The main goal of the project is to transform the existing cooperation between the Gardzienice and Stella Polaris theaters into a permanent partnership, which will be consistently expanded to include other entities, thanks to the wide network of cooperation between both theaters and institutions and leading artists of both countries.
To achieve this effect, the potential (including infrastructural resources) of the new partner will be used – the Center for the Meeting of Cultures in Lublin.
The project is interdisciplinary. He combines theater with music, film, visual arts and theoretical reflection. The partnership established as part of joint activities will result in the exchange of knowledge and skills, contributing to the professionalisation of the staff of the theater community (but also of visual artists, musicians, filmmakers, etc.) of both countries. The idea of the project is based on the preparation of a joint theatrical production using music and multimedia.
This production will be the final result of the project. However, the very process of its preparation will be equally important. It will include events – artistic residencies of Polish artists in Norway and Norwegian artists in Poland. During them, artists from both countries will work on a joint new performance, and at the same time they will put on their own performances for the local audience and conduct theater workshops. These activities will be accompanied by exhibitions referring to the theater and promoting contemporary artists from both countries.
The concept of joint new production refers to the Polish-Slavic and Norwegian mythology (Vikings) during the formation of Christianity in Poland and Norway. The themes that will be discussed are: – the most dramatic historical events of this period, – references to the most important historical figures, such as Mieszko I in Poland and Olaf I Tryggvason in Norway. – mutual penetration of pagan Norwegian and Polish traditions – with each other and with Christianity – motifs from Polish and Norwegian literature, especially drama, referring to the early history of both cultures, including the classics of Polish drama – the works of S. Wyspiański “Bolesław the Bold”, ” The Wedding, “Liberation”, works by Adam Mickiewicz and Juliusz Słowacki; and Norwegian literature – to Henrik Ibsen “Sancthansnatten”, “Hærmændene paa Helgeland”, and sag.
The leitmotif of the show will be the expedition of the Norwegian Vikings to the Black Sea, with the intention of gaining the treasures of rich Greek settlements. Their route leads through the Lublin highlands. They occupy an ancient Slavic stronghold, situated on one of the strategic hills. There is a symbiosis – the community of Slavs and Vikings and the conclusion of a covenant for a common expedition against the wealthy settlements of the ancient Greeks. They gain riches together. On the way back, many Vikings decide to settle with the Slavs on their hometown, hill. They establish a flourishing settlement. They give it the name Gardzienice, which means a settlement of heroes (Gardzia – means hero).
The show and its narrative will be carried out in the Iliad convention and practice for the golden fleece. Opera form with an orchestra, choir and soloists. Narrator – Songbird spins a story interwoven with battle, itinerant and merchant scenes; love, religious and others; from everyday life and fantastic rituals.
In the premiere version, the background harmonizing with the narration and action will be the architecture and landscape of the Palace and Park Complex of the Center in Gardzienice.
For presentations elsewhere, background projections displayed on large screens will be used. In many scenes, a live set is intertwined with audiovisual projections in the 3D Mapping technique.
It requires shooting numerous film scenes in natural outdoor conditions; in Norway and Poland. Modern multimedia technology will be used. The author of the script and the directors will be the leaders of both theater groups: the Center for Theater Practices “Gardzienice” – Włodzimierz Staniewski and the theater “Stella Polaris – Per Spildra Borg.
As for the musical setting – we have initially established cooperation with Maciej Rychły, Jan Kanty Pawluśkiewicz and Zygmunt Konieczny. As for the cast of the key role of the narrator, we are in talks with the Royal Opera in Warsaw.