Presented at The International Clown-Theatre Congress, -1991
Bolek Polivka, who had presented the Queen and Jester at the 1988 International Movement Theatre Festival, delved into the dark loneliness of man as shaped by the Soviets in The Survivor. In Polivka’s own words, the work “is about solitude, the variations of solitude, the solitude of the mad person, the solitude of the prisoner, the solitude of the survivor on the island, the solitude of the handicap person; it is that kind of solitude I am crossing.” The audience was enthralled with the complexity of Polivka’s clown who was in fact all of these things and more. They identified with man as survivor, going it mostly alone, but surviving all the same.
Defining the clown at a panel discussion, Polivka stated “To me the clown is a way of thinking; a way how to understand the world. As children are playing, they are playing for to understand our world. The clowns are playing for that reason; to test, to understand what the world is and to show it to other human beings.”
Michael Pedretti, Delighting the Senses, Unpublished Manuscript
Photograph of Polivka © 2008 Jim Moore – To see more of Polivka on YouTube.