Where the elbow meets cosmos
[...] Cinema has got clear, easily identified stylistics. Its dominating feature is polyphonic structure of the spectacle. Being neither a dramatic theatre nor a musical or dance theatre they combine all these kinds together, creating contrast to traditional perception. There is no plot, nor linear story there. There is an element of unlimited imagination that gives space to rhythmical clashes of deformed bodies of the actors, where the most banal, ordinary objects and daily routines are opposed to subtle game: of metaphors, artistic techniques, symbols abundantly taken from Dadaism, Surrealism, theatre of absurd - everything petrified in the form of continuously transforming pictures.
Katarzyna Dudek, Didaskalia (Stage directions) no 82, December 2007.
The creative programme of the theatre, as briefly stated by Zbigniew Szumski, looks like that: " This what can be defined as style of Teatr Cinema is a sum of many elements, also those that are not directly connected with art. [...] Actor is the most important in the theatre. Without his inner... for he can make faces outside ... without his real, i.e. deep inner acceptance nothing important can be done. This what we do is transformation. I'd like that word to be written in capital letters. Not rebellion, not separation but Transformation".
Reality of this performance arises from expectation, from tension between movement and lack of movement. Between the space that awaits action, an actor and an object, more precisely (it will be revealed a bit later) between an actor reduced to function of relationship with an object (often his stage partner) and the object denying its essence (it is not by chance that René Magritte, the author of that famous picture - a painted pipe with inscription It is not a pipe, is one of Szumski's masters), functioning as a tool of deformation, building up different dimensions of an actor and reality.
Nothing has happened yet, but still we have a feeling that the world was brought to existence. The matter it is made of is very realistic, clear-cut. Objects used every day: clothes, hung out laundry, cigarettes, shoes, a thread, billiards balls. Within the confines of widely understood realism we can observe sudden, humorous, grotesque and disturbing displacements of reality. The anxiety that can be felt is not acted but rather summoned, called.
[...] Everything in this world is exaggerated, deformed, obsessively repeated. Body-figure of an actor and everything that happens to it during the spectacle represents one of Szumski's "obsessions" - the idea of constant movement, the idea of Transformation; the movement that becomes an attempt to run away from death. "This what is motionless must get degenerated and vanish, whereas this what is moving might last for ever". Actor-figure, continuously transforming and deforming his body is in permanent movement, in order to run away from vertically-horizontal point of reference. To escape from time and space. To find a gap that makes mystery closer. To be undistinguishable, unidentified. That is close to Genet's way of thinking about reality, where immobility - being locked within a definition, within a symbol - means death.
[...] Albert Lux is the second spectacle from the project Seven days in four rooms. Empty space, divided with movable partition walls. "Awaiting space" and the place of awaiting. Banal, rejected, but still full of unlimited possibilities. An old deserted flat, a station, barracks. The space that can be filled with new sense and meaning. One can stop there for a moment or happen to be there by chance, to change clothes, read a newspaper, to sweep with a broom attached to a chair. These are methods to tame anxiety, but in fact unsuccessful.
[...] Besides space, time is a hero of the spectacle. The suspended time, the time subordinated to rituals. Lacking its function. Lacking Transformation. The Transformation that is obtained by movement (metaphorical going away from one's own mouth in the process of eating), that paradoxically becomes motionless, standing at attention, energy of being overwhelmed.
[...] In both spectacles I have described, there is something very typical for the style of Teatr Cinema: the inner viewer who appears on the stage at a certain moment. Sometimes we can see him in the beginning (Billiards), then he disappears and his function is taken by someone else. Sometimes he emerges from the group(Albert Lux). It is a figure with absent, out of time and space gaze, that is petrified on his chair. The figure with different awareness, the one who does not observe but rather penetrates reality. This might be the way to bring mystery into light, to notice the sign of the body that is both material and symbolic.
The function of the inner viewer in the spectacle Mum, I want to dance Mahler is taken by the screen on which two actors' faces appear alternately. The presence of the actor performing grotesque, dynamic action is opposed to the static face shown on the screen hung over the stage. Multiplied presence (representation) creates different dimension.
[...] That performance has decisively clear form. Reality becomes orderly. Mahler's music increases the harmony of the play. So beautiful and loud is the first song Nun will die Sonn' so hell aufgeh'n Kindertontenlieder.
[...] Mum, I want to dance Mahler is both a request of a child and an order towards oneself, towards one's body which wants to escape from nonexistence.
Cinema is a theatre where Kantor meets Genet and en elbow meets cosmos, making every reception and interpretation possible. There is some space for the viewers who like intertextural games of associations, as well as for those who do not treat theatre as festival or celebration. It is the place of liberation achieved by everyday life "association towards the Present".