Misteria, Inicjacje

Misteria Inicjacje 2000 ob

Festival Mysteries, Initiations

This is a project by Włodzimierz Staniewski , implemented by the Biuro Kraków 2000.
Its first edition was one of the most important events that took place in Krakow in 2000 in connection with the granting this city an honorable title of one of the European Cities of Culture. This first edition was quite an unusual one, for it was realized in two parts.

In October 1999, together with the Department of History and Theory of the Theatre of the Institute of Polish Philology at the Jagiellonian University, an international science symposium Mysteries, Initiations was organized and it brought together experts from different fields and countries. It was a kind of a prologue to the substantial second part of the Festival, organized a year later.

In October, for more than a week,  presentations, workshops and meetings were held in Krakow, referring to the main theme of the project, which was attempting to show a multi-faceted problems associated with various ritual dramatizations, their social and cultural functions, their past (especially the ancient past), present and future.

Dr. Dariusz Kosinski, from the introduction to the book ‘The Mysteries, Initiations’, ed. Office of Krakow 2000

Mysteries, Initiations Festival program:

  • 12-16 October 1999

International Symposium Mysteries, Initiations.

The scientific session was attended by:

During the symposium the performance METAMORPHOSES was presented.


  • 7-14 October 2000

Festival of Mysteries, Initiations – 2nd edition:

  • Dora Stratou – Greek Dances Theatre,
  • Workshop “Folk Greek dances of Thessaly and the Ionian Islands”,
  • Presentation “Introduction to the mystery of the Greek dance” – prof. Ferruccio Marotti (Italy, University of Rome)
  • lecture “The Myth of Balinese ritual and theater – from Artaud to Brook”
  • lecture “A Brief History of Greek dance from ancient times” – prof. Alkis Raftis (Greece, OO-OONAH Children’s Art Centre)
  • Exchange Dancers from Taos Pueblo – Dances of the Indian community of Taos Pueblo,
  • Samaveda Singers (India), Workshop “The technique of singing Samaveda songs”, presentation of “Samaveda Songs”
  • Kunju Vasudevan Namboodiripad (India), lecture: “Dżaiminija Samaveda: origin, style, and context”,
  • Galata Mevlevi Music and Sema Ensemble (Turkey), workshop “The whirling dervish dance”
  • Presentation “Lost in ecstasy – Sema ritual and its mystical music”,
  • Sheik Nail Kesov (Turkey), lecture “The introduction to Sufism: philosophy, religion and music”,
  • Jagüey Group (Cuba), a workshop on “The body techniques associated with afrocuban rituals”
  • Professor Richard Schechner (USA , New York University), lecture: “The importance of ritual in the world today – the transfer of ritual knowledge”,
  • Meeting with dr. Krzysztof Rutkowski , a lecture on “Writing and the rite. From passages to the parables”
  • Prof. Włodzimerz Lengauer (University of Warsaw), lecture “On the Mysteries of Ancient Greece”
  • Ensemble Kerylos (France), the concert “Music of Greek and Roman antiquity”
  • Special event with selected people ( in the court in Wysoka, near Jordanowo): The ritual of afrocuban cult Santeria, performed by a group from Cuban province of Guantanamo.


Film screenings about the activities of the Centre for Theatre Practices and METAMORPHOSES performance were presented as part of the festival.