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Arden 2, the Society for Promoting
International Theatre Exchange and Dialogue

Centre for Theatre Practices "Gardzienice"
or, The Golden Ass according to Lucius Apuleius
directed by Wlodzimierz Staniewski

Saturday, March 8, 2003

Getty Center
Harold Williams Auditorium, 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles, CA
Tickets: Reserved seats @ $22 ($15 students/seniors), Tel: 310.440.7300 or Museum Information Desk
Hours: 4 PM and 8 PM

West Coast Premiere!

One of Poland's - and the world's - premiere experimental theatre companies... the very heart and essence of Polish experimental and anthropological performance. - Richard Schechner, Editor, The Drama Review

The Staniewski Center for Theater Practices, better known as Gardzienice, takes its name from the village near Lublin where it is based. Founded in 1978 by the company's artistic director, Wlodzimierz Staniewski, who had worked with Jerzy Grotowski since 1971, Gardzienice is firmly rooted in the theater tradition of Grotowski and Tadeusz Kantor, and is considered by many to be the most important contemporary theater company in Poland today. The performances at the Getty Center in Los Angeles mark the start of Gardzienice's first West Coast tour.

Polish theater historian and theorist, Leszek Kolankiewicz, has written, "Gardzienice's performances... are works in which the pattern of folk culture is transformed and organically united with the avant-garde one, thus forming a new, individual style... There, in the Center for Theater Practice, a new genre of visual arts has been born. It may be called ethno-oratorio, a phenomenon radically refreshing our image of musical theater. The effect is astonishing and brings to mind associations with middle age pageants.

European theater was born perhaps twice: in ancient times and in the Middle Ages, both times from the spirit of music. And both times its true background was folk song. With Gardzienice we witness how a Mystery Play is born, yet again, out of the spirit of music."

The group's productions are based on a long and gradual evolutionary process of collective research into the fast-fading rural folk traditions of Central and Eastern Europe. In addition to rigorous drill in dance, song, and acrobatics, the group's members make expeditions to study the music and rituals of Ukrainian, Belarussian, Roma and Jewish communities.

Gardzienice has performed to critical acclaim around the world. It comes to Los Angeles following its highly successful East Coast tour in 2001, which was launched at New York's LaMaMa E.T.C.

For more information about the west coast tour of Metamorphosis, contact Arden 2, The Society for Promoting International Theatre Exchange and Dialogue, in Costa Mesa, California, at (310) 514-1023, or

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