Speakers of Opening International Symposium / Programme of Opening International Symposium: “Performing Through – Tradition as Research at the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards”
Opening International Symposium

“Performing Through – Tradition as Research at the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards”

The launching of Tracing Roads Across takes place in Vienna, Austria, at Theater des Augenblicks on June 28 and 29, 2003, 11.00, in the context of an International Symposium on the researches to date conducted at the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards.
The Speakers at the International Symposium, theatre scholars and practitioners, critics, professors and historians, coming from from Italy, France, UK, Austria, Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Poland and Turkey are invited on the basis of their specific knowledge of theatrical and/or anthropological fields of investigation. The majority of them have been in contact with the researches of the Workcenter for many years. Some of them are at their first meeting with this specific terrain of research. All of them, before the opening of Tracing Roads Across, have been invited to the Workcenter in Pontedera, Italy for a two days seminar on the actual perspectives of its creative investigations, on its intercultural activities and on the upcoming three-year project.
At the Opening Symposium, Thomas Richards and Mario Biagini of the Workcenter are the dialogue partners within the roundtable conversations.
The Symposium is open to the public, and translation from and in different languages is provided. Some of the Speakers are asked to monitor the overall project in its three years duration, and are part of the “Documentation team”. These scholars also take part in the Closing International Symposium in April 2006 in Pontedera, Italy.
Specific scholars and theatre experts actively involved in the Symposia are asked to co-operate in the compilation of an updated bibliography related to the work and life of Jerzy Grotowski, bridging also into the Workcenter history. This bibliography is made available on-line as it is being compiled.

Among the Speakers: Roberto Bacci – Fondazione Pontedera Teatro (Italy); Carla Pollastrelli – Fondazione Pontedera Teatro (Italy); Eric Lacascade – Centre Dramatique National de Normandie – Comédie de Caen (France); Vazkressia Vicharova – “For a New Bulgarian University” Foundation (Bulgaria); a Representative from DEPTAI – Municipality of Heraklion (Greece); Prof. Michalis Pieris – University of Cyprus (Cyprus); Anatoli Vasiliev – Moscow Theater “School of Dramatic Art” (Russia); Prof. Lemi Bilgin – Turkish National Theatre (Turkey); Prof. Piergiorgio Giacché – University of Perugia (Italy); Prof. Antonio Attisani – University of Venice (Italy); Prof. Paul Allain – Kent University (Great Britain); Albert Dichy – IMEC, Institut Mémoires de l’Edition Contemporaine (France); Prof. Jean-Pierre Triffaux – University of Nice (France); Univ. Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Greisenegger, Dekan – University of Vienna (Austria); Prof. Ulf Birbaumer – University of Vienna (Austria); Dr. Gabriele Pfeiffer – University of Vienna (Austria); Prof. Aysin Candan – Yedi Tepe University (Turkey); Vanessa Polselli – University of Rome “La Sapienza” (Italy); Ali Ihsan Kaleci – Theater Director (France); Antonis Diamantis – Omma Theatre (Greece).

International Symposium
June 28 – 29, Theater des Augenblicks

The Symposium is open to the public and free of charge.


1st day – June 28
Starting time: 11.00hr

- Dr. Michael Huettler – Theater des Augenblicks

- Prof. Wolfgang Greisenegger, Dekan – University of Wien

- Thomas Richards
Tracing Roads Across

- Adresses of co-organizers of Tracing Roads Across
Luca Dini – Fondazione Pontedera Teatro, Italy
Christos Lysiotis – University of Cyprus, Cyprus
Vazkressia Vicharova – “For a New Bulgarian University” Foundation, Bulgaria

Lunch breack

1st session

- Carla Pollastrelli – Fondazione Pontedera Teatro, Italy
Jerzy Grotowski: Past and Present of a Research
From the Teatr Laboratorium in Wroclaw – an experience of artistical and methodological reference which is fundamental for contemporary theatre – up to Grotowski’s arrival in Pontedera and his creation of the Workcenter in 1986.

- Vanessa Polselli – University of Rome, Italy
Jerzy Grotowski’s “heritage” as a tradition of research at the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards
Through some texts by Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards, the process of transmission of practical knowledge and competence from Grotowski to Richards at the Workcenter will be shortly analized.

- Marco De Marinis – University of Bologna, Italy
The theatre scholar and the performing arts: the challenges by the Workcenter
The researches on ``art as vehicle``, started by Grotowski in Pontedera in the mid-eighties and, since 1999 – after his death – carried on by Thomas Richards and Mario Biagini, are a challenge for the scholar, as well as for the spectator (or for the scholar as spectator): the substraction of the object of perception and analysis (the performance), obliges the theatre scholar to review his methods of research and the very meaning of his own work, that is to say his professional identity. The same applies to the spectator, who, in ``art as vehicle``, is not negated or simply put aside, but rather challenged to radically review his way of being a spectator, the function and essence of his experience, between participation and witnessing.


2nd session

- Eric Lacascade – Centre Dramatique National de Normandie – Comédie de Caen, France
Eric Lacascade met Jerzy Grotowski in 1985. Since then, Jerzy Grotowski and then Thomas Richards and Mario Biagini kept feeding his work through silent resonances and real presence. A witnessing.***

- Ali Ihsan Kaleci – Theatre Director, France-Turkey
One week at the Workcenter
The meeting of French actors with the research of the Workcenter, during one week in 2002. How the encounter with this work changed the outlook on theatre of these french actors coming from various backgrounds.***

- Albert Dichy – IMEC Institut mémoires de l’édition contemporaine, France
Paradoxes of memory
At the moment when the creation of a space of memory and archives for the anthropological and theatrical adventure of Jerzy Grotowski is considered, we are faced with a question: is the conservation of the traces of this adventure going against its spirit – does this conservation betray the ephemeral character of the theatrical act or is it responding to a secret necessity?

- Antonio Attisani – University of Venice
The bare feet of philosophy
The intervention will concern theatre as research, for both the actor and the spectator, a research done, so to say, with bare feet, and concerning what the neurobiologist Francisco Varela called "autopoiesis" and "emergence".

2nd Day
June 29

3rd session

- Prof. Michalis Pieris – University of Cyprus, Cyprus
Traditional Culture as a medium for a contemporary dramatic expression

- Prof. Aysin Candan – Yeditepe University, Bilgi University, Turkey
The Impact of Grotowski in Turkey
Turkish theatre maintains a rather introverted character since the 1970's. With the exception of a few practitioners striving to keep up with the world and a semi-professional student company, not much interest was displayed among the theatre people towards the theory and practice of Grotowski. This paper investigates the scope and intensity of such interest on behalf of an elite group within Turkish theatre.

- Antonis Diamantis – Theatre Director, Greece
Charis and Katharsis
Personal associations: the Greek "Anastenaria" ritual (Thrakia), the function of the Chorus in ancient tragedy, and the work of the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards.

- Dr. Stéphane Poliakhov – University of Lyon
To represent, to figure, to act and interact: what kind of reception for the Workcenter’s research?
Where to locate the action as it appears in the frame of the Workcenter’s research? Whereas in the classical system of representation action is understood as a scenic or as a narrative one, the transformation of performance conditions realized by the Workcenter’s research should induce an equal transformation in the way this kind of work is received, since this work is not directly conceived by and for representation, and it supposes therefore that the condition of the spectator is transforming too. Who acts? Who interacts? What is lost? What is created? Which words to use to speak about what we have lived or seen? What kind of temporality can be utilized for these creations or this ritual?

Lunch break

4th session

- Prof. Ulf Birbaumer – University of Vienna, Austria

- Dr. Gabriele Pfeiffer – University of Vienna, Austria
No audience - witnesses are wanted
As one of the invited persons to take part as a member of the Documentation team in the project Tracing Roads Across I am actively confronted with the word, the function and meaning of the term ‘creative witness’. Therefore – also as an introduction to my work concerning the project – I would like to speak about the possibilities of the meaning of "being a witness" during a theatrical creative opus. My statement will deal with this aspect as well as with one of being the audience. Consequences, relations and phenomenological context will also be discussed.

- Prof. Jean-Pierre Triffaux – University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, France
The Workcenter – towards which felicity?
Considering the changes which might be observed on the contemporary scene and the advancing research in the field of theatrical studies as well, the question is: What are the specific contributions of the international performing works of the Workcenter? Does its present creative development shed light on the risks which theatre of our time is running? And does it contain elements that could transform the theatrical and spectacular substance – for instance the basic relationship doer/spectator? The intervention will develop in two times. During the present Opening Symposium in Vienna the general stakes related to our inquiry will be presented. Then, in the frame of the Closing Symposium in Pontedera (Italy), in 2006, the most significant results will be exposed, as they will have been collected during the three years research and experimentation.


5th session

- Prof. Paul Allain – University of Kent, Great Britain
Building bridges and the flow of tradition – One breath left
This talk will examine Project The Bridge, which is attempting to link art as a vehicle and art as presentation. Using the image of flow rather than schism, it will position One breath left in relation to the recent and ongoing research of the Workcenter. What may superficially be considered a radical departure towards presentational performance can instead be seen as part of the flow of tradition‚ an idea central to Asian performance practices.

- Prof. Piergiorgio Giacchè – University of Perugia***
Verticality or sacredness of the act
In theatrical theory and practice it is frequent to pick and utilize several words, locutions and concepts borrowed from religions. Utilised as metaphors to part from daily life, these terms are in reality the only ones that enables to concretely describe the verticality or the sacredness of the act, that is to say certain techniques and certain objectives of the performative doing.

- Prof. Antonio Attisani – University of Venise
Conclusions and open Questions

- Dr. Michael Huettler – Theater des Augenblicks

Throughout the two-day Symposium, Thomas Richards and Mario Biagini will be the dialogue partners of the invited speakers.

For more information, please contact:
Theater des Augenblicks
10 Edelhofgasse, 1180 Wien, Austria
Phone: +43 1 479 68 87. Fax: +43 1 479 68 86.
Email: office@theaterdesaugenblicks.net