Kantor perceived Velazquez’s Infantas as Madonnas and relics. Dressed in a kind of costume, they hide their rickety bodies underneath...
The Nativity scene, which, over time, started to adopt the form of a theatrical show, was accompanied by dialogues and singing. It was expanded by proscenium. People hidden under its floor animated the dolls, which bowed their heads to the Infant Jesus. The use of this quasi-theatrical formula during the holiday celebration was supposed to enrich the message, which, from the form of simply reading the text of the Holy Bible — most often during the liturgy — was transformed into presenting the events from the life of Christ before the audience of his followers. However, the Christmas pageant gradually started to laicize: there were more people taking part in the drama, and many scenes of secular nature were introduced. On the basis of the religious content, entertaining episodes (comedy).
The symbolism of a door is to some extent universal — common to different cultures and religions. Because a door is always on the border, its significance, first of all, is revealed at the moment of crossing a threshold. It illustrates the existence of opposition and the transition from one state to another.
A prototype of the woman behind the window in the performance The class has died was probably a drawing by Stanisław Wyspiański, published on the cover of Interiors by Maurice Maeterlinck (1901). The sketch was created as a playbill of the poster announcing a lecture by Stanisław Przybyszewski, connected with the stage...
An interesting story lies behind the establishment of the Ludowy Theatre. When the building of Nowa Huta began, no one actually thought about...
The reconstruction of Kantor’s work on his performances is possible thanks to, among others, the video recordings of rehearsals which were made on the artist’s request, starting with the play Niech sczezną artyści [Let the Artists Die] from 1985. Forty eight hours of rehearsals were recorded during the preparation for the play Dziś są moje urodziny [Today Is My Birthday].
An average-sized nativity scene in Kraków — illuminated, mechanical, three-levelled, five-towered, with 23 wooden painted figures. In the recess, on a round platform the figures of carol singers are spinning around (death, Herod, a soldier, a Jew, an angel, a devil), entering and exiting through decorated portals; in the centre there is a Christmas tree against a stained-glass window; in the foreground is a group of Lajkonik, raftsmen with maces, and a band of Mlaskots (musicians from Zwierzyniec who accompanied Lajkonik, playing the drums, the violin and the bass).
For Japan, the Edo epoch (1600–1868), under shogunate rule, was a time of isolation from all external influences, but also a time of prosperity and peace, solidified by the established social order (in a highly hierarchical society, everyone played a specific role – samurais constituted the most privileged class of the bakufu).
The tradition of Polish Christmas nativity scenes has its roots in Italian nativity plays, which were brought to our land by the Franciscan Order. Initially, they were organised in the side altars of churches, and comprised figures of Baby Jesus, Mary, Saint Joseph, the shepherds and the Three Kings...
The Ludowy Theatre was opened on 3 December 1995. It was intended to provide the workers of Nowa Huta contact with art and high culture, thus contributing to the propagation of correct attitudes. During the inauguration of the theatre it was said that “it shall be the pioneer of socialist culture in the newly-built city“.
The situation for actresses of the city theatre at the beginning of the 20th century was not easy. Work conditions were difficult; contracts obliged actors to, for example, learn two sheets of prose or one sheet of poetry within twenty four hours (up to 100 new titles and revivals were played...
As Tadeusz Kantor wrote, the childhood room is never a bright and sun-drenched space — such images are rather literary fiction. How can you capture and recreate what it was really like? Extracting the individual elements: the door, the window ... The window of the children’s room faced outwards, on the street with a pink storey tenement. ...
Toshūsai Sharaku is one of the most enigmatic Japanese artists. The woodcuts signed with his name come from the period between May 1794 and January 1795. A total of about 150 Sharaku card images depict actors from the Kabuki theatre; these are projects with a completely different new form of expression, often close to a caricature.
The costume for the role of Lady Macbeth was given to the Historical Museum of the City of Kraków as the inheritance after the actress and singer Jadwiga Mrozowska, who had connections with the Kraków stage in the years 1902–1905. From 1905 the artist settled down in Italy, where she performed as an opera singer.
Gunungan is one of the most important figures that opens a traditional performance of the Indonesian shadow theatre wayang kulit purwa. It depicts a tree of life representing the five elements making up the universe: earth, air, fire, wind and water. It also symbolises a palace, forest, and sea, as well as the above-ground and underground worlds.
In the classic Japanese nō theatre, masks are the most important accessories of the leading actor shite. With these masks, an actor is able to impersonate characters of both real and imaginary worlds (e.g. a warrior, a young woman, an old man, as well as a demon, a god or a goddess, etc.). By putting on a mask, the character is transformed and the audience is able to discover their hidden secrets (e.g. the extraterrestrial origin of the character), or fierce feelings tormenting them (sorrow, envy, madness).
The sculpture represents a figure of a sitting woman depicted from the waist upwards. The woman is holding binoculars and slightly leaning out of the theatre box, assumedly to take a better look of the details of the artistic event in which she is participating. There is a satisfaction, or even reverie visible on her face. Is it because of the play?
Kraków nativity scene, small, illuminated, not mechanical, multi-towered. The Holy Family is in the middle, set against the altar. On the right is a figure of a Kraków resident with a nativity scene, on the left is a figure of a highlander with a star. Above, in the recess (a kind of a side-altar), a figure of Christ (like from a contemporary painting), on the right a figure of a nun (St. Faustina).
The presented object was created for a performance of Cricot 2 Theatre, Today is my birthday, on which the artist worked from October 1989 to early December 1990. Tadeusz Kantor died after one of the last rehearsals, on 8 December 1990. The premiere took place shortly after in January 1991 at Théâtre Garonne in Toulouse; then the show was shown in 22 cities around the world until June 1992.
The presented exhibit comes from the Qui non ci torno più [I Shall Never Return] performance at the Cricot 2 Theatre created in Kraków and Milan in the years 1987–1988. The performance had its premiere on 23 June 1988 at the Piccolo Teatro Studio in Milan. Nigdy tu już nie powrócę (I Shall Never Return) is a summary of Tadeusz Kantor’s previous theatrical works.