On 6 October, the Stefan Jaracz Theatre in Olsztyn will present Part II of Adam Mickiewicz’s poetic drama Forefather’s Eve, directed by Zoltán Balázs.
The premiere of this unique concept performance will be the opening event of the annual Via Carpatia Festival. The timeliness of the premiere is also enhanced by the 200th anniversary of the first two parts of the work, published in 1823, which will be celebrated by the Polish literary and theatrical community next year.
Mickiewicz’s “reconstruction” work, composed of fragments written in several parts and given a truly definitive form by theatrical tradition, is constantly being rewritten. An endless source of inspiration, the poem has already become an example of truth in art and a source of inspiration for many artists to push the boundaries of art. The Forefather’s Eve is the very starting point of “the mythology of Polish theatre”. Wyspiański, Schiller, Kotlarczyk, Swinarski, Kantor, Grotowski, Warlikowski and Nekrošius also aimed at the theatrical integration of the content-formal unity of the Romantic work.
The biggest challenge for all of them in creating their directorial vision was to find the right way of theatrical expression. Grotowski concentrated on the moments of the ritual, and the potential of Mickiewicz’s text helped him to perfect the form of avant-garde theatre. Schiller sought to bring out the hidden mysticism of the dramatic text, and his monumental staging was a synthesis of different branches of art. Kotlarczyk was interested in the image of a nation suffering for its sins, in Polish martyrology, while Swinarski was interested in the relationship between national history and myth. Three women dressed in folk costumes entered Warlikowski’s plexiglas and chrome stage…
Zoltán Balázs’s staging is devoid of messianic myth and political thread, his adaptation of Forefather’s Eve is another attempt to expand the stage, and to blur the boundaries between theatre and reality. The director of Maladype Theatre is interested in universal cosmology. His artwork focuses on the ritual motifs of Forefather’s Eve, the creative energies of “untouched cultures”, and the negative processes of the declining relationship between the living and the dead. His directorial vision emphasises the values of completeness through fragmentation and the “dance macabre fragmented into phases”. One of the main aims of the theatrical work, which is extremely energetic, is to bring the “primordial theatricality” and the ancient imagination closer to today’s audience.