Flow (I & II) Third Movement of The Flow Quartet

Wroclaw, European Capital of Culture 2016

In its essence culture is a utopian activity. Even Shakespeare's "King Lear" encourages us to ask “what if” and “only if” questions… even if we live in a world of fear and walls, of traitors and internecine strife, in terror of our neighbours, our instincts and imaginations crave the space to conjure up alternatives. Culture is the space to which we turn to quench our human need to inhabit communal utopian spaces – even when such spaces are ephemeral.

Recording of the live-stream, PLEASE NOTE that the Performance begins at 43.44 minute:

Flow is a major international cultural event in the centre of Wroclaw, around the river Odra, which took place on 11th June 2016. The event was divided into daytime and night programme.

I. Daytime: Four areas around the river became festival zones - each dedicated to presenting the experiences of the city diasporas. Storytelling from citizens and diasporas from Israel, Germany, Ukraine, Poland.

Zone 1: The Body Zone /Sand Island/ (Wyspa Piasek) 

- Contemporary Dance Stage: Three of the best contemporary dance companies from Israel уеие performing on one stage - Nadine Bommer Dance Company, Machol Shalem Dance House in cooperation with Teatr Tańca Zawirowania, Batsheva Dance Company.

- Bielarska Island workshops with Fundacja OnWater.pl.

- The Floating Boat of Memory - visual and oral history project telling the story of the Lower Silesian Polish Jews.

- Wordrobe project "Puk Puk Tdo Tam" (Where are you from?)

Zone 2: The Zone of Whispers - 'Pewna Historia' /Nowy Targ to Slowackiego Park/ (Directors: Piotr Lucaszczyk and Kamil Przybos; plus “Dancenest” (Holland).

Urban spaces were used to explore the hidden stories of families from Lower Silesia in the 20th Century. It consistеd of three activities in one: a street performances “A Certain Story” in the form of a walking trail in which different urban spaces were used to explore the hidden stories of families from Lower Silesia in the 20th century; an international dance collaboration, “Dancenest”; and a series of workshops taking place in Slowackiego park run by young artists from every corner of Europe. 

Zone 3: The Zone of Tastes /The Botanical Gardens/ (Artistic Coordination by Theater der Jungen Welt, Liepzig and Mary Sadowska).

German and Polish Storytelling in Botanical Gardens. “Marmalade!” an international Polish-German collaboration whose focal point is jam! Theater der Jungen Welt, Liepzig with European Capital of Culture, Wroclaw, have prepared Marmalade! – a theatre, music installation and story-telling event focusing on the notion of taste memory - memories of home, jams made by our grandmothers using their well-kept secret recipes!

Zone 4: The Zone of Borders /The area of University Square/ (Director: Zosia Dowjat).

Specially prepared installations enabled audiences to move freely as performances were happening throughout the day, all of which have been created and will be performed by people of Ukrainian origin living in Poland. An opportunity to listen to stories told in unusual ways.

II. Evening: Flow, the Wroclaw Cantata, a multimedia performance performed to an audience of 51,000 people by an international orchestra and choir.

This evening event, organized along the river Odra in the space between Sand Island and the Bridge of Peace, was an extraordinary spectacle for a large city audience. Behind the scenes lies a precise and intimate process. The starting point for the work was a scenario written by Chris Baldwin (director). The composer Paweł Romańczuk, created a musical frame using this scenario - a few bars at the beginning and end of each of four sections. Four young talented composers have since developed these musical ideas to create an extraordinary piece of music. Jiří Kabát (Czech Republic), Udi Perlman (Academy of Music and Dance in Jerusalem), Adam Porębski (Poland - Music Academy of Karol Lipinski in Wrocław) and Amir Shpilman (Hochschule fur Musik Carl Maria von Weber Dresden) have composed the four parts of the cantata, which were performed especially for the occasion by an orchestra composed of artists from Beethoven Academy orchestra (Poland), graduates and students of the Academy of Music of Karol Lipinski Wroclaw (Poland), Hochschule fur Musik Carl Maria von Weber Dresden (Germany), The Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance (Israel) and Instrumentalists from the Czech Republic and big international choir. Details can be found also here.

Participants in the show also include other kinds of fans of the river Oder, those who normally float on its waters and the surrounding waters. Boats are recast as actors in this show, and, along with the music, they help tell the story of the twentieth century in Wroclaw.

This work is the backbone of interdisciplinary performance, in which the river and surrounding buildings will play key parts. 

  • Directed and Created by: Chris Baldwin
  • Musical Director: Alan Urbanek
  • Lighting: Pawel Pajek
  • Sound: Pawel Zachanowicz
  • Composers: Pawel Romanczuk, Jiří Kabát, Udi Perlman, Adam Porębski, Amir Shpilman
Photos: Milosz Poloch, Maziarz Rajter, Filip Basara, Zosia Dowjat, Robert Wnukowski, Dunvael Photography