Polish Director Talks to Prof. Manohar Khushalani about his play Caesarean Section

Play: Caesarean Section: Essays on Suicide
Director: Jarosław Fret
Group: Teatr ZAR, Poland
Language: Non Verbal
Duration: 1 hr

The Play
The title of the performance is a metaphor for suicidal compulsion, and the involuntary force that pulls us back from the brink. It is about the potential of the necessary ability to prolong one’s breathing at the moment when one feels in the veins the pieces of glass that haven’t yet managed to reach the heart.
Caesarean Section’s musical structure was developed from a base of polyphonic Corsican songs, into which Bulgarian, Romanian, Icelandic and Chechen songs have been woven. It’s subtle power and energy owes a debt to composer Eric Satie, and his discovery of the intensity that can be transmitted by each and every drop of sound. Through contact with, and integration into, this contemporary theatre piece the traditional musical material becomes transformed and taken on a new form, becoming seamlessly interwoven with intensive movement by the performers. ZAR also acknowledges the great literary influence of Aglaya Veteranyi on this work.
During the research process, members of ZAR made several trips to Corsica in search of new material for the emerging musical score. Their active participation in paschal liturgy in Tox near Bastia represented a pivotal moment. Therefore the climax of the performance is characterised by the liturgical music of Corsican confraternities. While the score’s basic ‘tectonics’ are grounded in Corsican music, they have been interwoven by Bulgarian cries, calls and incantations to enhance the musical dramaturgy.

The Director
Jarosław Fret is the founder and leader of Teatr ZAR; theatre director and actor; Director of the Grotowski Institute; lecturer at the Ludwik Solski State Theatre School, Filia in Wrocław; and the curator of the theatre programme of Wrocław: European Capital of Culture 2016. In 1999–2002 he carried out a series of expeditions to Georgia, Armenia and Iran, conducting research into the oldest forms of religious music of Eastern Christianity. He was the Director of five performances of the theatre: Three parts of Gospels of Childhood the Triptych which have been staged in Los Angeles, Florence, San Francisco, Chicago, Sybin, Athens, Edinburgh, Madrid, Belgrade, Paris, Cairo, Seoul, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and New Delhi. In November 2013 he completed the work on Armine, Sister for which he elaborated original musical dramaturgy and special stage architecture. His newest piece Medeas, On Getting Across was premiered in 2016. He lectures and leads work sessions within Poland and internationally.

The Group
Teatr ZAR is a multinational group that was formed in Wrocław by apprentices of the Grotowski Institute and took shape during annual research expeditions to Georgia between 1999 and 2003. During these expeditions, the apprentices collected much musical material, including a core of centuries-old polyphonic songs that are probably the oldest forms of polyphony in the world. The name of the group, ZAR, is taken from the title of funeral songs, which in Caucasian tradition, among others in Svaneti, are the essence of singing understood as “column of sound”.
Work of Teatr ZAR attempts to demonstrate that theatre does not only relate to the word thea (Greek for “seeing”) but it is something that above all should be heard. From such hearing, deep images are born that would be impossible to create even by means of the most modern theatre technology; where the body of a singing actor shines and emanates with the energy of sound, of the song that lies within.

Cast & Credits
Women Kamila Klamut / Ditte Berkeley
Man Matej Matejka
Others Nini Julia Bang, Przemysław Błaszczak,
Alessandro Curti, Jarosław Fret, Aleksandra Kotecka,
Ewa Pasikowska, Orest Sharak, Tomasz Wierzbowski

Music Collaboration Mariana Sadowska
Collaboration on the
Movement Score Vivien Wood
Realization of Lights Jarosław Fret

Director Jarosław Fret

Teatr Zar
Stowarzyszenie Teatr ZAR,
Rynek-Ratusz 27,
50-101 Wrocław, Poland
M: +48 693 927 324
E: magda@grotowski-institute.art.pl

A clip from the play:

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