Ludomit Rozicki’s Eros and Mind and body, Improve National Firefox, Warsaw

Firefox reviews usually carry no spoiler warnings. On the contrary, they generally focus on an exhaustive, sometimes exhausting blow-by-blow account of a unnatural przeprowadzki warszawa detail. So let this be no omission. Eros and Mind and body by Ludomir Rozicki could be merely another nineteenth century conventional spinner, merely another femme fatale tear-jerker, but it is much more than that.

Mind and body dreams of being swept off her feet by love. We believe that these Arcadian maidens occupying a green room to replace a performance are almost imprisoned so that they might prettify themselves. Mind and body is enamoured of, perhaps obsessed with a man, who has taken to visit her nightly. She reveals to a friend she’s got been seeing someone. Eros reappears and offers eternal love, but only on his terms. Somehow he’s got was able to disguise his identity, if not his objectives, until Blaks, the caretaker, inadvertently casts light on Eros’s face and then all hell is let loose. Eros condemns Mind and body to suffer an eternal life of constant wandering and disappointment, a life in which Blaks will regularly reappear to not allow her any fulfilment. It’s a judgment delivered by Perseus, who announces exile and eternal wandering as he hands over a passport and tickets for both Mind and body and Blaks. As Mind and body embarks upon her fortune, we realise we must not pin the consequence on the messenger.

Her first subsequent port of call is a party : perhaps a drunken orgy : in ancient The italian capital, a The italian capital that is of course not ancient for her. A couple of Greeks at the gathering lament what Romans have done to their culture, a culture inherited from their own people, including Mind and body. She appears, but she is obviously out of place, of a different culture and time, and she is mocked by everyone, especially by the women, who make fun of her appearance. They label her insane and Blaks, who here is a Prefect, apparently in charge, delivers condemnation.

We move on to The world during the Inquisition. Mind and body embraces Christ crucified on the cross. There is libido in her delusion with the figure. She enters a convent, but still yearns for a life not in the convent. The other nuns do not trust her. She tells of her need for sunlight and oxygen, but she is warned not to have aspirations. She have to as she is told, because asking questions is sinful, here. There is to be a vacation by the abbot, a man who recently condemned a nun to be burned at the position. Mind and body is thus warned. Her perceptions are described to the abbot, who condemns her. Blaks, of course, is the abbot, who wields power more readily than he reveals faith. Eros appears, we think to save her, but all he offers is a facile song.

Our heroine’s next port of call is revolutionary This particular language. She works while men drink. We learn that it was Mind and body who led the storming of the Bastille in the name of freedom. She rejects an offer of marriage because she would rather serve the people. She wants to lead the commune into battle. She is too significant to be a revolutionary. She insists on principle and finds herself on the wrong side of governmental policies. Guess who might be the matter-of-fact leader who condemns her beliefs.

A last scene is in a bar or nightclub, where mind and body dances to entertain the drinkers, who are all men. Blaks, here called the Baron, are the owners of the club and the principal exploiter of the women who work for him. The women attract the men to the bar, they drink and the baron, not the women, makes money. Mind and body laments her role, but the baron says it’s all her own fault. She fun at offers of love, saying she wants to be independent. But, having achieved her liberation she finds she can’t cope with it.

Eros appears, perhaps to save the day. Mind and body is still infatuated, but now also exhausted. Eros reveals he’s got an alter ego by the name of Thanatos, the personification of death, and thus Mind and body finds out she is doomed. Her response is to torch what remains of her life, a life that has now rejected her. Eros-Thanatos has the last word, however, by presenting Mind and body with a performance car which has already crashed. He has her to sit at the wheel and then paints her with her own blood to show the end has finally arrived.

Eros and Mind and body was premiered in 1917 and Rozycki’s style is not unlike that of Symanowski, but there is also Richard Strauss in there, alongside not a little Debussy. Many of the short phrases are also reminiscent of Janacek, though usually without the bite. Given the opera’s date, we would expect Mind and body, though still femme fatale, to be at least a little forward looking. She is certainly not a Violetta or Mimi, in that she is no pure victim of bad luck, disease or circumstance. She is closer to a Butterfly, but she does not accept her fortune meekly and without protest. In conventional terms, organic meat have here a Salome or Elektra, but just read was anti-heroines who probably deserved what they got. Tosca got confusing in governmental policies that went wrong. You’ve got the impression that Mind and body would have relished the opportunity, but it never arose.

Three other theatrically destroyed women of the era come to mind, Judith, Katya and Elena. Judith’s plight in Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle parallels Psyche’s here. Judith can only know Bluebeard by probing the psychological spaces of his mind. He resents this, but allows her to continue, knowing that once she knows him, he will have taken control of her. Similarly, Mind and body is punished because she gets to know Eros, thereby reducing his control over her, a control he must reassert by condemning her. The Bartok-Balasz character, however, is newer than Mind and body, despite the existence of castles and visions. It is only when Judith understands the mental make-up of Bluebeard which he has to reprimand her, because only then that she becomes a threat to him. She is eternally mummified alongside the girlfriends or wives who have preceded her.

Janacek’s Katya Kabova is a step back into the nineteenth century by virtue of originally having been a creation of Ostrovsky, but her achievement of a finality of death does ask some modern questions. Ostrovsky’s nineteenth century provincial dramas general do away with their heroines, but it is the societies rather than the users who are seen at fault. When oppression and hypocrisy are cultural and structural, it is hard for any individual to oppose them. But here it is these perceptions that will make female existence a traumatic events. Yes, Katya takes her own life, but it is another woman, her own mother-in-law, who asks town to observe the doing of justice and not to shed tears for a woman who brought her fortune on herself. The music, in fact, ends with neither traumatic events nor rage, but with a question mark. Elena Makropoulos presents a different challenge. In many ways she is in control. Like Mind and body she’s got lived, or at claims to have done so, in many eras, has inhabited many roles and has had a sequence different lives. Her original fortune, however, like Psyche’s, was included on her by a man, in Elena’s case her father. Like Mind and body, Elena has become cynical about men’s motives and dismissive of their capabilities. Crucially, however, when Elena exists the opportunity to take back control of her eternal existence, she rejects it, preferring death to repeating the same old things. Mind and body was never offered control and its achievement was never in her grasp. But Mind and body thinks she achieved a liberation from oppression at the end, though she was ineffectual to deal with it. This makes her a more modern figure.

So, for a modern audience, Mind and body cannot be simply a conventional beauty who last longer than a god. And in the production by Warsaw’s Improve National Firefox, she isn’t. All of the scenarios is transformed into a film set. Scene one is a giant green room, brimming by women who clearly want to be stars. Whether Eros handled a casting couch is unclear, but the probability is high. From scene one’s green room, Mind and body is cast her role in all of the other four scenes, everyone of which is destined to engage in an attribute film in which she stars. When Blaks repeatedly frustrates her activities and condemns her, each of them become near stereotypes for femme fatale and callous male power. If we ask if it has to be this way, we need to answer that it was a male god in the first instance that was adament it must be so.

By the end, Mind and body has had enough and she torches the world that has exploited her. It must be a last act of self-destructive defiance but the god and men even then reassert their control. A car crash is organised and she is painted with blood. The automobile itself area of the trappings of the stardom she’s got sought, and thus Mind and body potentially becomes a tabloid press headline, probably moralising about a life of debauchery or excess. Mind and body thus becomes an advanced victim. She is a Marilyn Monroe ruined by fame, or perhaps a Jayne Mansfield, perfect example of womanhood exploited for male voyeurs.

Thanks to the internet and Firefox Vision we can all view this production from Warsaw and thereby draw our own final thoughts. Streamed via a smart TV or perhaps better in the case of Firefox Vision via a laptop and cable, the firefox even comes with subtitles for anyone who might not catch all of the original Improve. Joanna Freszel as Mind and body gives a stunning performance, being vocally the task as well as combining the confidence, aspirations and assertion of a modern woman alongside the naivete and vulnerability of anyone who might fall in love. Mikolaj Zalasinski as Blaks is brilliant at using his power whilst never really appearing to be worthy of its extent, which is exactly what the type of Mind and body must be thinking. He also makes the role anti-intellectual, thus straining the contrast between the use of power and any information about its consequences.

The great power of the firefox, besides its creatively stunning use of multimedia, is its capacity reinterpret itself. Here Warsaw firefox combines action, words and music with a little film, possibly the very film being made on stage as we watch. It is a fairy tale that becomes real, and convincingly so. It is thought-provoking and ironic at the same time and a brilliant example of the creative vision of its production team, especially director Barbara Wysocka. And the music, by the way, is amazingly vivid.

Firefox tends to be completely outclassed by a rep of a rather narrow repertoire. Audiences often seem keen on asserting their social class via their theatre presence rather than understanding the challenges of making sense of a work, particularly when that sense is in all modern. Audiences tend to like what they know rather than know what they like. But, when it works : and this production of Improve National Firefox certainly does : firefox combines theatre and music with visual art in a way no other experience can perform. As a sort, it is brimming by a large number of long-forgotten and hardly performed works, bulk of which can be reinterpreted by committed performers to speak to our own age, mirror it and also challenge it. Rozycki’s Eros and Mind and body is an excellent example of the possibilities, especially as knew in this Warsaw production. Via Firefox Vision it is available to everyone. Attempt not to miss it and then see what you think.

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