GLORIA ARTIS GOLD MEDAL FOR KRZYSZTOF PASTOR
The director of the Polish National Ballet, Krzysztof Pastor has been awarded a Gloria Artis Gold Medal for service to culture for his choreographic achievements around the world and for his artistic and organizational effort to raise the prestige of ballet art in Poland. He received the medal from Minister of Culture and National Heritage Bogdan Zdrojewski on 22 June 2011.
The Gloria Artis medals for service to culture are granted to individuals who have contributed in a special way to the arts, cultural activity or to protecting national culture and heritage. Apart from Krzysztof Pastor, gold medals were also presented to the writer Olgierd Budrewicz, the theatre studies scholar Janusz Degler, and the conductor Henryk Wojnarowski.
Photo: Ewa Krasucka
SCULPTURE OF VASLAV AND BRONISLAVA NIJINSKY GRACES THE TEATR WIELKI’S FOYER
On 11 June 2011, during the intermission of the premiere of Le Sacre du Printemps, Poland’s first sculpture of the legendary Polish dancers / choreographers, Vaslav Nijinsky and his sister Bronislava Nijinska was unveiled in the Teatr Wielki’s foyer, in their famous roles of the Faun and the Nymph from the ballet L’après-midi d’un faune. Commissioned by the Polish National Ballet, it was made in bronze by the well-known Ukrainian sculptor Gennadij Jerszow - the same sculptor whose statuettes of the dancing Wojciech Wiesiołłowski are presented to the main prize winners of the Polish National Dance Competition in Gdańsk. The sculpture for the Teatr Wielki was financed by GDF SUEZ Energia Polska.
The official unveiling was performed by Waldemar Dąbrowski, general director of the Teatr Wielki - Polish National Opera, accompanied by Krzysztof Pastor, director of the Polish National Ballet, and Grzegorz Górski, president of GDF SUEZ Energia Polska SA. To mark the occasion, the Theatre Museum prepared a small exhibition of archival materials entitled Poles in Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, as a reminder that a few dozen Polish dancers, Vaslav Nijinsky and his sister Bronislava being the most prominent among them, performed in Diaghilev’s ballet company in 1909-1929.
The sculpture of the Nijinskys will stay as a permanent element of the Teatr Wielki’s reception rooms, in remembrance of the two greatest Polish ballet personalities whose talent flourished and brought them fame as dancers and choreographers of Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes.
Photo by Tomasz Ośka
VASLAV NIJINSKY – EMANUEL GAT – MAURICE BÉJART
The Polish National Ballet offers a triple serving of The Rite of Spring
at the Teatr Wielki on the 100th anniversary of Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes
This will be an unprecedented premiere. No ballet company in the world so far has decided to offer its audiences a single ballet evening with three different choreographies of Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. The very first time this happens will be at the Teatr Wielki, and it promises to be sensational. From among more than 200 different choreographies designed for different productions around the world, for our show we have chosen the two most famous ones that today are part of the repertoire canon of contemporary ballet. We will present Vaslav Nijinsky’s revolutionary world-premiere version of “scenes from pagan Russia” (1913) as reconstructed by Millicent Hodson. You will also see the legendary choreographic interpretation, half a century younger, of Maurice Béjart (1959), who called it a universal “hymn to the uniting of man and woman, the connection of heaven and earth, the dance of life and death”. Between them we will show you one of the latest versions, the original choreography by Emanuel Gat (2004) in which extra fire is provided by the Latin American salsa.
Our company’s best dancers are involved in the Polish National Ballet’s project. The Polish National Opera Orchestra will be trained and conducted by Łukasz Borowicz. The production is being prepared by a whole team of foreign ballet masters: Millicent Hodson herself, who is personally staging her reconstruction of Nijinsky’s choreography, Emanuel Gat’s assistants: Mia Alon, Roy Assaf and Michael Löhr, and experts on Béjart’s choreography: Tony Fabre, Kyra Kharkevitch and Domenico Levré. The premiere will take place at the Teatr Wielki on 11 June 2011, followed by performances on 12, 19, 21 June and, after a break, in February and March 2012.
With its triple production of The Rite of Spring, the Polish National Ballet is joining the international celebration of the 100th anniversary of Sergei Diaghilev’s famous company, Les Ballets Russes. Around the world, different projects are linked to different events from a hundred years ago, such as the first Russian Seasons in Paris that Diaghilev organized in 1909 and 1910, the formation of the regular company Les Ballets Russes de Diaghilev in Monte Carlo (1911), or the subsequent premieres of L’après-midi d’un faune (1912), The Rite of Spring (1913), etc. We are drawing on Diaghilev’s founding of Les Ballets Russes because half of the company members - as few people remember today - were Polish dancers, graduates of the then ballet school of the Teatr Wielki. And, we are staging The Rite of Spring as the greatest choreographic work by Vaslav Nijinsky.
As an added attraction, during these performances members of the audience will be able to buy the new edition of Vaslav Nijinsky’s famous Diary in a Polish translation by Grzegorz Wiśniewski, a publication that has long been out of print. It is being released in a new series published by the Teatr Wielki - Polish National Opera Library in association with Axis Mundi publishing house.
Pictured: Vaslav Nijinsky, Emanuel Gat, and Maurice Béjart
Krzysztof Pastor’s Dangerous Liaisons in Brno
Krzysztof Pastor’s ballet Dangerous Liaisons will soon have its third production. The Polish choreographer created this project in 2006 for the Latvian National Ballet in Riga. The original music was written by the well-known Latvian composer Arturs Maskats, to the duo’s jointly written libretto based on the famous novel by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos. The ballet premiered in Poland at Poznań’s Teatr Wielki on 22 October 2010. The present Czech premiere of Pastor and Maskats’ Dangerous Liaisons is being prepared by the Leoš Jánaček National Theatre in Brno. The conductor is Pavel Šnajdr from the State Opera in Prague, the ballet’s producer is the Latvian soloist Aleksei Avechkin who is also Pastor’s assistant, and the stage designer is the same as in Poznań - the Czech artist Jan Polivka. The Brno premiere is scheduled for 27 May 2011.
Photos: Agnieszka Wolna and Dominik Muśko (1) and Mateusz Sierant and Shino Sakurado (2) in the Poznań production of Krzysztof Pastor’s Dangerous Liaisons.
Photos by Katarzyna Zalewska
DOMINIKA KRYSZTOFORSKA AND MAKSIM WOITIUL TO RECEIVE GLORIA ARTIS MEDALS FOR SERVICE TO CULTURE
International Dance Day 2011 yielded prestigious awards for the Polish National Ballet’s leading artists. The Minister of Culture and National Heritage has granted two of our company’s principal dancers Gloria Artis medals for service to culture for their significant ballet achievements on the Teatr Wielki’s stage.
Dominika Krysztoforska, whose career at the Teatr Wielki began in 1994, has been awarded a Gloria Artis Silver Medal. Maksim Woitiul, who has been working with our company since 1998, will receive a Gloria Artis Bronze Medal for service to culture. The awards were granted at the initiative of the Polish National Ballet’s management and upon a motion from the Dance and Ballet Section of the Association of Polish Stage Artists (ZASP). The official presentation of the medals took place on 9 May 2011 at the ZASP’s Warsaw office.
Pictured: Dominika Krysztoforska and Maksim WoItiul in their latest dance roles in Krzysztof Pastor’s ballet And the Rain Will Pass... to music by Henryk Mikołaj Górecki and with director Krzysztof Pastor after the presentation of the medals
Photo by Ewa Krasucka
Robert Gabdullin Will Dance Solor and Benvolio
He was a pupil and soloist of the Nutcracker Children’s Ballet Theatre in Yekaterinburg, and later the leading dancer of the city’s Opera and Ballet Theatre. In 2006 he received the Marius Petipa Prize “for purity and academism of classical dance” in the Arabesque Russian Ballet Artists’ Competition, and was appointed principal dancer of the Pyotr Tchaikovsky Opera and Ballet Theatre in Perm. A year later he unexpectedly stood in for the Danish soloist Johan Kobborg who was injured during the Russian tour of the star-studded Kings of the Dance programme from New York, and he received the prestigious, independent Triumph Prize in Moscow for his performance. In 2008 he won third prize in the Arabesque Competition. During his four seasons spent in Perm, he danced many leading roles from the great ballet repertoire: Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, La Sylphide, Giselle, Don Quixote, The Corsair, Cinderella, Romeo and Juliet. He also danced the title part in The Spirit of the Rose, the Poet in Chopiniana, Jason in Medea, and solo parts in choreographies by Balanchine and Robbins. He was the darling of Perm’s critics and audiences, and also gave guest performances at Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre and theatres in other countries.
Aged 28 today, Gabdullin has never had the opportunity to dance the part of Solor in La Bayadère. He debuted in this role on 30 April at the Teatr Wielki - he has been a soloist of the Polish National Ballet. This was the latest in a series of parts he has danced in Warsaw, which include solos in the ballets Kurt Weill, Kisses, And the Rain Will Pass…, and the leading role of the Prince in Cinderella. He will also perform on 12 and 14 May, dancing the part of Benvolio in Romeo and Juliet.
AND THE RAIN WILL PASS...
A New Ballet by Krzysztof Pastor
Krzysztof Pastor, director of the Polish National Ballet, has prepared another project to the music of the great Polish composer Henryk Mikołaj Górecki. Following his earlier choreographic interpretations of Symphony No. 3 (Symphony of Sorrowful Songs) in Warsaw (1994) and Amsterdam (1996), and the Harpsichord Concerto (in the ballet Moving Rooms) in Amsterdam (2008), this time he has chosen four other pieces by the same composer: Beatus vir, Quasi una fantasia, Kleines Requiem für eine Polka, and the third movement from Salve, sidus Polonorum. Together, they form the musical fabric of Pastor’s new full-length ballet And the Rain Will Pass…, the choreographer’s poetic commentary on Poland’s difficult social and historical experiences. The ballet’s title is a phrase taken from a beautiful poem called Rain by the legendary Polish poet Krzysztof Kamil Baczyński (1921-1944) who was killed at a young age in the early days of the Warsaw Uprising. The world premiere of this ballet was presented at the Teatr Wielki on 27 March 2011. The show featured the Polish National Ballet’s soloists and dancers as well as Dutch star Rubi Pronk as a guest dancer. The Polish National Opera Orchestra was conducted by Wojciech Michniewski.
Photo: Ewa Krasucka
ALEKSANDA LIASHENKO RECEIVES NOMINATION FOR THE “BALLET OSCAR” DIRECTOR KRZYSZTOF PASTOR HAS BEEN INVITED TO BE PART OF THE JURY
Aleksandra Liashenko, first soloist with the Polish National Ballet, has received a nomination for the prestigious dance award “Benois de la Danse '2011”. In the category “best female dancer” Liashenko was nominated for her interpretation of the role of Cinderella in Frederick Ashton's Cinderella at the Wielki Theatre in Warsaw. Krzysztof Pastor, director of the Polish National Ballet, has been invited to be in the jury of the “Benois de la Danse '2011”. The winners will be announced on 24 May 2011 at a gala at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. Our first soloist has been invited to perform at the gala.
The “Benois de la Danse” (also known as the “Ballet Oscar”) is the most important international ballet award. It was founded in Moscow in 1991 by the International Dance Association (now the International Dance Union). Since 1992, the award has been given to the most outstanding choreographer, male dancer, female dancer, ballet composer and ballet designer of the previous year. Every so often, a “life achievement award” is presented as well. Since 1996, the “Benois de la Danse” has been part of UNESCO's World Decade of Culture. The awards will be presented for the nineteenth time this year.
Photos by Ewa Krasucka and Justyna Mielniczuk
RUBI PRONK RETURNS TO WARSAW
Dutch dance star Rubi Pronk is working with the Polish National Ballet again. In autumn 2009 he carried Warsaw audiences away with his unique dance individuality, as a special guest of the premiere and subsequent performances of Krzysztof Pastor’s ballet Kurt Weill. At the time, he accepted a proposal to continue working with the Polish National Ballet as a regular guest dancer in the 2010/11 season. He appeared in Kurt Weill again in October 2010, and Krzysztof Pastor invited him to take part in his new choreographic project, And the Rain Will Pass… to music by Henryk Mikołaj Górecki. He began rehearsals at the Teatr Wielki in February. Today he divides his time between Warsaw and New York, where he is working with his stage partner, U.S. star Drew Jacoby, on their new programme featuring a small group of dancers. After a short concert tour of the United States (Charleston, Miami, Burlington, New Bedford), he returns to the Teatr Wielki in March to take part in the final rehearsals and first performances of Krzysztof Pastor’s new ballet (world premiere: 27 March 2011). After that, his plans include guest performances in ballet galas in Wiesbaden, Hong Kong, Seoul, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Sarasota, and Kansas City.
Photos: Rubi Pronk in rehearsal with the Polish National Ballet
Photos by Ewa Krasucka
AFTERNOON WITH OLGA SAWICKA
A meeting with the famous Polish prima ballerina to celebrate International Dance Day
The meeting’s host will be Stefan Drajewski, a journalist and co-author of Olga Sawicka’s book Życie z tańcem (Living with Dance).
International Dance Day is celebrated around the world on 29 April. This festival of dance art was established in 1981 by the International Theatre Institute (ITI) founded by UNESCO. It always falls on 29 April, the anniversary of the birth of the great ballet reformer, French choreographer Jean-Georges Noverre (1727-1810), who is widely recognized as the “father of ballet theatre”. To mark the occasion, every year the ITI publishes an international address signed by a prominent representative of contemporary dance art. On this day ballet companies present premieres, gala performances, ballet concerts, and other events, while leading dance artists are honoured with a wide variety of artistic awards.
This year the Polish National Ballet has invited the famous Polish ballet star OLGA SAWICKA, unforgettable ballerina of the Warsaw Opera, soloist of the French group Étoiles de Paris, and prima ballerina of the Poznań Opera, to be their guest at the Teatr Wielki on this special day. Sawicka received ovations in Paris, Monte Carlo, Moscow, Vienna, Stockholm, Oslo, and other cities across Europe. In Helsinki reviewers described her as “a girl who is all poem”. She delighted Paris: “You have to see Olga Sawicka - poetry that has become dance, a dancer with such perfect technique that you don’t notice it, she floats in space like Théophile Gautier’s Sylphide” (Le Figaro). “Olga Sawicka is a brilliant artist. Lyrical, extraordinarily harmonious, focused but also full of expression, with the world’s most beautiful arms, fluidity, sweetness, musicality. She should let herself be swept away by one of the great companies: the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow, Sadler’s Wells in London, or the Grand Opéra in Paris (Le Carréfour). She did not let them “sweep her away” to another country, she wanted to return to the Warsaw stage, but her hopes were in vain. In the end, in 1963 she accepted Conrad Drzewiecki’s invitation and became the principal dancer of the Poznań Opera, where she ended her dancing career ten years later. She recently captured her fans’ attention with the beautiful edition of her book Życie z tańcem (Living with Dance), written together with Stefan Drajewski, in which she speaks frankly about and comments on the most important events of her artistic career.
Our Afternoon with Olga Sawicka in the Redutowe Rooms will be preceded by the prima ballerina’s visit to the Polish National Ballet company, and will conclude with her honorary presence at the evening performance of La Bayade`re in a production designed by Natalia Makarova. We treat this meeting with the famous ballerina as her symbolic return to the Warsaw stage and a long-deserved tribute to the artist by the Polish National Ballet and Warsaw audiences. Olga Sawicka and Stefan Drajewski’s book will be on sale at a promotional price. Free tickets to the meeting are available from the Teatr Wielki advance sales ticket office as of 21 March. The number of places is limited.
Fot. Adam Bernard
Star of the American contemporary ballet “Holland’s sexiest ballet dancer ever”
is special guest dancer of the Polish National Ballet in performances of Krzysztof Pastor's “Kurt Weill” on 30th and 31st October 2010
Rubinald Rofino Pronk was born and raised in The Hague, Netherlands. He received his training at the Royal Conservatory of Dance and joined the Dutch National Ballet at 16, where he danced as a soloist and performed works by several leading choreographers such as William Forsythe, George Balanchine, Martha Graham, Frederick Ashton, Paul Lightfoot, Krzysztof Pastor, Sol Leon, and Jacopo Godani, to name a few. In 2006 he joined Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson’s Complexions Contemporary Ballet in New York City, where he toured extensively and performed works by Dwight Rhoden and Ulysses Dove. His awards include the prestigious Alexandre Radius Prize for the best dancer of Holland and two nominations for the VSCD “Silver Swan” award for best performance of the year. „Elsevier” Magazine named him “Holland’s sexiest ballet dancer ever”. Pronk is also principal dancers with Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company in New York City and guest artists with Dutch National Ballet.
Rubin Pronk in Krzysztof Pastor's Kurt Weill, photo: Ewa Krasucka
2nd Days of Dance at the Teatr Wielki: 7-23 September 2010
Many leading ballet companies and dance theatres have performed at the Teatr Wielki. In 2009, with the inception of the Polish National Ballet, we decided to make these visits a cyclic event and organize the annual Days of Dance. These are held in September before the official opening of the season at the Polish National Opera. The second festival of dance at the Teatr Wielki will feature two ballet companies, four dance theatres, and young ballet artists - a total of more than 20 choreographies, from large-scale shows to small dance miniatures.
This year’s review focuses on a few themes we feel are important. We remember the 100th anniversary of the death of the father of classical ballet, Marius Petipa, by inviting you to see his famous Don Quixote in a new choreographic arrangement by Boris Eifman. We also remember the Chopin Year, showing how it was celebrated by Polish ballet companies, dance theatres, and Warsaw ballet school students. We touch on the difficult problem of ageing in dance (The Old Man and the Old Woman), an art in which youthful energy and physical fitness are age-old and inalienable elements. We juxtapose the latest Polish dance theatre projects with our Belarusian neighbours’ exploration of this genre. Finally, with the Polish National Ballet’s two evenings from the previous season (Bach Dances, Alpha and More), we present new directions in the ballet company’s activity under Krzysztof Pastor’s leadership.
7 September, 7 p.m. (Chamber Stage)
Polish National Ballet
ALPHA AND MORE
1. WHEN YOU END AND I BEGIN...
Choreography ROBERT BONDARA. Music PAWEŁ SZYMAŃSKI
2. IN SEARCH OF COLOURS
Choreography JACEK TYSKI. Music GRAŻYNA BACEWICZ
3. ALPHA KRYONIA XE
Choreography JACEK PRZYBYŁOWICZ. Music ALEKSANDRA GRYKA
8, 9, 10 September, 7 p.m.
St Petersburg Ballet Theatre, Russia
DON QUIXOTE, or THE FANTASIES OF A MADMAN
Choreography BORIS EIFMAN. Music LUDWIG MINKUS
11 September, 7.30 p.m. (Chamber Stage)
Theatre of the Contemporary Choreography D.O.Z.SK.I, Belarus
Choreography DMITRY ZALESSKY, OLGA SKVORTSOVA. Music COLLAGE
14 September, 6 p.m. (Chamber Stage)
Ballet School in Warsaw
DANCES WITH CHOPIN
Choreography MAŁGORZATA BOROWIEC, JOSÉ LIMÓN, ZOFIA RUDNICKA, JACEK TYSKI.
Music FRYDERYK CHOPIN
17 September, 7.30 p.m. (Chamber Stage)
Theatrical Institute in Warsaw
THE OLD MAN AND THE OLD WOMAN
Direction AGNIESZKA BŁOŃSKA. Choreography ANNA GODOWSKA. Music JULES BUSHELL
18 September, 12 noon & 7 p.m.
Polish National Ballet
1. THE KISSES
Choreography EMIL WESOŁOWSKI. Music JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH
2. CONCERTO BAROCCO
Choreography GEORGE BALANCHINE. Music JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH
3. THE GREEN
Choreography ED WUBBE. Music JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH
4. IN LIGHT AND SHADOW
Choreography KRZYSZTOF PASTOR. Music JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH
Conductor MODESTAS PITRÉNAS, Orchestra & Chorus of the Polish National Opera
19 September, 5.30 p.m. (Chamber Stage)
Polish Dance Theatre – Poznań Ballet
CHOPIN FRESH FRUITS
Choreography ANDRZEJ ADAMCZAK. Music FRYDERYK CHOPIN
19 September, 7.30 p.m. (Chamber Stage)
Polish Dance Theatre – Poznań Ballet
1. CHOPIN DIFFERENTLY
Choreography KRYSTYNA MAZURÓWNA. Music FRYDERYK CHOPIN, KASPER T. TOEPLITZ
2. THOUSAND COLOURS
Choreography TAKAKO MATSUDA. Music FRYDERYK CHOPIN
22 September, 8 p.m. & 23 September, 7 p.m.
Polish National Ballet
CHOPIN, THE ROMANTIC ARTIST
Choreography PATRICE BART. Music HECTOR BERLIOZ, FRYDERYK CHOPIN, MANUEL DE FALLA, SERGEY LAPUNOV, FERENC LISZT, FRANZ SCHUBERT, ROBERT SCHUMANN
Conductor TADEUSZ KOZŁOWSKI, Orchestra & Chorus of the Polish National Opera
Polish National Ballet Gave
Guest Performances in Shanghai and Bergen
After its recent guest performances at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg (3 and 4 July) as part of the 18th Stars of the White Nights Music Festival, the Polish National Ballet appeared in Shanghai and Bergen this September.
At the Shanghai Oriental Art Center on 11 and 12 September, the company gave two performances of Chopin, the Romantic Artist, a ballet choreographed by Patrice Bart, accompanied by the Shanghai symphony orchestra conducted by Tadeusz Kozłowski, with a guest appearance by the famous Polish pianist Krzysztof Jabłoński. The performances in China were organized by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute as part of the international celebration of the Chopin Year and the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai.
Soon afterwards, on 26, 27 and 28 September, at Den Nye Opera in Bergen the ballet company gave three performances of its chamber ballet evening Alpha and More, featuring choreographies by Robert Bondara (When You End and I Begin...), Jacek Tyski (In Search of Colours), and Jacek Przybyłowicz (Alpha Kryonie Xe) to the music of Paweł Szymański, Grażyna Bacewicz, and Aleksandra Gryka. This visit was the effect of a Polish-Norwegian artistic project in which the Teatr Wielki earlier presented the premiere of an opera and ballet evening featuring Ophelias: Death by Water Singing by Henrik Hellstenius, Shakespeare's Sonnets by Paweł Mykietyn, and Alpha Kryonia Xe by Aleksandra Gryka.
Promotions for the Season 2010-2011
Guest dancers in the season 2010-2011
MARIANELA NÚÑEZ (Royal Ballet)
RUBI PRONK (Het Nationale Ballet)
THIAGO SOARES (Royal Ballet)
Guests Ballet Masters and Teachers for the Season 2010-2011
MIA ALON (Emanuel Gat Dance)
ROY ASSAF (Emanuel Gat Dance)
WENDY ELLIS SOMES (Royal Ballet)
STEVEN ETIENNE (Het Nationale Ballet)
TONY FABRE (Béjart Ballet Lausanne)
NATALIA HOFFMANN (Het Nationale Ballet)
KYRA KHARKEVITCH (Béjart Ballet Lausanne)
DOMENICO LEVRÉ (Béjart Ballet Lausanne)
MICHAEL LÖHR (Emanuel Gat Dance)
PIOTR NARDELLI (Ballet du XXe Sie`cle)
OLIVIER PATEY (Ballet de l'Opera de Paris)
MALIN THOORS (Ballet de l'Opéra de Paris)
ANDRZEJ ZIEMSKI (Ballet du XXe Sie`cle)