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Nancy. Interview

Independent dance project carried out by French choreographer Claude Bardouil in collaboration with Magdalena Popławska

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While transgressing borders between theatre and dance, the artists confront a punk rock legend, Sid Vicious, a musician who died from overdose of drugs, suspected of murdering his fiancée, Nancy Spungen. This is the next step of the Nowy Teatr on the way to explore the opportunities to shape artistic statement bordering on the two usually separated art disciplines: theatre and dance, an attempt to create a new actor, capable of non-traditional and interdisciplinary forms of expression.

The artists met each other during the preparations for the performance titled “Koniec" (“the End”) directed by Krzysztof Warlikowski, which opens up with the scene of Magadalena Popławska’s hypnotic dance.

Claude Bardouil’s performance could well be titled “Being Nancy Spungen”. It is she, the anti-heroine, girl who sought a method to transgress herself, who becomes the central focus of reflection. She looks determined by what Patti Smith once said: “What better can you do in life than go to bed with a rock star if you come from Midwest?”

Nancy, embroiled in romance with Sid Vicious, perfectly follows a chain of action inherent in the model: prostitution – drugs/violence – access to stars. She becomes the greatest groupie and the biggest expert in punk rock, living the adventure of her life. She remains an anti-heroine, though, whereas no one would probably remember her, had it not been for her death – also a model one, well embedded in the pattern.

Claude Bardouil’s show is an attempt to once again live this scenario, facing the spirit of the times and checking its power today. After “Factory 2” by Krystian Lupa this is another take on penetrating the aura of the U.S. in its mythical years of the 70s. This time it’s done through the life, as short as intense, of the individual who lived a mere twenty years.

- Piotr Gruszczyński

  • Direction, choreography: Claude Bardouil
  • Cast: Magdalena Popławska, Claude Bardouil
  • Scenography: Nicolas Grospierre, Olga Mokrzycka-Grospierre
  • Music: Paweł Andryszczyk, Adam Walicki
  • Lightning: Katarzyna Łuszczyk
  • Video: Łukasz Jóźków
  • Premiere: 20 April 2012

Claude Bardouil as an actor worked side by side with Jacques Rosner acting in Shakespeare’s plays: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, “Macbeth” and “Julius Caesar”. He met Jean-Pierre Tailhade on stage in the monologue titled “Le bleu de tes yeux” and in the collective work “Molière ou l’Amour en morceaux”. He also encountered on his way such personalities as René Gouzenne, Coraline Lamaison and Christine Gaudichon. He acted in the shows of choreographer Rita Cioffi: “Massacre du printemps” (2003), “Shopping” (2004) and “Pas de deux” (2005). He also co-formed a theatre group called ‘Parlez-moi d’amour’ directing and acting as part of it (the shows included Racine’s “Andromacha”, Sophocles’ ”Electra” and his own performances “Les Innocents” and “Les Vaniteux”). He was also featured in the shows by Compagnie Samuel Mathieu (“Us-Band”, 2005; “Duo 1”, 2005 and “Duo 2”, 2006). He has been collaborating with Krzysztof Warlikowski since 2010 (choreography for the shows: “Koniec” and “African Tales by Shakespeare”).

Magdalena Popławska (born 1980), is a theatre and film actress, graduate of the Ludwik Solski School of Drama (PWST). She also studied at Institut del Teatre in Barcelona, where she got her scholarship. She was affiliated with the TR Warszawa (Variety Theatre in Warsaw) where she participated in the project called “Teren Warszawa". As an independent actress she collaborated with many theatres and artistic groups, mainly Warsaw-based. Since 2008 she has been a member of Nowy Teatr team in Warsaw.

She won the prize of the best young actress on the Kalisz Theatre Meetings 2005 for her role in the show by Ivan Vyrypaev, titled “Sny” (dreams). In 2011 she was awarded Cybulski prize in the best actress category for her role in the movie titled “Prosta historia o miłości” (A Simple Story about Love).

Nicolas Grospierre (born 1975) is both an architectural photographer and the artist who uses photography as a creative tool. He was born in Geneva and grew up in France. He’s been living in Poland since 1999. Before taking up photography, he studied political science and sociology in Paris and London. As a photographer he focuses on documentary projects, while being also interested in conceptual issues.

His documentary works are frequently centred on collective memory and hopes related to architecture of modernism, now that the utopias accompanying it declined. On the other hand, in his conceptual works, the artist plays with the spectator by using attractive, or even sensual images and installations.

Awarded Golden Lion on 11th Venice Biennale of Architecture in 2008 (together with Kobas Laksa) for the Polish pavilion with Hotel Polonia – The afterlife of buildings”. Winner of Paszport Polityki award.

Coproduction: Centre de Developpement Choreographique Toulouse / Midi-Pyrenees. 

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