Vibration of a Single String

Katarzyna Chmielewska, Magdalena Reiter, Jakub Truszkowski

Choreography and dance: Katarzyna Chmielewska, Magdalena Reiter, Jakub Truszkowski

Video, set and lighting design: Atej Tutta

Music: Radosław Duda

Dramaturgy: Rok Bozovičar

Costume design: Jelena Proković

Producers: Magdalena Reiter, Tina Dobnik (SI), Michał Jankowski (PL)

Produced by: Mirabelka Institute (SI), Teatr Dada von Bzdülöw (PL)

Co-produced by: Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Ljubljana

Partners: Bunker Institute, Teatr Wybrzeże, GAK, Klub Żak, Adam Mickiewicz Institute – CULTURE.PL

Slovenian premiere: 10.12.2021, Old Power Station – Elektro Ljubljana

Polish premiere: 18.12.2021, Teatr Wybrzeże, Gdańsk 

The performance is co-financed by: the City of Ljubljana – Department of Culture, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, the City of Gdansk, the Adam Mickiewicz Institute “Polish Culture in the World”.

Photography: Darja Štravs Tisu

“…chillingly disturbing, yet surprisingly beautiful. Enchanting, but also full of darkness.” –

“the premiere audience gave it a standing ovation” –

★★★★ – Delo

Sometimes it’s just a hunch, without external manifestations, clues, evidence, causes, or explanations, yet there is something tangible. Something vague, yet distinct at the same time. A similar impression of something defined, yet evading expectations, is introduced by Lem’s “Solaris,” which interweaves clear categorizations on the one hand, and confusion and unexplained tension on the other. Vibration of a Single String is not, however, an interpretation of Lem’s literary work, but a performance created from shreds and fragments of meaning, which translates the issues contained in the novel into body language. One does not have to travel to distant galaxies to imagine representations of bodies that are anthropomorphic in the visual sphere, but completely alien/unknown and inaccessible in the matter sphere. 

We observe bodies and their diverse language in situations unfamiliar to them, operating in a space that imposes its rules on them. The ontology is not known in advance, its coordinates are not directly written down, but constantly determined and expressed by the trajectories of the bodies’ movement. It is an uncontrolled movement, unsynchronized duets, searching for the contact defined by externality, unexpected convergence points and asynchronous time axes that lead bodies next to each other. Is encounter inevitable? Is contact always a single point of shared experience? What if, for a change, the possibility of contact is dependent on external curvature, the interactions of space and vibration? And although it derives from an inner (human?) desire and intentionality, the final outcome no longer depends on it? Then the possibility of encounter is freed from the formal burden of constructing identities and events as a linear story, filled with a generalized message and a coherent internal logic. 

What contact happens when the lines of complex transformations and undisclosed intentions intersect? Perhaps only a sober realization of one’s own limitations, which can shatter many expectations and aspirations. In this case, dance is a binder of external points, an embodiment of solitude. It is a movement that shortens distances while still retaining qualities of difference. The status quaestionis of bodily residues, gestures, expressions and sequences – the accumulated past in the limited spectrum of one’s own world and the inevitable transformation of the (un)perceivable entirety. 


04.10.2022 – Rozdroże – International Festival of Performing Arts, Warsaw

30.09-01.10.2022 – Teatr Wybrzeze, Gdansk

22-23.09.2022 – Stara elektrarna, Ljubljana

18-19.12.2021 – Teatr Wybrzeze, Gdansk

10-12.12.2021 – Stara elektrarna, Ljubljana

Excerpts from reviews

Although the creators strongly emphasize the distance between their theatrical work and Lem’s literary original, among the scenic events we will find many fragments, scraps which recall the fascinating tale of the three cosmonauts and the mysterious ocean. In the performance we have to do with the same cognitive helplessness that constitutes the foundation of Solaris. In confrontation with the universe all the characters are forced to lay down their arms, their intellectual and emotional capabilities are inadequate in the face of what they have to face in the moment of confrontation with the cosmic universe. The effect on stage is chillingly disturbing, yet surprisingly beautiful. Enchanting, but also full of darkness.

This collaboration has resulted in a performance that is extremely precise and intricate in each of its levels – from choreography to music. The fact that Katarzyna Chmielewska, Magdalena Reiter and Jakub Truszkowski are creators with powerful artistic experience and talent is of no small importance to the entire project, hence their stage work in Vibration… is defined by confidence, lightness, and the ability to lead a collective collaboration. The result is an hour-long performance devoid of weaker moments or interpretative uncertainty. 

Anna Jazgarska,, 22.02.2022

It is difficult to single out any of the three dancers, as their strength in Vibration of a Single String is their teamwork. Thanks to this, the cohesive performance inspired by Lem’s prose remains an artistic project independent of it, very well danced and brilliantly lit. The premiere audience gave it a standing ovation.

Łukasz Rudziński ,, 19.12.2021 

The vibrations of the individual bodies in space, which are always in tension with each other, act like dispersed fragments of a communal body whose clear contours can no longer be determined.

So too does the spectator, placed in the function of a collector and interpreter of individual pieces, gestures, contours, brief encounters and moments of doubling. Throughout the performance, the question of the space and time in which the three dancing bodies actually vibrate is constantly raised. The large canvas on which the video images of the doublings unfold divides the performance space and can represent at least two things: firstly, a set dividing line of multi-space (a wall), and secondly, a contingent grip of timelessness in which the characters on stage are trapped or marked by. Aware that time is irreversible (also with regard to Jelena Proković’s costume design), the meticulously designed video and lighting (Atej Tutta) nevertheless make it seem that the three protagonists meet primarily in the past. In fragments of their own intimate experiences, dreams, in uninhabited spaces of in-betweenness, where no body lives its own life, but is an integral part of everything that surrounds it.


Andreja Kopač, Delo, 21.12.2021

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