Teatr KTO (Poland)
Teatr KTO was founded by the graduates of the Jagellonian University in Cracow in 1977. Since 1985 the group has been involved in street theatre. On 1 January 2005 Teatr KTO was granted a status of a municipal theatre. The company has had the same director – Jerzy Zoń for 41 years.
The specific artistic language of this theatre has been developed though experience on stage and street experiments. It is composed of the actor’s body, voice, movement, music, and to a very limited extent – the word. In their way of working and repertoire the company resembles medieval wandering groups of jugglers who performed at marketplaces. Theatre archetypes and emotional character of performances successfully bring down the barrier between the artists and the spectators. The groups’ spectacles are spontaneous and are warmly received by different audiences, very often mass audiences. The company has produced over 30 performances (over 50, if we count special occasion shows) and has presented them to 2 million people in Poland and abroad – in 250 cities in more than 40 countries on 5 continents. During their 180 tours they have visited China, Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, Costa Rica, Canada, Tunisia, Iran, the USA, South Korea and nearly all European countries. The company took part in prestigious festivals in Seoul, Bogota, New York, Sankt Petersburg, Berlin, Vienna, Prague, Tirana, Edinburgh, Minsk and Kiev.
Teatr KTO co-created large scale open-air spectacles that celebrated the most important events in the history of Europe and Poland (De la Revolution, Lille 1989, 200 years of the French Revolution, about 21,000 spectators; Refugees, Leipzig 2009 – a theatre installation, the 20th anniversary of pulling down the Berlin Wall, 120,000 spectators; Viva Academia Cracow 2000, 600 years of Cracow Academy, 2000 spectators; The Polish Chronicles, Cracow 2004, Poland’s accession to the European Union, 60.000 spectators; The Record, Gdańsk 2005 and The Chronicle, Nowa Huta 2005 – 25 years of The Solidarity, 12,000 spectators).
The most important international co-production of the company is a project carried out in 2011 with the Norwegian National Opera in Oslo – OPERATION – OPERA.
As a part of Polish Presidency 2011 Teatr KTO put up a project The Visible and the Invisible – The Blind. The Magic of the Urban Spaces in Berlin, Kiev and Minsk.
In 2012 the company took part in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, which always attracts record numbers of viewers. Funded by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute and the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, the organizers of the Polish Programme “Polska Arts”, Teatr KTO presented The Blind 25 times during the Fringe.
Teatr KTO has been organising the Street Theatre Festival in Cracow for 30 years. They also carried out other arts projects such as The Night of Theatres (2007-2015) and the Night of Poetry (2011-2015).
“Any perception of things, which is not strange, is false”
Paul Valéry Tel quel (Choses tues)
Date and place of presentation
1 July 10 p.m., Plac Defilad, Teatr KTO "The Fragrance of Time. Opus 2"
The Fragrance of Time. Opus 2
is a poetic dramatic impression inspired by a child’s world, by the works of Marquez, Hugo Claus, and Emil Zegadłowicz, as well as by the childhood experiences of the scriptwriter and director. We will see many colourful, frightening or funny characters and situations specific for a small Polish town in the 1920-30s. However, it is a universal spectacle about childhood and growing up, about fear and cruelty, but also about love.
The artists use a huge moving set, fire, pyrotechnics and stilts. Instead of words, we will hear beautiful music by Peter Tchaikovsky, played live on harmonicas.
The performance has been presented in many Polish cities, as well as in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Ukraine, Brazil, Tunisia, South Korea, Mexico and Iran.
The author of the script would like to thank Mr Zbigniew Sułkowski, without whose kind help, inspiring conversations and written memoires The Fragrance of Time would not have been possible.
"(...) It is a nostalgic show with marvellous music by Tchaikovsky, well constructed, dynamic, full of movement (...)"
By Teresa Betkowska, Przekroj
"(...) The performance lasts an hour and it feels like flipping the pages of an old family album. A shade of sepia, some crumbs of melancholy, a gram of nostalgia, and a teardrop of sentimentalism, quite inevitable in such circumstances (...). A huge cage, and inside it Jerzy Zoń as a small boy – the world still smells of safety but it is already quite tempting. While some flocks of feathered bogeys already scare him, another company of birds entices him with their twitter. Little Zoń will go for it. He will leave the cage and slowly begin the tasting of life. (...) Because he can smell more and more fragrances all around him: the fragrance of the parish house, the priest’s cassock, the smell of chalk and a blackboard, the smell of the cathedral and the first mischief at school. The smell of cavalry, horses and a true manhood. Then the fragrance of the basic passions of heart. Finally the fragrance of today (...) Who knows? Maybe the big Zoń decided to take a look at the small Zoń who had not yet dreamed about the theatre? After all, the time of childhood is a fundamental period for an artist (...)"
By Pawel Glowacki, Dziennik Polski
"(...) The performance of the Polish theatre group was found very convincing during the summer festival in Siegen (...) after the show everyone understood why the group is a flagship of the street theatre of Poland (...). The KTO gave a display of the style and tradition of medieval street theatres (...). Expressive images in The Fragrance of Time were more meaningful than many words (...)"
Rhein – Sieg - Rundschau
Script and direction: Jerzy Zoń
Consultation: Zbigniew Sułkowski
Music: Piotr Czajkowski
Music arrangement: Jan Poprawa, Jerzy Zoń
Music arrangement for harmonica: Paweł Ostafil
Movement: Krzysztof Jędrysek, Aleksander Kopański
Set design and costumes: Krzysztof Tyszkiewicz, Joanna Jaśko-Sroka
Set concepts: Jerzy Zoń
Set production: Robert Calikowski
Performers: Karolina Kamińska, Paulina Lasyk, Justyna Orzechowska, Katarzyna Pawłowska, Grażyna Srebrny-Rosa, Barbara Wysoczańska, Marta Zoń, Sławomir Bendykowski, Bartek Cieniawa, Marek Gierat, Grzegorz Grochal, Tytus Grochal, Aleksander Kopański, Michał Orzyłowski, Adam Plewiński, Karol Śmiałek, Krzysztof Tyszko
Premiere - 7 May 2018