He works in Poland and abroad creating choreographies in theatres in Kalisz, Warsaw, Poznań and Wałbrzych. In 2016, he was nominated for the Polityka Passports for 'scenic charisma full of irony and wit'.
A dancer and choreographer
Paweł Sakowicz is a dancer, choreographer and political scientist with diplomas from the University of Warsaw and London Contemporary Dance School. In an interview for Polityka, Sakowicz admits that his job as a choreographer often starts on a paper, in a book or on the Internet. The artist emphasizes:
I work analytically, creating endless maps of thoughts and connections between them (…) Theatre and choreography have a lot in common.
His debutant solo performance Bernhard was inspired by Thomas Bernhard's rhythmic and musical language used in literature. Sakowicz explained in an interview with Mike Urbaniak:
My attitude to Thomas Bernhard is such that I cannot stop reading his works. I take an awkward pleasure from reading them all over again, like mantra. While transforming his work into motion and infecting my body with his literature, I worked a lot with repetition. A formal and improvised performance was an outcome of the work.
In 2014, the choreography qualified for the Polish Platform of Dance in Lublin. The performance TOTAL, created in Art Station Foundation by Grażyna Kulczyk, is a variation about the dancing virtuosity.
Paweł Sakowicz – TOTAL from Art Stations Foundation on Vimeo.
He collaborated with Iza Szostak and Cricoteka at Excavator Ballet (2015), an original dance of two excavators operated by two artists. Sakowicz stated in an interview with Witold Mrożek:
Surprisingly quick our work with the machines became an intuitive mechanical extension of anatomic motion of limbs.
The choreography of machines was a try at facing Oskar Schlemmer's (a Bauhaus professor, painter, esthetician and dance reformer) works who was fascinated with the automatism of ballet dancers' moves.
Excavator Ballet trailer from Iza Szostak on Vimeo.
Not on Commission: Contemporary Dancers in Poland Create a Centre in Motion
Paweł Sakowicz has collaborated with such artists as Mikołaj Mikołajczyk, Ramona Nagabczyńska, Alex Baczyński-Jenkins, Rebecca Lazier, Isabelle Schad, Aleksandra Jakubczak, Peter Pleyer, Joanna Leśnierowska and Marta Ziółek. It is the role at the latter's Make Yourself (Zrób siebie) in Komuna Warszawa that brought the young artist fame and audience recognition. According to the theatre critic Paweł Soczyński, Sakowicz is a colourful scenic personality and the most magnetic of contemporary dance choreographers.
The Solo Generation. Top Dancers and Choreographers
The young artist is also an author of choreographies to the musical play Schubert, a Romantic Composition for Twelve Performers and String Quartet directed by Magda Szpecht (Jerzy Szaniawski Dramatyczny Theatre in Wałbrzych) and rewarded at the 22nd National Competition for staging Polish Contemporary Art. He was nominated for the Passports for 'interesting search as a soloist and choreographer, whose work is not merely an equivalent element, but a constitutive framework of theatrical project.
The artist also authored the choreography of the play Schubert, a Romantic Composition for Twelve Performers and String Quartet directed by Magda Szpecht (Jerzy Szaniawski Dramatyczny Theatre in Wałbrzych). For his work he was nominated for the 22nd National Competition for Polish Contemporary Art. He was also nominated for a Polityka award for his ‘innovative search as a soloist and choreographer whose work constitutes the most crucial framework of theatrical projects’.
In 2017 Sakowicz started working on Jumpcore, a play inspired by the story of the legendary New York dance artist Fred Herko, and his tragic death in particular. It was performed at the Boska Komedia Festival in 2018 and later became part of the permanent collection of Zachęta National Gallery of Art. The artist worked on Jumpcore during his artistic residency at the 9th Maat Festival in Lublin. During an interview with Izabela Szymańska, he said:
I bring up Herko in the first scene, as a means of touching on my way of thinking about acceleration, fantasies, and dance in general.
Sakowicz authored the choreography of the critically acclaimed play LOKIS by Łukasz Twarkowski. The performance was produced by Lithuanian National Drama Theatre and is considered the most striking theatrical event of 2017.
In the same year he worked twice with theatre director Agnieszka Jakimiak. He collaborated with her on Weronika Szczawińska’s performance Komuna Paryska (Commune of Paris) in Polski Theatre in Bydgoszcz, where Jakimiak was responsible for dramaturgical consultation. He also starred together with Klara Bielawka in a play directed by Jakimiak in the Mikro Teatr cycle organised by Komuna Warszawa.
In October 2018 Thriller had its premiere in Nowy Teatr in Warsaw. Sakowicz not only performed in the play but he also co-authored it with Anna Smolar. The performance was dedicated to teenagers over the age of 13 and revolved around questions related to how we perceive and understand the world through our bodies. The play was the second collaboration between Sakowicz and Smolar. They’d previously worked together on the play Kopciuszek (Cinderella), in the National Stary Theatre in Kraków.
polityka passports 2016
In 2019, Masakra (Massacre) premiered in Nowy Teatr. It was performed by Karolina Kraczkowska, Agnieszka Kryst, Ramona Nagabczyńska, and Iza Szostak. It was a critical take on the colonial roots of Latin dance. Both Anka Herbut and Lubomir Grzelak worked on Masakra. The play was quite personal for Sakowicz, as it referenced the beginning of his dance career. The artist explained:
As a teenager, for over a decade, I was a ballroom dancer. I was getting better and better, I trained every day, and on the weekends I participated in competitions. This experience stayed with me, it is ingrained in my body. When I started Masakra rehearsals the experience of body memory came back to me for me, I was shocked.
Source: Polityka, taniecpolska.pl, pawelsakowicz.com, dwutygodnik.com, Gazeta Wyborcza, Cricoteka, Mike Urbaniaka's blog Pan od Kultury, combined by AL
Author: Anna Legierska, December 2016, translated by AW, January 2017. Update April 2019.