Early June in Japan will be marked by the mazurka rhythm, thanks to the concert tour of the Janusz Prusinowski Kompania. The Polish band will play for dancing in four Japanese cities: Tokyo, Nagoya, Yasugi and Kobe.
The Japanese audience might associate the term mazurka with Chopin’s music. However, during their concert tour in June the Polish musicians will present a somehow different version of this music form: folk and easy-to-dance. The members of the Janusz Prusinowski Kompania learnt from village musicians from central Poland and continue the traditions of the folk instrumentalists of the past, at the same time exploring their own means of expression.
‘The more I listened, the more I found it very different from anything I’ve heard before’ – says Peter Barakan, an English-born broadcaster who has been working in Japan for 45 years, about his encounter with the music of the Janusz Prusinowski Kompania.
The band’s repertoire includes obereks, kujawiaks, polonaises, and chodzonys (‘walked’ dances), but most of all, mazurkas. ‘The mazurka has been Poland’s signature dance for centuries, functioning in high and popular culture alike – Janusz Prusinowski, the leader of the band, tells Roman Pawłowski in an interview for Gazeta Wyborcza.
As the musicians emphasise, the mazurka is the music of the community. It is hard to imagine it without the company of other people, joined in a whirling dance. Therefore the members of the Janusz Prusinowski Kompania will also hold dance workshops in some places in Japan, during which the participants will have a chance to feel the vibe of a Polish village party.
Peter Barakan, who in April visited Poland at the invitation of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute to take part in the Mazurkas of the World Festival initiated by Prusinowski, says about dancing mazurkas:
It’s just about experiencing music, enjoying the music, enjoying the vibe of everybody else being together and enjoying the same music. Just to see the expressions on the faces of the people when they dance… (…) Some of them are very good dancers, some of them are beginners, some of them have no talent for dancing at all, but it really doesn’t matter. Everybody is having such a good time and they’re getting so sucked into the power of the music, that I don’t think anybody cares if anybody else is a good or bad dancer.
During the concert tour in Japan the group will perform at five different venues in four cities. In Tokyo the Polish musicians will share the stage with pianist Takako Takahashi, the winner of the 5th Prize at the 12th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition.
- 7th June 2019 6:30 pm Dance workshop at Hokutopia Pegasus Hall, 1-11-1 Ohji, Kita-ku, Tokyo 114-8503 (60-70 min. / 40 people)
- 8th June 2019 12:45 and 3:00 pm Dance workshop at Musashino Civic Cultural Hall, 9-11-3 Nakacho, Musashino-shi, Tokyo 180-0006 (45 min. / 30 people each)
- 9th June 2019 3:00 pm Street performance in front of Hokutopia
- 9th June 2019 4:00 pm Janusz Prusinowski Kompania & Takako Takahashi (piano) concert at Tsutsuji Hall (Hokutopia, 3 piętro), 1-11-1 Ohji, Kita-ku, Tokyo 114-8503
- 11th June 2019 2:00 pm Munetsugu Hall, 4-5-14 Sakae, Naka-ku, Nagoya 460-0008
- 12th June 2019 7:00 pm Artepia Yasugi General Culture Hall, 70 Iijimancho, Yasugi-shi, Shimane 692-0014
- 13th June 2019 7:00 pm 100BAN Hall, 100 banchi, Edomachi, Kobe 650-003
LOT is the official carrier of Peret Barakan's visit to Poland.
Partner of the project: Melody Tours
Source: own materials, artists’ promotional materials, interview with Peter Barakan of 28 Apr 2019, Culture.pl; originally written in Polish by AW, 20 May 2019, translated by AW, 22 May 2019