Maciej Kuźmiński is an author of award-winning dance etudes and improvised choreographies. He has performed on Polish and international stages at, among others, the Grand Theatre in Warsaw, Konzerthaus Vien in Vienna, and Sadler’s Wells in London, in works by such prominent choreographers as Nigel Charnock and Ohad Naharin.
Born in 1985, Kuźmiński graduated from the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London. He teaches at the Dance Theatre Department in Bytom (branch of the Ludwik Solski Academy for the Dramatic Arts in Kraków) and Institute for Contemporary Dance in Belgrade. He debuted in 2007 in Romeo and Juliet, a performance by a renowned Austrian choreographer Liz King. He has also collaborated with the Polish Dance Theatre, the British physical theatre group Clod Ensemble, and others.
Kuźmiński is also an author of several personal art projects and choreographies. The first one, NOT SO from 2009, was produced by the Mumuki group from Berlin, however, he did not gain recognition on the dance scene until 2014, when he created the successful Room 40 at the Polish Dance Platform.
‘Room 40 perfectly bridges concept and beauty,’ the prestigious magazine Dance Tabs described the performance, while Hanna Raszewska wrote: ‘Apart from being a philosophical statement, or a sophisticated stage work, the work also questions the limits of what is permitted in the name of artistic achievement.’ The choreography, in which Kuźmiński objects to theatrical conventions and offers a critical approach to tradition, was showcased during an international tour in London, Belgrade, Budapest, Hannover, Kraków, Warsaw, and Lublin.
The artist has also created the autobiographical diptych Difference and Repetition and the critically acclaimed choreography Repeat After Me, which received a double Jury Prize at the 3...2...1...Dance! '14 competition for ‘precision of the choreography; coherent dramaturgy and awareness of each movement; for silence and stillness; humour, and self-irony.’ In the show, which he refers to as an anticapitalist manifesto, Kuźmiński used the Guy Fawkes mask, the symbol of the online activist group Anonymous, as well as many other protest movements worldwide.
Political and social themes also appear in Dominique, which received a distinction at the 30th International Competition for Choreographers in Hannover, and which focuses on feminism and contemporary images of women and men. Over the duration of eleven minutes, contemporary movement is accompanied by quotes from Oprah Winfrey, Emma Watson, Patricia Arquette, Hillary Clinton, and Michelle Obama. The director also makes references to significant female figures of the world dance scene – Anna Teresa de Keersmaeker, Yvonne Rainer, Martha Graham, Isadora Duncan, and Pina Bausch. The performance received excellent reviews.
According to the dance critic Alicja Müller, ‘Dominique is an example of perfectly constructed critical choreography, whose strength lies not in the poetic of shock, or transgression, but in a clever wit brilliantly danced by [Dominik] Więcek.’ This dance etude had been also recognised at the Polish contemporary dance choreography competition Solo Dance Contest in Gdańsk, among others. Reviewers describe Kuźmiński's performances as formally daring and demanding for the dancers, as well as based on open symbolism. Their recognisable form is rooted is dynamic movement, based on auteur dance techniques.
Maciej Kuźmiński also works as a dance pedagogue, specialising in his own technique called Dynamic Phrasing and in improvisational arts. He is the founder and the concept coordinator of the Think Move Dance! project.
source: maciejkuzminski.com, ed. AL, transl. AM, June 2016