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“Embodying the Poetry of Wisława Szymborska,” a theatrical poetry event performed by Open Heart Surgery Theatre
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A discussion of the poetry of Wisława Szymborska, the late Polish Nobel Prize-winner, will be led by Columbia professor Anna Frajlich. Plus live music and excerpts from “This Is Why We Live,” in which the poetry of Szymborska is rendered in physical theater by Canada’s Open Heart Surgery. This movement theater piece will be presented by La MaMa, 66 E. 4th Street (East Village) September 19 to 29, 2019. (Info:

Open Heart Surgery Theatre was founded in 2014 and is an international theatre ensemble based in Toronto and London, UK. We comprise of a mixture of performers including Butoh and Lecoq-trained theatre makers whose interests lie in intercultural work that engages audiences in a visceral experience, often experimenting with multiple languages on stage and form. We take an interdisciplinary approach to theatre making: merging live music, media and dance to create original theatre that opens the heart and speaks about relevant material that reflects who we are today. Led by Parsi-Irish Canadian theatre maker, Coleen Shirin MacPherson, we create work that stretches across borders and boundaries, often merging diverse cultures to create new work. We like to dangle across the hyphenated space in our work, through experimentation with language and form.

Anna Frajlich (a.k.a Anna Frajlich-Zajac) has lived in New York since 1970, after emigrating from Poland with her husband and son in 1969 with the Jewish "exodus." She received her MA from Warsaw University in the Polish literature, and defended her Ph.D. dissertation in the Slavic Department of the New York University in 1990. Her poetry, reviews, articles and essays have been published in various journals in Poland, the United States, and Europe. Frajlich is a Sr. Lecturer Emerita at the Department of Slavic Languages and Associate Faculty Member, Harriman Institute at Columbia University in New York City, where she has taught Polish language and literature for over three decades.

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