Irradiated with Art | Jabłońska | Polish Theatre Journal

ISSN 2451-2966


Małgorzata Jabłońska

Irradiated with Art


The paper presents the Oratorium Dance Project and its impact on the activities of the CHOREA Theatre after 2011.

In 2010-2011, the Chorea Theatre carried out the groudbreaking project for its biography: the Oratorium Dance Project. It was inspired by the project of Simon Rattle, the conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, and Royston Maldoom, choreographer, who attempted to popularise classical music by engaging 250 people from local community into performing it. The Chorea Theatre responded to a similar challenge. A group of one hundred participants, led by an American choreographer Robert Hayden, Earthfall Dance group and Chorea Theatre artists, featuring the Orchestra and Choir of the Łódź Philharmonic Orchestra, created a dance and music performance. Maciej Maciaszek and Tomasz Krzyżanowski composed a musical piece Oratorium Antyk/Trans/Orchestra especially for this project. It was based on the arrangements of music from ancient Greece. This project's purposes were primarily educational. It was addressed to young people aged 13-24, children and and seniors (50+) from Łódź and the Łódź region. The group of young participants included people from disadvantaged environments and at risk of social exclusion. Implementing Oratorium Dance Project required from the artists a risky undertaking of going "into the city", many months of engagement with workshops and difficult stories of people's lives, as well as a test of their own maturity, that this team had not experienced before. This project and its results determined  new directions of development for CHOREA and new scales to measure its success and failure. For the Chorea team, the existential and social resonance of the project became the fundamental validation for art they wanted to create and promote. The Theatre's activities after Oratorium were essentially a consequence of experiences resulting from Oratorium. They determined the programme of two consecutive editions of the Retro/Per/Spectives festival and its smaller special editions, Perspectives, the only festival in Poland which, in 2015, was entirely devoted to presenting so called engaged theatre, working for and in the communities at risk of social exclusion and raising the issues of defavorisation. Currently, the CHOREA theatre is composed of  three groups born out of experiences from the workshops preceding Oratorium.


engaged theatre; participation; theatre of community

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Małgorzata Jabłońska

(1981), theatre studies scholar, she researches the history and issues of actor training, as well as methodology of the description of the body dramaturgy in alternative theatre. She currently works on a doctoral dissertation Ku dramaturgii ciała. Wpływ biomechaniki Wsiewołoda Emiliewicza Meyerholda na koncepcje treningu aktorskiego w teatrze europejskim XX wieku [‘Towards the Dramaturgy of the Body: The Influence of Vsevolod Emilevich Meyerhold's Bio-mechanics on the Concepts of Actor Training in European Theatre of the 20th Century]. Since 2004, she is a member of ­ the Chorea Theatre Association and co-author of Trening fizyczny aktora. Od działań indywidualnych do zespołu  [Actor's Physical Training: From Individual Actions to a Team] (Łódź 2015). Member of the Polish Society for Theatre Studies and the International Platform for Performer Training. Currently, she works in the Grotowski Institute as a coordinator of research project in the framework of the Theatre Olympics 2016.