DIWAN SINGH BAJELI
Leszek Bzdyl, actor-director from Poland, tells that the essence of a work to be conveyed in artistic terms is more important than the text.
"Comedy is not mere clever manipulation of gags. It is a serious genre of theatrical art that conveys profound philosophy and comments on the paradoxes of human life," says director-actor-dancer Leszek Bzdyl from Poland who was in the Capital this past week in connection with the presentation of his "Several Witty Observations" at Sammukh Theatre that was part of National School of Drama's Bharat Rang Mahotsav. An artistically sophisticated work, it amused the audience with its sardonic look at life.Based on the fictional work by Witold Gombrowicz (1904-1969) director Leszek and his creative collaborators Katarzyna Chmielewska and Rafal Dziemidok read the original work several times in the course of composing choreography. For him the text is not sacrosanct.
The essenceWhat is vital is the essence of the work to be conveyed in artistic terms. Witold is a writer preoccupied with the existential paradoxes of man and the element of grotesque that affect intellectual and moral life of human society.Commenting on his production director Leszek says that three characters tell their story and dilemma through choreographic patterns. "On the one hand you need people to communicate and to define you and when you interact with people your identity is destroyed. There is a perpetual struggle to dominate others, to appropriate the identity of others and assume a new genre.""Several Witty Observations" has been presented in several countries after its premiere in Poland. In India it was its 40th show. Different cultures have different sense of humour and audiences in different countries responded in different way. "In most of the countries like France, America and Poland the audiences responded with laughter but in Germany the audience watched in complete silence. I am happy that in Delhi the audience reacted the way people reacted back home in Poland."Born in 1964, Leszek studied history at the university of Waoclaw and later undertook training in a theatre school that taught Grotowski's concept of theatre acting and then switched over to pantomime and contemporary dance. Founder of Dada von Bzdulow Theatre, he began his professional career in 1987. Apart from working in his theatre as a director, dancer and choreographer, he participates in the production of other theatre groups in Poland. He has participated in more than 40 productions. For his artistic excellence he has been honoured in the country with several awards.
Artistic freedomTalking about the status of artistes and artistic opportunities during communism in Poland and in the post-communist period, he says, "The status of artistes during communism was that of a star. The state made them available whatever fund they needed but they had little artistic freedom. Today artistes are treated like any other professionals. They have to work to earn a living. You have artistic freedom but not much state assistance. It is a free market of culture, you have to sell your creation as a commodity. The audience as a buyer has the freedom to accept you or reject you."Leszek feels that everywhere in the world television has become more popular. "In Poland people generally watch television for four hours a day. They do not read books nor watch serious art forms."Is there any further scope for the theatre? "From the glorious days of Greek tragedy theatre has witnessed many ups and downs and faced many crisis but it has survived, developed, mirroring the dilemma of human society. As far as I am concerned I believe in theatre because this is my life and everything for me. Some people may consider it as illusory but for me it is real."