A Deeper Look
Matej Matejka (Slovakia) is a multi award-winning theatre researcher, actor, director, and teacher of movement.
In Poland, since 2006, he has been associated with Teatr ZAR and the Grotowski Institute in Wrocław. He has worked over 15,000 hours of workshops with various groups and artists across 5 continents and 28 countries. He has conducted masterclasses and seminars all over the world, in India, China, South Korea, Canada, USA, South America, Scandinavia and Switzerland among others.
He participated in several theatrical expeditions to Mount Athos, Sardinia, Corsica, Morocco, Georgia, Egypt, and India. In 2013, his short film "Pearadise" was awarded Best Short Film at the Underground Film Festival in Los Angeles. Since 2020, he plays one of the lead roles in the Polish television series "Na dobre i na zle".
He studied acting at the State Conservatory, Bratislava (Slovakia) and at JAMU University, Brno (Czech Republic).
Matej is a long-term collaborator of and researcher at the Grotowski Institute in Wrocław, Poland (since 2005) and was an actor with Teatr ZAR, co-creating and performing in Anhelli: The Calling and Caesarean Section: Essays on Suicide, the latter awarded with the Herald Angel and Total Theatre awards in Edinburgh, UK (2012).
Matej directed the performances Echoes of the Walls Underground Are Louder than the Footsteps above Me (co-directed with Yuri Kordonski), The Woman Decomposed, Charmolypi, Awkward Happiness or Everything I Don’t Remember About Meeting You (special mention at BE Festival, Birmingham, 2014), The Web; BOI etc.
In 2001–2006, he was an actor with Farm in the Cave Theatre Studio, Prague, and co-creator of its performances, including the multi-awarded SCLAVI/The Song of an Emigrant (Fringe First, Total Theatre Award, Herald Angel, Alfred Radok’s Award, Grand Prix Golden Laurel Wreath).
He directed and produced a site-specific project called Harmony of Contradictions: Poland at Browar Mieszczański (Burgers’ Brewery) in Wrocław, Poland (2016); and Palimpsests of the Space at castle in Gorzanów, Lower Silesia, Poland (2017).
He has recently accomplished a one and a half year long interactive performance project titled Angry Man. Variations in Defense of Anger at the Grotowski Institute, Wrocław, Poland (2018), with an international team of 9 actors and dancers. The performance is nominated for The Best OFF 2018/2019, Poland.
In 2012 and 2014, he directed seven short films: Pearadise, Life While You Wait, Twenty Second Street, Juste comme ça, The Desire, The Mess and Conflicts of Apathy (first prize at NU Video Dance 2014, Bratislava). Pearadise won Best Foreign Film at the Los Angeles International Underground Film Festival in 2013.
As a theatre researcher and educator, Matej is deeply interested in the physical expression of actors and dancers. Influenced by Russian Studios of the early 20th century and the work and heritage of Grotowski and Tanztheatre, his training techniques and teaching span theatre and dance, psycho-physical expression and structural stylisation.
Matej has developed various workshop series: Wakening the Listening Body, Contradictions, Liquid Way to Action and Dance of Likeness. He has led workshops at theatres and universities all around the globe (including at the California Institute of the Arts, US; Double Edge Theatre, US; UNEARTE University, Venezuela; National School of Drama in New Delhi, India; DS Delos of Dimitra Hatoupi, Greece; University of Salford, UK; Theatre Alberta, Edmonton, Canada; Au Brana, France; AISGE Barcelona, Spain; and in South Korea, Lebanon, Ukraine, etc.).