Refreshing encounters

Well, the first weeks of this, 2013 year of our Lord (it does nor make me a fanatic or extra fervent Christian, rather an aficionado of ol’ way of saying and naming things. Just one more of my idiosyncrasies.) were rather busy. Too busy, for my lazy liking. A hundred and one plans and then new happenings got in a way. Some visits to Important People, some actions, declarations (of course Important, even Very Important). And (as often is the case) all my previous plans got pushed aside. Amid all of these chaos of tending to Temporal Important Things (that, in a true scheme of Things, at the end really have very little importance) I did have a time to visit a wonderful staging (a first in Canada, if I’m not mistaken) od Stanislaus Grochowiak play “The Boys”. Grochowiak was an exceptionally talented and influential poet in Poland in the 60ties and 70ties. Died way too young of , well, alcoholism. As a very, very young poet, just making my first steps into adulthood, I met him and shared few glasses of (in)famous national drink, vodka. Of course, I was very proud that such a revered poet would drink with me, thought of it as an honour, distinction. For him it was probably a rare occasion to find an adoring listener (at that time there was not as many as few years earlier – fame is fleeting) and simply an easy companion to a glass of vodka as his friends, who knew him longer, would avoid Grochowiak’s drinking events, which started to impact his health heavily. Anyhow, in January a very good theatrical ensemble of Vancouver, Teatr Polski , produced the staging of “The Boys”. It was played in the Evergreen Theater in Coquitlam. Lovely location, probably the best stage in entire Metro Vancouver. You just step out on the patio and at your feet lays a small, picturesque lake, above snowy peaks of North Shore mountains. Magic. The production was directed by a talented Vancouver director Marek Czuma(fromerly closely associated with the Shakespeare on the beach theater project). It is not an easy play. Grochwiak has hidden in it multilayers of meanings easily obscured by the main subject of aging. Aging in the Old Folks Home. And primarily about men. There were many portraits of aging women, or mixed sexes. But men alone is altogether different subject. And men from an epoch almost three generations older. A that time there was no questioning of masculinity, manliness and so on. A man was the master of universe. Or so he thought. Grochowiak has shown that really, he was not. He was frail, as lost and as desperate to hold to the vestiges of dignity as any aging female. “The Boys” could have been just a comedy (albeit dark and sad) . Czuma made it very human, very real. The actors played splendidly. Without any doubt I must not forget to mention excellent performances of Elizabeth Kozlowski (as Mother Superior), Richard Kopplinger (as resident Kalmita) and his younger stage-wife, Kamila Marczyk (as Narcissa, a theater star past her prime) alongside the rest of the troupe.

Teatr Polski (actors after last call)

The theater group and it’s actors provided me with an important observation, an insight into amazing world of unexpected encounters in the world of art. There is a countless number of young artist with professional education in their field. Some of them went to the art schools for all the wrong reasons. They know more or less how to paint, how to write an article or essay, how to play a piano or another instrument and read musical notes. And they will never (probably) produce a single piece of Art. For it must come from an unknown place within, it must be a result of not ‘how’ but from a ‘need to’. And there is a countless number of artists who never received formal education in this fields, never had a web of friends, who knew art critics or agents, gallery owners and curators. Yet they have the ‘need’. So they toil in usually unappealing jobs, they live their lives not as an artists but as anyone among us, ordinary folks. They might even lack the self-confidence to call themselves artist. Some of them never will, But some – try. And if they achieve any dose of success, of recognition, their joy is much deeper than those of their so called ‘professional’ colleagues. Their passion is pure and unadulterated. These are the people we work alongside us and we never even know their true passions, their talent. Unless, often by accident, we find out about it. The Teatr Polski ensemble gathers mostly exactly these type of unsung heroes of Art. Amateurs, who by virtue of passion and desire to learn, become professionals in the best meaning of the word.
At place of mine ‘professional’ work I encountered some others. The painter Csilla Rosales, whom I never suspected of being a painter until we started talking about art. Then, recently, a very quiet young women who just recorded a concert of Christmas songs. When another person asked me to listen to it, at first I thought seriously that it was Sarah Brightman’s new CD. Than I was told it was the first recording of my own subordinate, whom I never “suspected’ of such beautiful soprano, Kira Johnson. I hope I’m not mistaken if I would risk foretelling that we will hear of her in the future.

Eletwa, mix media on canvas, by C. Rosales

Csilla Rosales is about to open her first public Exhibition in Tsawassen. If you heve no other prior plans, it could be very worthwhile to go and see it ( January 31, Tsawwassen Art Centre – 1172-56 Street, Delta)

About Bogumil P-G

publisher, essayist, poet lived (and born) in Poland, later England, Italy, presently in Canada
This entry was posted in reflection on culture, society, this & that (English) and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Refreshing encounters

  1. Csilla says:

    Dear Bogi, the green painting is called :The Tree of Life (Eletfa in Hungarian) and thank you for mentioning my Exhibition – it is getting closer, I hope to see you there.

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