Piotr Skrzynecki

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Piotr Skrzynecki
Piotr Skrzynecki
Piotr Skrzynecki, wearing his signature hat, which was buried with him.[1]
Born Piotr Cezary Skrzynecki
(1930-09-12)12 September 1930
Warsaw
Died 27 April 1997(1997-04-27) (aged 66)
Kraków
Nationality Polish
Known for theater, cabaret, film
Movement Piwnica pod Baranami
Signature (1980).
Statue close to cafe "Vis-à-Vis" in Kraków's Market Square.

Piotr Cezary Skrzynecki (12 September 1930, Warsaw – 27 April 1997, Kraków) was a Polish choreographer and director, cabaret impresario, best known for his involvement with the cabaret Piwnica pod Baranami (Cellar under the Rams), of whose he was the founder.

Biography[edit]

Skrzynecki was born 12 September 1930 in Warsaw.[1] He was the son of a Pole Marian Skrzynecki, lieutenant colonel in the Polish Army and a Jewess Magdalena Endelman. His father died during the Soviet invasion of Poland,[2] when he was the commander of the 7-th Lubelski Cavalry Regiment. After World War II his family moved to Łódź. There he attended a theater school associated with the National Film School in Łódź. Next he moved to Kraków where he begun studies in history of art at the Jagiellonian University.[1][3] There, at the age of 26, in 1956 he organized student club which, in time, became Piwnica pod Baranami, with its first performance in December that year.[1][3]

Until his death, he would be the leading member of Piwnica.[3] It became the most popular intellectual cabaret in postwar Poland, and one of the symbols of Kraków.[3] Although it was not primarily a political humor group,[3] coming in the wake of the liberalization of Polish October, the Piwnica cabaret became famous for its satirical criticism of the People's Republic of Poland communist regime.[1] Polish magazine Przekrój wrote that "For 41 years [Skrzynecki] and his cabaret persuaded us that, despite the system, we had come into this world for happiness and joy.".[1]

His attitude to authority was rebellious through his life; he often taunted censors present in the audience.[1] During the martial law in Poland of 1981 he was accused by the authorities of inciting a riot by his simple presence; in response, he set the official document accusing him of the charges to music, as he later did with the one lifting the charges.[1] Similarly, he had a disdainful attitude towards money;[1] there was a time he was homeless and slept on a park bench.[3]

In addition to cabaret activity, Skrzynecki organized various events, fresh air performances, and famous parties, gathering top Polish artists and actors.[3]

He played in several movies: Kalosze szczęścia, Aria dla atlety, Sukcesja, Epitafium dla Barbary Radziwiłłówny, Przewodnik, Piwnica pod Baranami Piotra Skrzyneckiego, Rozmowy z Piotrem.[3] He wrote the script for the Panowie na złotych sznurkach movie, which he directed.[3]

In his final years he has been suffering from cancer.[1] He died on 27 April 1997 in Kraków.[1]

Awards and recognition[edit]

He has been described as a "larger-than-life figure", "already a legend in his own lifetime", widely respected and even adored in Poland.[1][3] His funeral attracted large crowds and many public figures.[1]

A documentary movie (Przewodnik by Tomasz Zygadło, 1984) and a 4-episode TV series (Piwnica pod Baranami Piotra Skrzyneckiego by Antoni Krauze, 2001) are dedicated to him.[3] In 1998, Joanna Olczak-Ronikier published his biography, entitled Piotr .[2]

Three monuments to Skrzynecki exist, out of which the most prominent is a life-sized statue of him on the Market Square in Kraków.[4]

He received several awards through his life.[2] He has been awarded the honorary citizenship of the city of Kraków.[1] Since his death, his birthday and nameday are celebrated with "Koncerty dla Piotra S." (Concerts for Piotr S.) events.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Steve Crawshaw (1997-06-13). "Obituary: Piotr Skrzynecki - People - News". The Independent. Retrieved 2012-03-15. 
  2. ^ a b c JR. "Wystawa Piwnica". Bg.agh.edu.pl. Retrieved 2012-03-15. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Monika Mokrzycka-Pokora. "Piotr Skrzynecki - Pełna baza wiedzy na tematy związane z filmem - magazyn". Culture.pl. Retrieved 2012-03-15. 
  4. ^ "Piotr Skrzynecki". Teatry.art.pl. Retrieved 2012-03-15. 

External links[edit]