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Tadeusz Kantor Today

Metamorphoses of Death, Memory and Presence- Translated by Anda MacBride


Edited By Katarzyna Fazan, Anna R. Burzynska and Marta Brys

This book is a compendium of texts by international authors which reflect on Tadeusz Kantor’s art in a broad range of contexts. The studies include works of prominent art historians, theatrologists and artists. The present revisiting of Kantor’s artistic œuvre reflects a contemporary historiographic approach. The authors place value on individual memory and consider contemporary art outside the traditional boundaries of particular artistic genres. The studies employ the latest strategies for researching theatrical performance as autonomous statements, without a literary anchor. Thanks to this approach, the eschatological and historical issues, crucial to the sphere of reference of Kantor’s Theatre of Death, have acquired a new presence – as art that liberates thinking in the here-and-now.
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Josep Maria de Sagarra Àngel – Tadeusz Kantor’s Theatre of Emotions: Apropos the Spanish Reception of the Artist


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Tadeusz Kantor’s Theatre of Emotions: Apropos the Spanish Reception of the Artist

Josep Maria de Sagarra Àngel

I Shall Never Return was the first, and only, production by Tadeusz Kantor that I had a chance to see live, at its world premiere in Berlin’s Akademie der Künste. It was in May 1988. I can recall perfectly Kantor’s protagonists, the characteristic music of Kantor’s productions, Kantor himself on the stage, issuing prompts, or, rather, corrections, to the actors of the Cricot 2 Theatre. What I remember above all is the finale of the performance, when the cast stood at the front of the stage in an almost military formation (Kantor was fond of likening his actors to a military unit1). With deadpan faces, their gaze lost somewhere in the distance, the Polish actors received the ovation of the critics and the German audience. At a signal from Kantor, the chief-in-command, the Cricot 2 actors marched out, never to reappear on stage. However, the audience continued applauding for quite a long time. I thought that perhaps that was a homage being paid by a conquered aggressor to representatives of a nation invaded – a reconciliation of sorts after an inauspicious history.

I was wrong! In the summer of that year, I arrived in Krakow for the first time in order to learn Polish in the summer school of the Jagiellonian University. As part of the academic programme, I had the opportunity to become...

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