Skip to content
  • Music-performance
  • SPRING coproduction
  • NL premiere


Thu 23 May 2024 21:00
Stadsschouwburg Grote Zaal
60 min
Polish, Ukrainian (English & Dutch subtitles)
€25,50 / €18,-
Face from the crowd, Who owns the story, War on stage
Accessibility arrow

Marta Górnicka returns to SPRING! She is bringing a choir of 21 women of different ages, backgrounds and professions. In a powerful testimony of the realities of war, each of them tells her own story of how war has changed her life, while collectively they try to find a way to overcome the horror.

Wartime violence against women never changes. War asks the ultimate questions: about responsibility in the face of danger, and about our defense mechanisms. Polish director Marta Górnicka, creator of the CHORUS OF WOMEN and founder of the Political Voice Institute at the Maxim Gorki Theater in Berlin, creates a choral performance out of the testimonies of mothers and their children from Ukraine, Belarus and Poland: those who have fled war, those who have fled persecution, and those who have welcomed the refugees into their Polish homes.

The cast consists of 21 Ukrainian, Polish and Belarusian women aged 9 to 71, each with her unique political experience and a different life story; refugees from Mariupol, Kyiv, Irpin and Kharkiv. This chorus seeks a new, post-opera choral voice that draws on female choruses through the ages. Ukrainian children’s rhymes, traditional songs, spells and political statements all meet and mix with each other.

The performance MOTHERS A SONG FOR WARTIME opens with a shchedrivka (Ukr. щедрівка) – a traditional Ukrainian song that expresses a wish for happiness and rebirth of the world. It dates back to pre-Christian times and is likely thousands of years old. The ritual of singing a shchedrivka was performed by women only, or by women and children, and it always addressed a particular person. People believed in the power of the song, trusting that its words and the good wishes would come true. Today, these sung wishes are addressed to all people, for a new time; for their entire lives.

“In the past, the CHORUS was supposed to sanctify the uniqueness of life and serve a rebirth, a recovery. It was the opposing force to ANNIHILATION. Our performance draws on that force.”

Marta Górnicka



Marta Górnicka

Marta Górnicka



Katerina Aleinikova, Svitlana Berestovska, Sasha Cherkas, Palina Dabravolskaja, Katarzyna Jaźnicka, Ewa Konstanciak, Liza Kozlova, Anastasiia Kulinich, Natalia Mazur, Kamila Michalska, Hanna Mykhailova, Svitlana Onischak, Kateryna Taran, Valeriia Obodianska, Yuliia Ridna, Maria Robaszkiewicz, Polina Shkliar, Aleksandra Sroka, Maria Tabachuk, Bohdana Zazhytska, Elena Zui-Voitekhovskaya

concept, direction – Marta Górnicka

libretto – Marta Górnicka & ansamble (Ukrainians–Belarusians–Poles)

music – Wojciech Frycz, Marta Górnicka, traditional Ukrainian, Belarusian and Polish music, a quotation from Mykola Leontovych’s


choreography – Evelin Facchini

stage design – Robert Rumas

costumes – Joanna Załęska

dramaturgical collaboration – Olga Byrska, Maria Jasińska

video, video documentation – Michał Rumas, Justyna Orłowska

video projections – Michał Jankowski

lights – Artur Sienicki

vocal coach – Joanna Piech-Sławecka

stage manager and director’s assistant – Bazhena Shamovich

choreographer’s assistant – Maria Bijak

movement workshop – Krystyna Lama Szydłowska

Ukrainian libretto translation – Olesya Mamchych

Belarusian libretto translation – Maria Pushkina

English libretto translation – Aleksandra Paszkowska

German libretto translation – Olaf Khul

Ukrainian ethnomusicology consultation – Anna Ohrimchuk

Ukrainian children’s games consultation – Venera Ibragimova

in-rehearsal interpreter – Marharyta Huretskaya

subtitles – Zofia Szymanowska

CHORUS OF WOMEN Foundation producers – Marta Kuźmiak, Anna Galas-Kosil

Teatr Powszechny producer – Magdalena Płyszewska



CHORUS OF WOMEN Foundation (Warsaw) and Maxim Gorki Theater (Berlin)

in co-production with – Teatr Powszechny in Warsaw; Festival d’Avignon; Maillon Théâtre De Strasbourg Scène européenne; SPRING Performing Arts Festival (Utrecht); Tangente St. Pölten – Festival Für Gegenwartskultur (Austria)

partners – Teatr Dramatyczny in Warsaw; Nowy Teatr in Warsaw; Ukrainian Institute; For Freedom Foundation in Warsaw (an independent public non-profit working for migrants from Ukraine, Chechnya, Belarus, Tajikistan who have settled in Warsaw); “Przystanek Świetlica” (a recreation center for migrant children and adolescents); The “Sunflower” Solidary Community Center (supporting for the Ukrainian artist community in Warsaw).

This project is co-funded by the City of Warsaw.


Author of all photos – Bartek Warzecha

Video Arte TV

Also interesting

Motion on Motion off