• Theater

MAGNIFICAT

By Marta Górnicka | The Chorus of Women

The revolutionary The Chorus of Women revives the Greek chorus, this time both defending and putting women at its center.


Magnificat is a piece that confronts the ideological and the esthetic power of the image of the most sacred female image in the Church - the Virgin Mary – through a modern form of choral theater created by Polish artist Marta Górnicka. The Chorus of Women is a movement aimed at reclaiming the female voice, in a group whose formal and conceptual characteristics look to combine the ancestral power of Western voices and bodies with contemporary critique. It brings together 25 women in a single style that’s a powerful tool.

In the voice of these women, a roundup of quotes from the Bible, recipes and texts by Elfriede Jelinek and great Polish poet Adam Mickiewicz - as well as extracts from The Bacchae by Euripides - are blended by the chorus with computer-generated sounds, the noise of shutters and advertising catchphrases. A combination of ideas and sound recordings spill over into a fusion of contemporary culture and traditional forms, something that reflects its creator’s dual theatrical and musical training. The aim is also to defend a new way for women to exist in past, present and future cultures.

Cast and crew


Concept, script and directed by: Marta Górnicka | Score: IEN | Choreography: Anna Godowska | Scientific-literature consultant: Agata Adamiecka | Directing consultant: Marta Szeliga | Stage design cooperation: Anna Maria Karczmarska | Costume design collaboration: Aleksandra Harasimowicz | Lighting design: Tomasz Sierotko | Stage director: Marek Susdorf | Video director: Kasia Adamik | Photography director: Mateusz Wołoczka | Cameras: Kasia Adamik, Mateusz Wołoczko, Michał Żuberek | Editors: Kasia Adamik, Hubert Komerski | Sound design and editing: Adam Wilk | Color correction: Raman Kriszna Moorti | Producers: Paulina Drzastwa, Anna Galas | Produced by: Zbigniew Raszewski Theater Institute, The Chorus of Women Foundation | Cast: Justyna Chaberek, Ewa Chomicka, Alina Czyżewska, Alicja Herod, Paulina Drzastwa, Alicja Herod, Anna Jagłowska, Natalia Jarosiewicz, Natalia Jarziewicz, Knatarosziakos, Knatarziakosiewicziew, Ewa Kossak, Katarzyna Lalik, Agnieszka Makowska, Kamila Michalska, Katarzyna Migdalska, Jolanta Nałęcz-Jaweck a, Natalia Obrębska, Anna Rączkowska, Anna Rusiecka, Monika Sadkowska, Kaja Stępkowska, Karolina Szulejewska, Iwona Tołbińska, Agata Wencel, Karolina Więch, Anna Wodzyńska, Anna Wojnarowska.

© ESRA ROTTHOFF

MARTA GÓRNICKA

MARTA GÓRNICKA

Every voice, every single one

This author and creator has become internationally famous for her innovative work with choruses, which she uses both as a tool for critiquing and examining modern ways of control, exclusion and violence and as a form of communication. In her plays, Górnicka looks into the relationship between individuals and society, experimenting with new types of collective voice. The Chorus of Women is a modern tragic chorus whose work is based on the idea of ‘reclaiming / creating the voice of women’ - the most repressed form in the West - while at the same time reclaiming the chorus for contemporary theater.

In 2019, she founded the Political Voice Institute (PVI), a laboratory that is part of the Maxim Gorki Theater, developing chorus both formally and politically and on a quest to discover a practical way to use voices for freedom. Her pieces have been performed at more than 70 different theater and directing festivals in around 20 countries.

—It revives the normally masculine chorus of Greek tragedy and reinvents the mother figure of theatrical history, which is basically the narration of stories. It’s a way of starting from zero, but this time with women’s voices at the center.

—There’s no lighting, instruments or props, just 25 women sometimes singing, sometimes whispering and sometimes shouting to the audience. It starts with a sweet Ave Maria and ends with a beautifully performed Magnificat.

Greek chorus: In the context of tragedy, comedy, satire and classic Greek plays, this is a homogenous, non-individualistic group of performers who, in a collective voice, comment on dramatic action. The chorus is made up of between 12 and 50 performers who dance, sing or say their lines both in unison and in different ways, sometimes wearing masks.

Marta Górnicka website: https://gornicka.com

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