Present bodies – meaningful bodies – Foreign bodies Cover Image
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Ciała obecne – ciała znaczące – „Ciała obce”
Present bodies – meaningful bodies – Foreign bodies

Author(s): Beata Popczyk-Szczęsna
Subject(s): Theatre, Dance, Performing Arts, Music, Sociology of Art
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
Summary/Abstract: Modern Polish drama texts seem to be „dramas of the body”; the body appears in them as a valid problem of the world depicted (along with various aspects of the man’s bodily existence, e.g. procreation, illness and agony). These drama works could be analyzed with reference to Erika Fischer-Lichte’s aesthetics of performativity and the assumptions of somatic criticism. The deliberations presented in this article are a case study: they concern Julia Holewińska’s drama entitled Foreign bodies and a theatrical performance based on this drama work at Teatr Wybrzeże in Gdańsk in 2012. Difficult bodily and sensual experience, as well as social and cultural, were portrayed in the text and the theatrical performance; it is a story of the man who underwent a sex change operation. In the drama, which was inspired by the biography of Marek Hołuszko, a “Solidarity” member, the author highlighted the carnalityof the hero/heroine. The theme of an individual being entangled in history and the norms of the cultural sex becomes extremely crucial in the world depicted here. Kuba Kowalski, director of this theatrical play, has created an allegoric message of exclusion. In the play, being a vivid stage performance in its character, what is essential is the precise mechanics of the theater group. An intensified performative aspect of the play stems from two predominant principles of the actors’ mechanics: it is highlighting individual performers and their bodies as well as the technique of cross-casting. Foreign bodies by Julia Holewińska and Kuba Kowalski belongs to a group of theatrical performances which are centered around the myth of an outsider, social weirdo or victim. The play showing the hero entangled in a conflict of the biological and cultural sex clearly exhibits the power of the culture as being disciplining and restrictive for an individual.

  • Page Range: 296-310
  • Page Count: 15
  • Publication Year: 2017
  • Language: Polish