[ Theatre between visual arts and dance ]Bytom in Upper Silesia is a mining town in which ores and coal have been mined for centuries and which the shutdown of the mines has now shaken in its foundations. Many buildings lean precariously to one side and are in danger of collapse. Underneath the visible Bytom lies a city of dead mine shafts and tunnels that determines the lives of the residents above ground even today. Inspired by the peculiarity of the place, the artist Antje Majewski and the author Ingo Niermann have teamed up with Polish dancers, and under the direction of Cracow-based dancer Tomasz Wygoda they are jointly developing a dance theatre piece centred around Skarbek, a figure from Upper Silesian mythology. Skarbek is a gnome that lives in abandoned mines, guards their treasures, and rules over the souls of the dead miners. The wordless dance theatre piece will be set to electronic music, composed by Katrin Vellrath and incorporating elements of Polish folk music.
The piece has been produced in cooperation with Bytomskie Centrum Kultury in Bytom, where it premiered in May 2005. Subsequently it was shown in Germany.
In autumn 2005 a catalogue with pictures, texts, and a record was released by the New York publishing house Lukas & Sternberg.
The project is co-financed by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute from funds provided by the Polish Ministry of Culture in the context of the German-Polish Year 2005/2006.