Polish Dance Theatre
The Polish Dance Theatre was founded in 1973, it is professional and autonomic collective, it’s countenance evolved from the ballet-shaped spectacle forms to contemporary genres: dance theatre, characterized by crossing over genres, as well as technical and stylistic borders, liberating itself from traditional methods of expression, leaning toward interdisciplinarity, pursuing new theatre spaces and improvisation based process of creation.
Iwona Pasińska is a choreographer, movement dramatist, theatre theorist, artistic director of Movements Factory and co-founder of the Movements Factory Foundation.
She graduated from the Feliks Parnell Ballet School in Łódź. She holds a degree in theatre theory from the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, where she also did her PhD, focusing on the experience of the body in contemporary theatre from the perspective of dance theatre. In her research she focuses on movement and body expression in performative spaces.
In 1997 Pasińska became the principal dancer of the Polish Dance Theatre (PTT) – Poznań Ballet. A year later she won the Leon Wójcikowski Medal for the most outstanding young dancer. At PTT she mainly danced leading or solo roles. She performed in Ewa Wycichowska’s Niebezpieczne związki [Dangerous Liaisons], Daina, Trans … Nieprawdziwe zdarzenie progresywne [Trans ... A Fictitious Progressive Occurrence], Carpe Diem, Wiosna–Effatha [Spring–Effatha]; Jacek Przybyłowicz’s Naszyjnik gołębicy [Ring of the Dove] and Barocco; Rafał Dziemidok’s Medea; Magdalena Reiter’s 36,5°; Mats Ek’s Pół dnia Pół nocy [Half Day Half Night], Yossi Berg’s Wo-man w pomidorach [Wo-man in Tomatoes]; Birgit Cullberg’s Romeo i Julia [Romeo and Juliet]; Virpi Pahkinen’s Zefirum; Susanne Jaresand’s En face; Thierry Verger’s Lato [Summer]; Grey Veredon’s Sługa dwóch panów [Servant of Two Masters]; and Jerzy Makarowski’s Carmen. She worked for PTT until 2008.
Since 2002 she has displayed interest in movement composition, dramaturgy of body expression and choreography, which materialised in the form of three productions premiered at the Atelier of Polish Dance Theatre: Gra I. Czas [Game I. Time], Moment:gra [Moment: game], Gramy x3 [We Play x3].
In 2008, together with Marcin Maćkiewicz, producer and culture promoter, Pasińska founded Movements Factory. With the ensemble she produced Pustynia pary [Steam desert] (Archipelag Malta, 2008), Gramy 4 U [We Play 4 U] (a collaboration with Czesław Mozil as part of madeinpoznan.doc, 2009), Saligia, 7 grzechów miejskich [Saligia. 7 Urban Sins] (an open-air performance in urban spaces, Malta Festival, 2009). In 2010 she created two pieces for Movements Factory: Trop: DaNce as Art (premiered at Teatr Wielki in Poznań), named the most interesting dance theatre event of 2010 by Teatr magazine, and BodyLand (produced on invitation from Teatr 8 Dnia as part of the project Drugie miasto).
Since 2010 she has been collaborating as choreographer or movement dramaturge with dramatic theatres, operas and alternative theatres, including: Teatr Wielki in Poznań, where she also directed Piotruś i wilki [Peter and the Wolves], Teatr Wybrzeże, Teatr Współczesny in Szczecin, Teatr Ochoty in Warsaw, Teatr Powszechny in Warsaw, Opera Nova in Bydgoszcz, Teatr Lubuski in Zielona Góra, and Teatr Modrzejewskiej in Legnica. In dramatic theatre she has collaborated with Marcin Liber on Makbet [Macbeth], III Furie [Three Furies], Aleksandra. Rzecz o Piłsudskim [Alexandra: On Piłsudski]; with Piotr Kruszczyński on Wszystko, co chcielibyście powiedzieć po śmierci ojca, ale boicie się odezwać [All You’d Like to Say After Your Father’s Death But Are Afraid to Open Your Mouth] and Człowiek z Bogiem w szafie [A Man with God in His Wardrobe]; with Igor Gorzkowski on Burza [The Tempest], Starucha [The Old Woman], Zaćmienie [Eclipse], Wariat i zakonnica [The Madman and the Nun] and Kalino malino czerwona jagodo [Hey, guelder rose, raspberry, wine-coloured cranberry]; and with Bartosz Frąckowiak on Ksiądz H., czyli Anioły w Amsterdamie [Father H., or Angels in Amsterdam]. In opera Pasińska has collaborated with Natalia Babińska on Halka and Demetrio; with Ignacio Garcia on Hamlet; with Michał Znaniecki on Bal maskowy [A Masked Ball] and Mandragora; with Monika Dobrowlańska on Ophelia; and with Piotr Bogusław Jędzrejczak on Św. Franciszek i Wilk z Gubio [St. Francis and the Wolf of Gubbio]. She has also performed in a range of dramatic plays: Histericon directed by Piotr Kruszczyński (Teatr Polski, Poznań), Dziady [Forefathers’ Eve] directed by Maciej Prus (Teatr Polski, Poznań), Szekspir… albo co chceta [Shakespeare or ... whateva] directed by Andrzej Dziuk, and Krwawe gody [Blood Wedding] directed by Jan Szurmiej. She has also acted as assistant to Claudia Castellucci of Societas Raffaello Sanzio in the process of production of The Rite of Spring.
In 2011 she was involved in the design of the pre-match ceremonies for the UEFA Euro 2012 which Poland hosted. In 2012 she prepared choreographies for the Euro 2012 pre-match ceremonies in Poznań.
In 2015 she established Movements Factory Foundation. In 2016 she has become the Director of the Polish Dance Theatre.
The Polish Dance Theatre - Poznań Ballet was established in 1973 on the initiative of the city authorities and local artistic circles. The job of managing it was given to Conrad Drzewiecki, an outstanding dancer and choreographer.
Drzewiecki's 15 years at the helm were characterised by pioneer accomplishments which placed the Poznań Ballet among Europe's leading dance ensembles and opened the door to international ballet festivals.
In 1988 Ewa Wycichowska took over as the manager and artistic director of the Polish Dance Theatre. Wycichowska, for many years the prima ballerina of the Wielki Theatre in Łódź, choreographer and teacher, had cooperated with numerous American, Italian and German ensembles and sat on the jury of many Polish and international ballet competitions.
Treating modern and contemporary dance as the basic movement material, Ewa Wycichowska developed an original concept of performance and choreography that aims at a synthesis of arts in which the choreographic, dramatic, musical and visual layers meet and intermingle. She also made her own contribution to the idea of individualistic theatre and invited the cooperation of many distinguished artists from all over the world.
For some years now the Polish Dance Theatre has been perceived as a unique choreography forum, which has seen original choreographies by such artists as Birgit Cullberg, Mats Ek, Örjan Andersson, Jens Ostberg, Marie Brolin-Tani, Virpi Pahkinen (Sweden), "Les Carnetes Bogouet" (France), David Earle (Canada), Toru Shimazaki (Japan), Yossi Berg (Israel) and Jacek Przybyłowicz (Poland).
The Polish Dance Theatre's attractive repertoire, original dance language and contemporary theatre form have attracted universal praise from audiences all over the world.
From 1973 The Polish Dance Theatre, though based in Poznań, has remained faithful to its statutory obligation to promote the art of dancing and disseminate ballet culture throughout the country. And adding an educational perspective to its wide spectrum of interests, the theatre started organising the Contemporary Dance Workshops and the Contemporary Dance Biennale in years 1994-2016 and the International Festival of Dance Theatres from 2004, in the last years known as a Dancing Poznań.
PhD Iwona Pasińska choreographer, movement dramatist, theatre theorist is director of the Polish Dance Theatre from September 1st 2016. She has been associated with the Polish Dance Theater since 1989. It was here that she started her dance career and made her debut as a choreographer after graduating from the Lodz Ballet School. Currently Iwona Pasińska is a lecturer at the Academy of Theater in Warsaw. She is also involved in many projects as a choreographer and a dramatist in both Movement Factory Foundation and the theater in Poland.
Professor PhD Ewa Wycichowska
Ewa Wycichowska is a dancer, choreographer, teacher, professor of music and head of the Dance Department at the Fryderyk Chopin Music University in Warsaw.
She has graduated from the State Ballet College in Poznań and Warsaw Music Academy (methodology of dance teaching); she has also studied modern dance at L’Academy Internationale de la Dance in Paris.
Wycichowska used to be the principal dancer of the Grand Theatre in Łódź. At the same time she is an author of more than 70 choreographies staged in Poland, Italy, Germany, the Czech Republic and the USA. She is a founder and the artistic director of Dancing Poznań (combining International Contemporary Dance Workshops, Contemporary Dance Biennale, and International Dance Theatres’ Festival). She acts as juror in Polish and international dance competitions, serves as expert for the ministry of culture, member of the International Dance Council (CID-UNESCO), and president of the Polish Choreotherapy Association. She was the general and artistic director of the Polish Dance Theatre in the years 1988-2016.
Ewa Wycichowska is one of few Polish dancers to have achieved success on ballet stages worldwide, both in classical and contemporary repertoire. She has danced title roles in Romeo and Juliet (choreography: Borkowski), Giselle (choreography: Coralli/Perrot/Piasecki), Coppellia (choreography: Kujawa), The Wayward Daughter (choreography: Papliński), as well as main parts in The Green Table (choreography: Joos), Gayané (choreography: Ejfman), Medea (choreography: Kujawa), The Firebird (choreography: Drzewiecki), Snow White (choreography: Borkowski), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (choreography: Veredon), Wolfgang Amadeus (choreography: Veredon), Carmen (choreography: Makarowski), Faust goes rock and Possessed Violin Player to her own choreography. She is recognised by audiences on every continent, and has represented the Polish art of dance at festivals in the USA, Canada, Peru, Mongolia, France, Greece, Spain, Israel, Great Britain, Turkey, Italy, Finland, Georgia, Russia, Japan and Brazil.
She debuted as choreographer in 1980 with the piece Głos kobiecy (z nieznanej poetki) [Female Voice (by An Unknown Poet)] to Krzysztof Knittl’s music, staged at the Grand Theatre in Łódź. She has received the Wyspianski Youth Award (first degree), Medal Commemorating The 200th Anniversary of Polish Ballet, Vaslav Nijinsky Medal, Fringe First Special Award in Edinburgh (with PTT), “Ad Perpetuam Rei Memoriam” Medal, Special Golden Mask Award from the critics of the City of Łódź, Grand Prix of the 3rd Polish Drama Competition (with PTT), three audience awards at the festival Zamość Theatre Summer (with PTT), Polish Society of Authors and Composers Award for extraordinary choreographic achievements, Award of the Polish Theatre Critics Section of the International Theatre Institute ITI – UNESCO for the promotion of Polish theatre culture abroad, Terpsichore Award from the Artists of Polish Scenes Society, Gloria Artis Silver Medal, Special Award of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage in appreciation of her contribution to Polish culture.
In the Polish artistic community Ewa Wycichowska is considered a synonym of professional passion, constant artistic exploration and creative courage. The world’s most remarkable choreographers are accepting her invitation to cooperation, i.a. Birgit Cullberg, Mats Ek, Örjan Andersson, Karine Saporta, Ohad Naharin.
Wycichowska also collaborated as choreographer with numerous prominent film, theatre and opera directors, including Jerzy Jarocki, Erwin Axer, Maciej Prus, Krzysztof Zanussi, Krzysztof Kieślowski, Jerzy Kawalerowicz, Adam Hanuszkiewicz, Krystyna Janda, Krzysztof Zaleski and Eugeniusz Korin.
Conrad Drzewiecki – an outstanding dancer and choreographer, teacher, founder of the Polish Dance Theatre (PTT) – Poznań Ballet. He was born on 14 October 1926 in Poznań. A winner of many foreign awards – including Silver Medal at the International Dance Competition in Bucharest (with Teresa Kujawa – 1953), Gold Medal at the International Dance Competition in Warsaw (1955), Primo Premio Assoluto at the International Ballet Competition in Vercelli (1956) and Prix Italia for the film “Gry” – as well as Polish awards: “Terpsychora” for lifetime achievement and Golden Medal Gloria Artis.
From 1951 Drzewiecki was a ballet soloist of the Opera in Poznań, and in 1956 he moved to the Western Europe. His next stops were Naples and Paris. He cooperated with the best French groups, travelling with them all over the world. He danced in choreographies of Fokin, Balanchine, Limon, Lifar and Roland Petit. He studied classical, folk and contemporary dance without a break.
He returned to Poland in 1963 where he became ballet director of the Opera in Poznań managed by Robert Satanowski. His choreographies of the time went down in history: The Firebird by Stravinsky (1967), The Adagio for violin and strings (1967), Pavane for a Dead Princess (1968) and The Miraculous Mandarin (1970) by Béla Bartók.
He introduced – already while working for the Opera in Poznań – elements of modern dance to his works, as in Rhapsody in Blue. As a teacher at the Secondary Ballet School in Poznań he became the pioneer teacher of modern dance techniques. In 1971–1980 he was its artistic director.
In 1973 he became director of the Polish Dance Theatre – Poznań Ballet, a new group created within the Opera in Poznań. At the same time eight performances from a former repertoire of the Opera in Poznań were added to the repertoire of the Polish Dance Theatre. He made from the Polish Dance Theatre an individual company; he created his own inimitable style – combing modern dance technique with classical and folk inspirations. The first performance created for this new institution was Epitafium dla Juana with music by Edward Rudnik.
Conrad Drzewiecki often used Polish contemporary music. He created performances with music by Mieczysław Karłowicz – Odwieczne pieśni (1973), Wojciech Kilar – Krzesany (1977), Karol Szymanowski – Song of the Night (1977) or Krzysztof Penderecki – Stabat mater (1976). He also created performances with music of Chopin, Beethoven and Schubert. In the eighties he sometimes used light music: The Beatles (Yesterday, 1982), Pink Floyd (Wir) or music by a Polish multi-instrumentalist and rock musician Józef Skrzek. Interestingly, Drzewiecki prepared stage design for many of his performances.
The first director of the Polish Dance Theatre often co-operated with tv. A television version of Krzesany was created in 1979 and in 1978 – Pavane for a Dead Princess.Pieśni (1976) and two performances created during his work at the Grand Theatre in Poznań Gry (1970) and Adagio (1969) were also recorded.
The group went on tours throughout Europe and was invited to such international festivals as: International Dance Festival in Paris and Chateauvallon, Baletto Oggi in Bari, Musica Sacra in Milan, Intercontri Musicali Romani, Bregener Festspiele and Berliner Festtage.
Drzewiecki received many awards as the director of PTT: Certificate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; 1st Level National Prize for Promotion of Polish Culture Abroad; ITI Certificate for Promotion of Polish Art Abroad; Award of the City of Poznań for Outstanding Achievements in Culture and Arts; the title “For Merit to Polish Culture” and others.
He retired in 1987 after fourteen years of fruitful and intense work as the director. His assistant took over as acting director and one year later Ewa Wycichowska became director of PTT. Drzewiecki created his last performances for the Polish Dance Theatre – Pieśń Roksany and Śmierć Izoldy – ten years later in 1998 on the 25th Anniversary of the Theatre.