When in 1353 Black Plague was disappearing from Europe, the citizens of Old Continent faced unprecedented loss. Almost forty percent of all people leaving at the time died of incurable disease, leaving social and intimate relations between people filled with distrust, suspicion and most of all: fear. Thanks to dance and its collective nature, it was possible to restore common trust to the Others, as well as to their bodies. Danse Macabre performed in many cities of Europe, was dedicated to the acceptance of death, bodies and new realm.
In 2020 incomparably smaller pandemic stopped the entire World. The following waves of infections, lockdowns and fear of unknown affected interpersonal relations, demolishing our habits. Regardless of life situation, pandemic became common experience for all of us. In effect, social distrust and physical distance became even bigger issue than they already were.
In her newest piece, Renata Piotrowska-Auffret researches social and physical aspects of Danse Macabre, focusing on somatic and community-based aspects of constant, uninterrupted dance — the one, that soothes anxiety, gives opportunity to (re)discover joy, distance and united power of group of people.
The performance, as the director writes, „will go beyond the social experience of coronavirus itself, looking at people and their stories through the lens of a new, changed and essential being together. Physically, mentally, socially and politically.”
Choreography, text and directed by: Renata Piotrowska-Auffret
Assistant: Aleksandra Osowicz
Music: Marcin Janus
Light design and dramaturgy consultant: Joanna Leśnierowska
Set design and costumes: Zuzanna Srebrna
Video: Simon Auffret
Music and choir consultant: Anna Szwajgier
Performed by / choreography collaboration: Cecylia Caban, Katarzyna Osipuk, Artur Paczesny, Konrad Wosik, Dana Chmielewska, Aleksandra Bożek-Muszyńska, Magdalena Fejdasz, Aleksandra Osowicz
Curator: Michał Rogulski
Produced by: JK Opole Theatre
Co-produced by: Art Stations Foundation by Grażyna Kulczyk
Photo: Edgar de Poray
Fragment from the review The healing power of the pulsating community by Hanna Raszewska-Kursa on taniecPolska.pl:
Danse Macabre proposes not only a way to recover from pandemic trauma and emotional renewal of a pandemically damaged community, but also a tool for strictly political change.
Fragment from the review by Marcelina Obarska on culture.pl:
The triumph of this choreographic performance, however, is the desire to join an intense, common dance. This instinctive desire to synchronize with the rhythm given by the performance goes beyond the analytical-critical order, becoming a pure, emotional phenomenon.
Fragment from the review A Dance Mania on Teatr dla wszystkich by Kamil Bujny:
The strength of the show is not only a well-prepared and well-coordinated team, but also work with space, which in this case I understand both as the potential of Modelatornia (stage) and a symbolic „place” in the show for the viewer. I don’t know if it is beacuse of brave direction or well-arranged and conducted electronic compositions. Anyhow, it is difficult not to „join” the performers while watching – the music is so rhythmic and regular, and the choreography is so spectacular and eye-catching that it is not so easy to control your own body.