For the third time a Polish theatre company will present their production at the Wuzhen Theatre Festival. On 26th-28th October, the show One Gesture by Warsaw’s Nowy Theatre will be staged at the sixth edition of the event.
The Wuzhen Theatre Festival was founded by Meng Jinghui, one of most famous Chinese theatre directors. Under his leadership, the festival hosting the most interesting domestic and foreign performances has been counted among major theatre events in China. The undoubted advantage of the festival is its attractive location – in close proximity to Shanghai, in the picturesque old town of Wuzhen. Due to the high level of the presented programme and the unique atmosphere of the town, the event has been dubbed the Chinese equivalent of the Avignon Festival.
The Adam Mickiewicz Institute established collaboration with the festival in 2015, when Portraits of the Cherry Orchard by the Song of The Goat Theatre was shown in Wuzhen. In 2016, the AMI supported staging of Jan Klata’s performance Enemy of the People by the Stary Theatre from Kraków. The current project is the result of an initiative of the Chinese organisers, who requested the Adam Mickiewicz Institute to present programme proposals for the sixth edition of the festival. Out of recommended productions, the organisers selected One Gesture by the Nowy Theatre from Warsaw directed by Wojtek Ziemilski and Wojtek Pustoła.
One Gesture is a show about interpersonal communication – the transfer of knowledge, emotions and culture, exploring the question of how language defines reality. The performance has been created by the director Wojtek Ziemilski in collaboration with the Deaf and is partially performed in sign language. The actors, presenting their own world, experiences and memories, are accompanied by an interpreter. Ziemilski accustoms the viewer with the world of the Deaf, attempting to answer the question what we can learn about the world from the languages of the Deaf, what is universal about their experience of communicating, and what is unique.
In 2017, One Gesture was awarded the Grand Prix of the Fast Forward – European Festival for New Directors in Dresden, the special award of the International Theater Festival MESS in Sarajevo, and the main award of the 38. International Zürcher Theater Spektakel in Switzerland.
The Nowy Theatre in Warsaw is one of the most acclaimed Polish theatres, whose productions are successful both in Poland and abroad. As part of the collaboration between the Nowy Theatre and Adam Mickiewicz Institute’s Asia Programme in previous years, Krzysztof Warlikowski’s show (A)pollonia was presented in Korea (2012) and China (2016), while another performance by the same director, The African Tales by Shakespeare, was staged in Hong Kong (2014).
Source: promotional materials, compiled by ZG, Sep 2018, translated by AW, Oct 2018