The Body Snatchers Theatre / Teatr Porywacze Ciał

Category: Artist

Teatr Porywacze Cial / The Body Snatchers Theatre was founded in 1992 by Katarzyna Pawłowska and Maciej Adamczyk –
professional actors who had chosen to work in a non-institutional theatre. In their performances, the artists consciously use the strategy of parody and pastiche, signs and symbols of modern culture; they confront literary texts with vulgarisms, masterpieces with kitsch, quotations from literary culture with quotations from pop culture. They are contemporary mannerists, acquainted with the attitude of ironists, provocateurs and eccentrics. The character of The company is one of the most interesting phenomena to emerge out of today’s modern theatre in Poland. Their shows are full of quotations, film aesthetic and references to modern cultural reality, at the same time they are also very personal, dealing with complicated relationships between people and the desperate search for some truth and completeness. The fact that the companies performances touch upon relevant issues and are of a high artistic quality, has earned them not only a loyal audience following, but also some numerous awards at many festivals. In 1997, the company was awarded the “Young Art Medal” for “creative passion”. They are one of the most significant autonomous theatre companies in Poland. Since the very beginning of their existence, they attempted to read the new reality, the way of their functioning being the result of a conscious decision concerning the individual program and character of their art which would not repeat the well-known schemata. They breaking up taboos and aesthetic habits, using humour as an indiscriminate bludgeon; surrealism, sexuality, the battle of sexual features – feminity and masculinity shown in episodic scenes ruled by changeable moods. The artists test different theatrical forms and conventions, use the stylistics of vaudeville, cabaret, happening and performance, balance between the directness of psychodrama and the distance of metaphor. The performances of the Teatr Porywacze Ciał are autonomous and complete statements. The Theatre does not interpret literature, but rather uses its own texts and the literary, film or musical quotations incorporated adequately into the structure of performance. With irony and reserve, they comment on the new great world. They accept and tame the new reality, playing with the opportunities that arise in it, but at the same time being aware of its hidden dangers. The Theatre\’s name refers to the 1956 film by Don Siegel Invasion of the Body Snatchers, in which people are replaced with their callous copies planted on the earth by aliens. The characters from the performances by the Porywacze Ciał show symptoms of the atrophy of feelings. The successive performances not only experiment with a new convention or stage idea, but also express the gradation of emotions and the force of expression. Creating the mood of thought, language and form provocation, the artists trail everyday mythologies formed in the past and at present by the modern consumer society. Their performances express the existence of carnival culture characterized by the pluralism of beliefs, styles of living and forms of behavior, and, at the same time, by the loss of universal values. They show the contemporary man created by degraded myths and instincts; the man controlled by the set behavior patterns and displaying an unbalanced personality. We play our performances already in Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenija, Austria, Canada, England and Holland. Teatr Porywacze Ciał also appeared in Sabat by Teatr Ósmego Dnia and many projects with various other groups. We organize as well drama workshops along with drama activities.
In 2008 Maciej Adamczyk took part in an international theatre project “Exodus” – a cooperation of six theatre groups from Poland, Austria, Germany, France, Italy and Malta. He worked for a month in Jerusalem, interviewing people by sending image and voice life via the Internet to particular cities in which the performance was then presented. “Exodus” is a showcase of the initiative to create genuine European Theatre.
The Artistic Association “Porywacze Ciał & CO.”, founded in 2001, has the goal of supporting each interesting initiative which appears on the horizon, or in our minds… The present makeup of the group: Maciej Adamczyk and Katarzyna Pawłowska

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