She has been active as a stage artist for over 20 years. She is a dancer, choreographer, dance teacher and co-founder of the Zawirowania Dance Theatre - the first steadily operating contemporary dance group in Warsaw.
In 1980, Piorun graduated from the State Ballet School in Warsaw. She is a long-term dancer of the Ballet of the Grand Theatre in Warsaw, and has been a soloist of this theatre since 1987 . She also studied dance pedagogics at the Warsaw Music Academy. Elwira Piorun has had main roles in such plays as Giselle, Fortepianissimo and Nienasycenie (Insatiablility). Her favourite technique used in almost all of her choreographies is modern dance, however she teaches also classical dance, pilates and elements of yoga.
Elwira’s first fascination? Jiří Kylián and William Forsythe. 'I felt I discovered something! A revolutionary combination of the flow of contemporary energy with classic works. An important experience on the path leading to contemporary dance was constituted by work on Nienasycenie -a ballet to music by Tomasz Stańko. The performance was based on texts by Witkacy and choreographed by a friend of mine, Zofia Rudnicka. I made my mark on my role as the cabaret diva. Włodzimierz Kaczkowski worked on the script. So the idea to have my own group, such a group as Zawirowania is today, might have originated somewhere back in 1987' – Piorun told culture.pl.
New Places, New Paths
In 1989 the artist moved to Dortmund, where for six years she performed main parts in ballets by Jurek Makarowski and Ivan Vamos. She came back to the Grand Theatre in Warsaw in 1997. At this venue she presented her first choreographic works: Kindertotenlieder to Mahler’s music and Tylko raz w życiu (Only Once in a Lifetime), which was based on the biographies of Isadora Duncan and Sergei Yesenin. 'I danced a lot. I often performed main parts. I think Kindertotenlieder was the most personal perfomance of all. This piece was danced in a church. But I said goodbye to classical ballet firmly and without regret. Nevertheless there must be many habits and tendencies left in my body, which are sometimes a drawback but sometimes constitute an advantage' – said the dancer.
She also devised choreographies for a few operas put on by the Grand Theatre. After she left said institution she worked for a year at the Polish Dance Theatre in Poznań. She performed in several choreographies, eg. Barocco by Jackek Przybyłowicz, Tango with Lady M. and Cases of Mr Von K. by Ewa Wycichowska. Piorun choreographed If You Love – Kill in collaboration with The Polish Dance Theatre Atelier.
Presently, she acts as artistic director of the Zawirowania Dance Theatre. She participates in all of the productions by this contemporary dance group, and actively helps in the creation of choreographies. Until now the following performances were created: Hold Me Tight (2004), If You Love - Kill (2005), Nothing But Blue (2008), Chopin ambiente (2009), After Hours (2007), Innocent when you dream (2010), Closeness (2011), Of Water and of Air... (2012), The 50 Faces of Eva (2013), and Tomorrow (2014).
She is a co-organiser of the International Festival of Dance Theatres Zawirowania.
In 2013, she was invited to collaborate with Ido Tadmor and Rachel Erdos. Together the three artists prepared the two-part performance Rust & Engage, which was warmly received in Israel. More information about said show may be found here.
For many years she has been actively promoting and popularising modern dance in Warsaw. Except from the Festival of Dance Thetares Zawirowania, she organises Meetings with Dance Theatre at the cultural centre “Włochy”. She is an active dancer and takes part in the great majority of performances with her choreography. The dancer is strongly commited to teaching teenagers and organising workshops. She is one of the trainers at the National Ballet School and Egurrola Dance Studio.
Read also about Bartosz Figurski.
Sources: sent materials, own materials, edited by al.
Translated by: Marek Kępa