ISSN 2451-2966


Małgorzata Jabłońska

Spatial Rhythm in Time: Parallels between Vsevolod Meyerhold’s theatrical biomechanics and Katarzyna Kobro's concept of spatial composition


The article is a comparative analysis of the concept of modern sculpture by Katarzyna Kobro (1898–1951) and the theatrical biomechanics of Vsevolod Meyerhold (1874–1940). The starting point is the alleged community of experiences of the artists' milieu and their affiliation (even temporary) to the constructivism movement. Jabłońska reconstructs Kobro's views based on the book Spatial Composition: Calculating the Spacetime Rhythm, focusing on the issues of formal shaping of space, spatio-temporal rhythm and architectural characterisation of sculpture, which becomes a theoretical model for composition of space interacting with the human body. Here the author sees the correspondence of Kobro’s concept with Meyerhold's theatrical biomechanics, which she understands mainly as a set of rules for actor's body composition in time and space, or in other words, the implementation of the principles of spatio-temporal rhythm in the body. In her analysis of biomechanics, apart from documents, Jabłońska use her own practical experience of this technique, focusing on such elements as playing with rakurses (forms, body positions visible from the perspective of a viewer) and rhythmisation of movement by its division into three phases (otkazposylstoika).


avant-garde; biomechanics; constructivism; Kobro; Meyerhold; spatio-temporal rhythm

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Małgorzata Jabłońska

is a theatre scholar specialising in performer training and the history of performer training, and methodology of writing about body dramaturgy within a theatre performance (with a special focus on alternative theatre). She is a Ph.D. student at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, working on a thesis titled “Ku dramaturgii ciała. Pływ biomechaniki Wsiewołoda Emiliewicza Meyerholda na koncepcje treningu aktorskiego w teatrze europejskim XX wieku”. She works regularly with the Grotowski Institute in Wrocław, where in 2013 she organised Praktyki Teatralne Wsiewołoda Meyerholda, Poland’s first international Vsevolod Meyerhold conference. She has co-ordinated scholarly projects as part of the Wrocław 2016 Theatre Olympics. She is co-author of Trening fizyczny aktora. Od działań indywidualnych do zespołu (Łódź 2015). She is a member of the Polish Society for Theatre Research, Poland’s Theatre Offensive association and the International Society for Performer Training.