Robert Wasiewicz is an actor, dancer, and performer who works with the most interesting choreographers and directors. Since 2016, he has been connected with Warsaw’s STUDIO Teatrgaleria. He was born in 1989 in Warsaw.
Theatre and movement have been a part of his life since childhood. He ended up on the theatrical path after he was enchanted by the performances of Krystian Lupa and TR Warszawa. When choosing his higher education, he was torn between the path of an actor and that of a dancer. He got accepted for the latter. Today, he says that he tries not to separate acting and movement but to treat both elements as a combination which creates a coherent presence on the scene.
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He graduated from the Dance Theatre Faculty in Bytom, a branch of Kraków’s National Academy of Theatre Arts. He started off as a guest artist of the Silesian Dance Theatre, and between 2019 and 2012, he also took part in some of their performances, such as La, La, Land (directed by Jacek Łumiński), in which the creators touched on the topic of losing oneself in virtual reality.
In 2012, he got a part in Swan Lake directed by Israeli choreographer Idan Cohen, a fresh and original interpretation of Tchaikovsky’s classical ballet which received very flattering reviews. Wasiewicz’s next performance was directed by Waldemar Raźniak. For his role in They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, based on Horace McCoy’s 1935 novel and the famous film adaptation directed by Sydney Pollack, Wasiewicz received an award at the 30th Theatre Schools Festival in Łódź.
His collaborations with directors of drama and musical theatre turned out to be very important for his career. He has worked with Tomasz Rodowicz (Muzg based on text and drama by Marcin Cecko), Michał Borczuch (Faust and Frogs), Krzysztof Garbaczewski (Liberation), and Maja Kleczewska (in the one-act opera La Voix Humaine in Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera, and as Orlando in The Rage, which opened the 2017 Theatre Biennale in Venice), among others. He also appeared in Capella Cracoviensis’ Songs of Love and Death performance directed by Cezary Tomaszewski, which features renditions of Brahms’ music, Wasiewisz performed alongside a master of the form, Jan Peszek.
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However, Wasiewisz established his most solid artistic relationship with Natalia Korczakowska. They worked together for the first time on Dziady in Białystok’s Aleksander Węgierka Dramatic Theatre. Wasiewicz appeared as a guest and played several characters (Tomasz Zan, Adolf, and the Prisoner). In 2016, he also became a permanent member of the Teatr Studio group led by Korczakowska. He appeared in more performances – Believers, Berlin Alexanderplatz, Biesy and – in the main role – Metaphysics of a Two-Headed Calf. Critic Zbyszek Dramat wrote the following about the versatile artist:
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Indeed, Robert Wasiewicz as Karmazyniello became this calf – and he has two heads. On the scene, everything about him is calf-like and metaphysical: the manner of movement (metaphysically grotesque), the rhythm of his body, and the tone of his voice.
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A scene from ‘Berlin Alexanderplatz’, directed by Natalia Korczakowska, pictured: Robert Wasiewicz photo: Krzysztof Bieliński / Teatr Studio w Warszawie.
Another important artist in his career is Marta Ziółek. The choreographer and performer has invited Wasiewicz to take part in many of her projects: in the famous Make Yourself, presented in New York, Bremen, and Open’er Festival, among other places, the dancer took on the role of Glow. He also performed in the To (‘It’) choreography presented in Nowy Theatre, Pixo in Komuna Warszawa, and also in the performative fashion show Smells Like Fashion at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. He also developed his experience as a performer by taking part in To Trzeba Zjeść! (This Has To Be Eaten!) – a project by the Małpeczki duo (Maria Toboła and Maria Magdalena Kozłowska) presented in Zamek Ujazdowski Centre for Contemporary Arts. The duo described this performance as a ‘bastardised form of a culinary show with audience participation’. Wasiewicz also took part in a performance titled Several Choreographic Objects by Ziółek and Alex Baczyński-Jenkins – the show opened the experimental-choreography-queer artistic space of the Kem collective.
Wasiewicz also appeared in films: in Tomasz Knittel’s Elektro_Sonda, a musical which also featured Polish electronic music stars, and in Krzysztof Skonieczny’s hit Polish TV series Blinded by the Lights. In 2014, he received a stipend from the Alternative Academy of Dance organised by Grażyna Kulczyk’s Art Stations Foundation.
Originally compiled in Polish by Marcelina Obarska, translated to English by Patryk Grabowski, June 2019. Sources: magazynszum.pl, u-jazdowski.pl, nowyteatr.org, teatrstudio.pl, e-teatr.pl
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