Ragnarok

“Once again Dzieci has produced a stunning and transforming theatre event!  I walked away floating in another world.
Congratulations to you, the company, and the work you are doing! Bravo!!!”
Dale Fuller – Managing Editor – PARABOLA Magazine

Dzeici spins the epic tale of good and evil, humanity and godliness, where things aren’t always what they seem,
and the time has come to dance the question: what does it mean to destroy your own god?
Through gorgeous layered vocal music harmonies and staggering stage pictures, the  wars between humans and gods
seem brutal, heartbreaking, and triumphant. Ragnarok is deeply impressive and expansive,
and the magic happens in the minute facets of telling the story.
Allison Schubert – New York Theatre Review

“Dzieci’s  brilliant performance of RAGNAROK still haunts me and will continue to stay with me
for sometime to come. I only hope the extraordinary cast realizes what an amazing triumph they all achieved.
As  a storyteller, I appreciate how much depends on the way stories are told and interpreted.
The magic is in the telling. Dzieci took us boldly and powerfully into a greater reality, beyond this physical world,
yet very much influenced by and connected to our ordinary, every day life experiences.”
Jane Hughes Gignoux– lifedeathandbeyond.com

THE GODS ARE COMING,,,

WORSHIP THEM!

Ragnarok, or “The Twilight of the Gods”, as all early epics from Gilgamesh on, originated as oral transmission.
Dzieci honors this essential practice, while exploring through song, movement, and sacred ceremony,
the resonance of ancient themes to our modern times; to our own gods,
the destruction to come, and the promise of a new age.

Ragnarok: A Ceremony for the End Times

Ragnarok began for Dzieci as an investigation of the Trickster archetype. The Trickster, common to all mythological systems, is a character who lives between worlds: heaven and earth, life and death, nature and civilization. He serves not so much to create a balance between worlds, but to create chaos, in order to facilitate passage and interaction between one world and another. He is a blurrer of boundaries, able to change his form to suit his needs, and serves as both creator and destroyer. He is one of the most human of archetypes, given his enormous creativity and his improvisational approach to life, and also one of the most inhuman, given his strange powers and his detachment from both the destruction and the creation that he leaves in his wake.

Dzieci’s theatrical training involves the opposition of extremes, both physical and emotional. Our performances consciously break down barriers and blur boundaries: between actor and audience, theater and ritual, inside and outside — with the aim of creating something that draws on a higher energy, and having that energy remain with the public even after the actors have departed. The nature of our work draws us naturally to the Trickster archetype, and through Loki, to the Eddas.

The Eddas, the medieval source for the epic cycle of Nordic myths, introduces us to the entire world of the Norse gods, who stand between more highly structured, priest-based mythical systems and more elemental, orally transmitted shamanic systems. As the written record of an oral tradition, they represent the intersection of Christianity with Europe’s pagan roots, and serve as rich material for Dzieci’s continuing inquiry into religious and spiritual practices, ritual, and transformation.

The image of Ragnarok, an End Times myth (literally “The Doom of the Gods”), permeates the Eddas. The work of the Trickster is a central moving force in the tale, but in Ragnarok’s full cycle of birth, death, and renewal, we are taken beyond the chaotic, creative energy of this archetype, to an exploration of what it means to have a god, or gods, and what it means to destroy them.

As with every journey Dzieci has embarked upon, the destination remains a mystery, but we have developed the work along three paths: learning the stories of the Nordic myths through a combination of research and oral transmission; training in a variety of theatrical techniques that will facilitate our storytelling (Shaolin stage combat, mime, sacred dance); and studying traditional styles and forms of music and ritual from Scandinavia and related areas. Along with the Eddas, text has been compiled from various sources including The Qur’an, Thunder/Perfect Mind, Baudelaire, Yeats, Trakl, Revelations, and the Cheyenne Ghost Dance.

A work-in-progress presentation of Ragnarök was presented at Cathedral St. John the Divine in 2003. 
The exploration was gratefully resurrected through a residency with White Pines Productions at the Elkins Estate, PA, during the summer of 2011. In true Dzieci fashion, the process of bringing the cycle to completion will have taken over a dozen years, before its premiere this fall. And never cease its evolutionary progress.

Bob Strock
Nordic Specialist, Dzieci


Images from Ragnarok

Images from Ragnarok!
(Click on the image above to view the Facebook gallery.)

And excerpts from the show:


Opening


Battle


Odin and the Seeress


Lament for Baldr


Loki Bound


The Wolf


Resurrection

 

See Ragnarok in development, in Brooklyn Independent Television’s Caught in the Act:

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