From the director
What really is romantic love? Do we understand a single girl being condemned to years of torture? Is loneliness a grave sin? One character from “Dziady”, appearing just for a moment, today is more mysterious than ever. The celebrity among Mickiewicz’s characters has made an unexpected career:
“It is surprising how permanently shepherdess Zosia, the girl spectre from the ritual of »Dziady«, has embedded herself in the collective memory. Undoubtedly, Zosia, who didn’t want to get married, »having played around for nineteen years«, Zosia with a rose, a butterfly and a lamb, as depicted by Michał Elwiro Andriolli in a popular illustration, is one of Mickiewicz’s most famous characters, and for Dziady even an »iconic« one” – writes Zbigniew Majchrowski.
For a long time now, theatrical Zosias have not been innocent shepherdesses with a “butterfly and a lamb”. They can sometimes be public as in Jerzy Grotowski's 1961 work and sometimes liberated as in Konrad Swinarski's 1973 production. They dress up in cheerleading costumes in men’s cloakrooms, as in Radosław Rychcik’s 2014 work, or they get angry and throw themselves down on a rope in heavy boots with a cigarette in their mouths, as in Michał Zadara’s 2014 production. Undefined, still between a woman – body and a woman – goddess, they can be the most archaic and contemporary desire.
“From the fourth part of »Dziady«, the greatest Polish love poem, Mickiewicz – under pressure from the censorship office – removed the so-called kiss stanza, a comparison of lovers’ kisses to holy communion” – wrote Maria Janion
Contemporary Zosias, always sad, sometimes brave, can be found at night in big cities. They write about themselves: “Zośka19, 1 km away, I like animals and floristry, looking for someone to hold my hand tight”.