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Editor: (Owen Daly) I am again grateful to Robert Ellermann.. In response to my piece on Grotowski and Yoga, filled in a lot of the blanks for me regarding both Grotowski's background in theatre and in Eastern philosophy.
Sulerzhitsky even led a group of Doukhobors, a eastern inspired religious sect in Russia to Canada in the early part of the 20th century to settle and their community exists to this day. Many of the early experiments in creating the Stanislavsky System were based on yoga inspired principles and exercises. Boleslavsky, another member with Vakhtangov of the fabled First Studio, was in reality a Pole and he returned to Poland to run a studio theatre and a school there from about 1919 to 1921 or so. He was responsible for training many of the young theatre artists there who would have become Grotowski's direct and indirect teachers in Poland.
The deep spirituality of the First Studio; of Vakhtangov's studio; of the Habima; of Boleslavsky's brief Polish studio -- all these mirror Grotowski's Laboratory Theatre. I believe Barba has recently published references where Grotowski says Vakhtangov was everything to him.
I hope this helps.
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