'The Harvest', a performance by the Polish Dance Theatre, was staged on 21st and 22nd October 2018 in Shanghai. The event was part of the Polish focus at the China Shanghai International Arts Festival, organised on the occasion of the centenary of Poland regaining independence.
The Harvest, directed by Igor Gorzkowski, refers to the rituals accompanying harvest and the cycle of husbandry, nature and human life. The compositions of Eugeniusz Rudnik, pioneer of Polish electronic music associated with the Experimental Studio of the Polish Radio, were used in the performance. The vocal parts, based on traditional Polish music themes, are performed live by Adam Strug.
China Shanghai International Arts Festival (CSIAF) is one of the largest cultural events held in Shanghai at the initiative of the Chinese Ministry of Culture and the Shanghai local government. The 2018 edition was a special one, marking the festival’s 20th anniversary. The scale and prestige of the event is evidenced by the number of viewers in 2017, which amounted to 4 million, as well as by the rank of artists who participated in previous editions, with Berlin Philharmonic and theatre director Peter Brook among them.
The Polish Dance Theatre was established in 1973 and developed under the direction of prominent choreographers and artistic individualities: Conrad Drzewiecki (1973-1988) and Ewa Wycichowska (1988-2016), evolving from ballet-shaped spectacle forms towards performances closer to the poetics of contemporary dance theatre. The current director of the Polish Dance Theatre, Iwona Pasińska – a long-time soloist of the ensemble, continues the work of her predecessors, leading the ensemble whose unique style is based on improvisation in the process of creation.
The Polish Dance Theatre worked with outstanding choreographers from around the world, such as Birgit Cullberg, Mats Ek, Orjan Andersson, Virpi Pahkinen, Karine Saporta, Ohad Naharin, Jo Strømgren. The ensemble also participated in many prestigious festivals, including Chopin Festival in Hamamatsu (Japan), Dresdner Musikfestspiele, Bodenseefestival, Bregenzer Festspiele and Lubeck Festival (Germany), Karmiel Dance Festival (Israel), festivals in Istanbul and Ankara (Turkey), Danza Festival in Vicenza, St. Gallen Festival (Switzerland), Chopin and Friends Festival in New York and the Edinburgh Art Festival (Great Britain), where in 1992 it received the Fringe First Award.
The project was co-organised by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute operating under the Culture.pl brand as part of POLSKA 100, the international cultural programme accompanying the centenary of Poland regaining independence.
Financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland as part of the multi-annual programme NIEPODLEGŁA 2017-2022.
Sources: own materials, partners' promotional materials, compiled by ZG, translated by AW, Sep 2018