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Title: The importance of Sufi traditions to Jerzy Grotowski's practice
Author: Al-Tawil, Muhannad
ISNI:       0000 0004 7223 8544
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2017
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Considerable research has emerged on the influences of the late Jerzy Grotowski, the eminent Polish theatre reformer who is famous for his ideas on the Poor Theatre. Among his many contributions to the theatre, his early focus on the primary importance of the actor - as opposed to the trappings of stage design - led him on a path of systematic transcultural experimentation and concentrated actor training using "source techniques" from ancient rituals to achieve "organicity" in his "Holy Actor" and his "Total Act". There has been some disagreement surrounding the extent of the inspiration he drew from particular traditions, including some Sufi orders, the form of esoteric Islamic mysticism practised in many of the regions he visited in Central Asia, India and Iran. This study provides a number of the Sufi-like elements of Grotowski's Productions and Post-Productions career phases, in parallel with a thorough examination of primary and secondary sources indicating both direct (Sufi) and indirect (Sufi-inspired) influences from his practices, studies, collaborators, and travels. A number of inferences are made based on historical and geographical clues, due to several factors underlying the incomplete records of his experiences. Findings include a number of robust similarities with Sufism and clear connections with both Sufi and Sufi-inspired people. This thesis contributes to studies on the broad range of cultural and ritual influences Grotowski drew from for his practices by compiling and highlighting their numerous references to Sufism, and it credits Sufism as one of his major sources of inspiration.
Supervisor: Allain, Paul Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available