Grotowski's Bridge Made of Memory

Embodied Memory, Witnessing, and Transmission in the Grotowski Work

Dominika Laster


6 x 9 inches, 212pp, 7 halftones. January 2016

ISBN : 9780857423177

Rs  595.00 (PB)
$35.00 (PB)
£24.50 (PB)

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Polish theatre director and performance researcher Jerzy Grotowski’s work, while taking various forms and undergoing multiple transformations, is unified by a single underlying propulsion: the work on the self with and through the other. This book investigates Grotowski’s broadly construed notion of self-development in order to grasp his complex understanding of human relationality. Dominika Laster analyzes core aspects of Grotowski’s work such as body-memory, vigilance, witnessing, verticality, and transmission, arguing that these performance praxes involve a deliberate blurring of the boundaries of the self and other.

This comprehensive study traces key thematic threads across all phases of Grotowski’s research, examining lesser-known aspects of his praxis such as performance opuses structured around African and Afro-Caribbean traditional songs and ritual movement as well as textual material from the Christian Gnostic tradition. Laster demonstrates the ways in which Grotowski’s long-term, rigorous practical work is an important paradigm of embodied research that continues to offer a rich area of inquiry within the field of performance studies. As an active process of research and questioning conducted through the “body-being” of the performer, the Grotowski work is a practical realization of the often highly theoretical and abstract discussions of one of the field’s main preoccupations: embodied practice as a way of knowing.   

Dominika Laster