Akademia Ruchu: A Future Already Past | Szczawińska | Polish Theatre Journal

ISSN 2451-2966


'The Song', by Akademia Ruchu, 2005. Photo: Stefan Okołowicz, courtesy of Stowarzyszenie Przyjaciół Akademii Ruchu.
Weronika Szczawińska

Akademia Ruchu: A Future Already Past


This article considers the productions of Akademia Ruchu (the Academy of Movement), a cutting-edge institution of culture established in 1973 – a decade informed by increased activity in socially-committed student circles and by a heightened political consciousness in Polish repertory theatre. The company’s output has been marginalised in Polish theatre studies, labelled primarily as ‘alternative’ or ‘student’ theatre. The article attempts to inscribe Akademia Ruchu productions on the map of contemporary Polish theatre. The history of mainstream twentieth-century theatre has managed to erase most memory of Akademia Ruchu – a company that had been strongly present and internationally acclaimed, linking the domestic theatre world and the world at large, which this company embodied. Here, the Akademia Ruchu output is analysed as political situation(ist) theatre focused on the examination of the present. Key to issues discussed throughout the text are community, the body (the corporeal) and the mundane (the quotidian). Akademia Ruchu activities are presented as the praxis of community making a collective effort to think by dint of actions, where social forms are inextricably linked with aesthetic ones. 


Academy of Movement; Akademia Ruchu; Wojciech Krukowski; theatre in Poland; Komuna//Warszawa; critical theatre; political theatre

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Weronika Szczawińska

 (1981), PhD, theatre director, dramaturge, cultural-studies scholar and performer. A graduate of the Inter-Faculty Individual Studies in the humanities programme at the University of Warsaw (2006), she studied directing at the National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw. In 2008, made her debut at the Stefan Jaracz Theatre in Olsztyn staging Elfriede Jelinek’s Jackie: Death and the Maiden. She has directed performances in Polish theatres including the National Stary Theatre in Kraków and the Polski Theatre in Bydgoszcz. Szczawińska collaborates on a permanent basis with Agnieszka Jakimiak, Piotr Wawer Jr, Krzysztof Kaliski and Agata Maszkiewicz. Among her most recent work are Hitchcock, created in the Slovensko mladinsko gledališče in Ljubljana (2017) and My Brilliant Friend based on the novels by Elena Ferrante (Wrocław Współczesny Theatre 2018).