News From Poland #2: Polyphonic singing in the Woods
During the past three days we have been studying polylphonic singing with Ola and Tomek. They are members of Teatr Zar who met and became a couple while working with the company over the past ten years. They have performed and given classes around the world, from India to Egypt to Brazil and all over Europe. Two dearer people are not to be found on earth and their approach to singing is a vibrant and healthy one. This morning, Madeline and I discussed Ola and Tomek’s workshop, noting that working for two hours on one song (exhausting but so therapeutic) is never ever done in the theater world we know, where schedules are partitioned out to the craziest, pinchiest degree.
Both Daniel, our translator, and Heather, our stage manager, left on Monday and, after nine days, our original group changed form. We miss them. Heather took concise notes of each and every session of movement work with Matej and one with Ola and Tomek. She also called time for us. For those who are not familiar with this, the stage manager calls thirty, fifteen and five minute increments, counting down to places. “Five minutes please! Five minutes.” She organized our daily schedule, picking up quite a bit of the cooking and clean up herself. Contrary to my original fears, our life has not fallen apart completely and we are plugging along nicely with Emma taking on the brunt of kitchen responsibilities and me pounding out the schedule for the day (albeit later than Heather would probably like).
Our first day off was kind of a shock. The noise of Wroclaw, the availability of wifi, the museums, the shops and cafes all kind of shocked our senses. It’s so very peaceful in Brzezinka and our entire focus is on the work. . . okay, and cobbling together some sort of good dinner.
August 22, 2014