for the golden fleece, with a hangover from unlearnt lessons from history, repression of guilt, hidden fears, in a hope that this time we'll make it?
Welcome to the afterparty.
The Polish Dance Theatre's new performance - "The Wedding. Afterparty" premièred in mid-October. A cross was hung in the Great Hall of the Zamek Culture Centre and dancers were treating the audience to vodka. In the opening part of the performance, Marcin Liber invites the audience to a journey through time, stopping at the subsequent stagings of Stanisław Wyspiański's drama, starting in 1901. The director and the dancers spin the carousel of the changing reality. We can take a glimpse of Andrzej Wajda, Daniel Olbrychski and Gulczas, a participant in the"Big Brother" TV show. The grand finale is a hangover for everyone as balloons burst. No happy ending this time.
We are all in this dance, Marta Kaźmierska, Gazeta Wyborcza No 251/Co Jest Grane supplement, 27 October 2017
"Afterparty" is the subline of "The Wedding" - a performance by the Polish Dance Theatre. [...] Liber offers a take on the contemporary wedding party ethnography of Polish peasants, mixed with scanty, but still presents passages from Wyspiański's text (even less of those would to). You will see wedding party dancing that once might embarrassed you when performed by drunk uncles. [...] But what was the historical dance theatre of the 1970s, associated with a German choreographer Pina Bausch? It was a synthesis, a collage of Bertold Brecht's political drama and choreography, both contemporary and classical ballet-inspired, of images produced by expressionist imagination and counter-culture performance. We can see here bits of the so-called community theatre with seniors of the Movements Factory group, video installation, political farce, documentary drama and, last but not least, the dance, in which all those bits are submerged and which densifies the performance with reworked folk dances and trance music by RSS B0YS.
"The Wedding. Afterparty." Liber says nothing new about Wyspiański. Not that he has to. It is a national ritual repeating itself, Witold Mrozek, www.wyborcza.pl, 25 October 2017
On 13 and 14 October, the Zamek Culture Centre's Grand Hall was the venue for the opening night of the latest performance by the Polish Dance Theatre, entitled "Wedding. Afterparty." It inspires a reflection on our shared "here and now", on the dialogue between generations, on the history of "The Wedding" stagings and private wedding receptions. "The Wedding. Afterparty" by the Polish Dance Theatre, directed by Marcin Liber, just as Stanisław Wyspiański's "The Wedding", mirrors the fate of Poland and Poles, but also traditions of the Polish wedding parties processed by the authors.
"The Wedding. After Party" – Liber's dialogue with Wyspiański today, Malika Ledeman, www.freshmag.pl, 13 October 2017
The latest performance from the Polish Dance Theatre was directed by Marcin Liber, a director, set designer and scriptwriter as well as a founder of Poznań's independent "Usta Usta" theatre group. (…). The performance takes on the theme of the Year of Sorcerers,starting at the Polish Dance Theatre on 1 January 2017. The Year of Sorcerers opens a four-year cycle of performances conceived by Iwona Pasińska, head of the Polish Dance Theatre, with each year focusing on a discourse around various aspects of Polish identity. The cycle takes a closer look tradition, rituals, beliefs, myths, magic and superstition, and is an artist's reflection on the co-existence of the material and spiritual world, the old and the new, a concoction of Slavic and Christian perceptions and phantasms of the Polish romanticism, which are still alive.
Dance dialogue with Wyspiański, Adam Olaf Gibowski, www.kulturaupodstaw.pl, 13 October 2017
Marcin Liber, invited by Iwona Pasińska, challenges for the second time the famous drama by Stanisław Wyspiański. Hist first take premièred in 2013 at the Polish Theatre in Bydgoszcz. In Poznań, he is supported in finding dance theatre expression by dancers and senior amateurs. An attempt at transferring the critical theatre aestheticism, characteristic of the director, into the realm of dance, is where the director and choreographer meet. Both say their cooperation is organic, as it is their another meeting at the theatre. (…).
This performance necessarily offers historical awareness perspectives - admits Liber.
Invitation to "The Wedding. Afterparty" – report from the press conference at the Polish Dance Theatre, Magdalena Małysz, www.taniecpolska.pl, 6 October 2017
13rd October 2017 in CK ZAMEK, Poznaniu
stage & costumes design:
support costumes designers:
Adriana Cygankiewicz, Krystian Szymczak
Grzegorz Potocki, Andrzej Przybyszewski
Urszula Bernat-Jałocha, Fabian Fejdasz, Julia Hałka, Paulina Jaksim, Jerzy Kaźmierczak, Zbigniew Kocięba, Katarzyna Kulmińska, Paweł Malicki, Marcin Motyl, Marta da Pinto (stażystka), Michał Przybyła, Adrian Radwański, Katarzyna Rzetelska, Sandra Szatan, Dominik Więcek, Emily Wong with Seniors and Juniors from Movements Factory
Polish Dance Theatre
Centrum Kultury ZAMEK