Dancer and author of dozens of contemporary dance choreographies, born in 1981. For over a decade, he has been working for the British Vincent Dance Theatre and leading a solo career in Poland.
He is considered one of the best creators on the Polish contemporary dance scene and has performed in numerous productions by choreographers such as Olga Cobos, Peter Mika, Catherine Guérin, Rebecca Murgi, Nicole Caccivio, Charlotte Vincent and Nigela Charnocka. Janusz Orlik told the portal taniecpolska.pl:
I don’t have a specific style, I’m interested in finding new means of expression that I may use. Music is the most important, it is the starting point from which I begin to work on every performance
He graduated from the Warsaw ballet school and continued his education at Brucknerkonservatorium Linz in Austria. During his studies, he began to work for the group of young dancers x.IDA Dance Co. Since 2002 he has been a permanent member of the Vincent Dance Theatre (Sheffield, UK).
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Since the beginning of his career, he has created his own choreographic works, which he presents in Poland and abroad. He is the author of the performances Exérese monobloc (2004), a bliźniego swego jak siebie samego (And Thy Neighbour as Thyself), which was created in the framework of the first edition of Solo Projekt 2006 (Old Brewery, Poznań) and Live on stage (2008).
Orlik wrote that the the last piece is a performance about the choices of an artist, about what he does, and how he presents and sells himself. The show tells about finding yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time, about the lack of ideas, their excess, about meeting the audience’s expectations, about creating too much, about doing too little. Live on stage is also about songs, dance, jokes, fooling around, mockery, skills and the lack thereof. The piece also tells about presentation and about going too far. Additionally the production is about serious performing – on stage, live:
A solo work is one of the most demanding forms of expression. A solo piece equals hard and lonely work. To me, Live on stage is the answer to a series of questions: can I make fun of myself, can I entertain the audience?'
On High Heels
In 2007 Janusz Orlik performed a part in a performance by the gymnastic association ‘nic’. Two years later, he participated in the show Happy ( in the Old Brewery, Poznań) , acting as assistant to choreographer Nigel Charnock. In 2010 Orlik took part in the performance Forces by the Kwaad Bloed group. In January 2011, together with artists from England, Bulgaria, Croatia and Greece, Orlik participated in a week-long residency in London, during which work on a Nigel Charnock production commenced under the working title Cold Tongue .
Orlik has also performed parts in shows such as Wysokie obcasy (High Heels; Kraków Opera, 2007), Alfa (Contemporary Dance Stage, Poznań 2009) and Folk (Fouetté Dance and Ballet School, Poznań 2009). In 2001, he was awarded 1st prize at the choreographic competition Das Podium (Linz, Austria) for his production Monodrama. This piece was also presented at the 3rd Gdańsk Young Choreographers’ Debuts. s
Polish Dancers in Beijing
In Poland, Orlik is best known for his reinterpretation of Stravinsky’s legendary Rite of Spring. The artist said:
This is my first group performance, I want the dancers to be fully committed and I want them to have an understanding of each other. I would like to work, provoke discussion, meet with the audience, entertain, move, touch and stimulate deeper thought. Thanks to the support of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute the performance was shown in Beijing along with other pieces.
Janusz Orlik regularly works in the framework of the Poznań program, Stary Browar Nowy Taniec (Old Brewery New Dance). Together with dance curator Joanna Leśnierowska the dancer has prepared the performance Insight which seeks to find a physical and visual representation for emotional states of alienation from the surrounding reality. By placing the protagonist in a simultaneously realistic and metaphorical space of a stage which is dense with micro gestures, shadows and voices, the show confronts the inner and outer world providing us with an insight into some ambiguous emotional states that are, nonetheless, familiar to us all. Translated into a powerful language of movement and image they draw us into a tense journey in the labyrinth of the human body that clashes, day after day, with the cacophony of the stimuli which surround it. The performance, supported by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute was shown in Beijing.
Since November 2015, Janusz Orlik together with Joanna Leśnierowska has been trailing South American traces in the biography of Yanka Rudzka, a dancer and choreographer so far completely unknown in Poland. In Salvador the artist is considered the mother of modern dance – she was the first choreographer to combine modern dance with elements of Afro-Brazilian culture. The Yanka Rudzka Project by Orlik and Leśnierowska engaging Polish and Brazilian dancers facilitates a closer connection between the two dance communities. The play will premiere on 29th April 2016 at the International Vivadança Festival in Salvador.
The Yanka Rudzka Project has been produced with the support of Culture.pl and is part of the major presentation of Polish culture in Brazil.
Sources: Old Brewery, www.januszorlik.com, taniecpolska.pl, edited by: AL, translated by: Marek Kępa, updated: March 2016
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