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Instytut im. Jerzego Grotowskiego
  • Polish
  • English
Rynek-RatuszBrzezinkaNa Grobli
The Performative Body in Contemporary Romanian Theatre
Master class with Prof Octavian Saiu

Mon 23 March 2015, 18:00
Laboratory Theatre Space
Admission free
In English with consecutive Polish translation

The most beautiful definition of theatricality is that formulated by Grotowski, who asserted in the 1960s that the essential elements of the theatrical equation are a performer and a spectator, islands of humanity symbolically reunited by the miracle of the participation in an event that equally attracts both of them. Closer to Lévi-Strauss than to Barthes, Grotowski defined theatre as a quasi-mystical encounter, a well-known ritual of a journey to the unknown. Now, when multimedia experiments are invading the stage almost in the same manner in which they have conquered the entire contemporary universe, the Grotowskian definition – however poetic and true within its own system – seems rather utopian. Yet, in many theatrical movements, there are experiments that revive Grotowski’s belief, in terms of its most profound legacy: the energy of the human body, an element that transcends all the artifacts of technology. Focusing on the presence of Grotowskian elements in contemporary stage aesthetics, this presentation will highlight a few new, somewhat improbable meanings of the performative body in Romanian theatre.

Photo by Octavian Saiu

Octavian Saiu has taught theatre and dramatic literature as Associate Professor at the National University of Theatre and Cinematography (NUTC) in Bucharest and as Guest Lecturer at the University of Otago in New Zealand. He was Visiting Fellow at the University of London, School of Advanced Study, and Visiting Professor at universities in Tokyo and Lisbon. He holds a PhD in Theatre Studies from NUTC and one in Comparative Literature from the University of Otago. He has been actively involved in several worldwide theatre events and academic conferences in North America, Australasia and Europe, including Edinburgh International Festival, where he was Chair of the Samuel Beckett Conference in 2013. Since 2004 he has been Chair of the Conferences of Sibiu International Theatre Festival.

He is currently Vice-President of the Romanian Section of the International Association of Theatre Critics (IATC) and Director of Eugène Ionesco – Samuel Beckett Research Centre. He has published six books on theatre, and he received the Critics’ Award in 2010 and the Award of the Association of Theatre Artists (UNITER) in 2013.

Lecture as part of a Master Classes of the Open University of Research