Choreographic Territories – New Paths for the Avant-Garde
Poland regained its independence at the same time that modernism and the avant-garde movement became part of the zeitgeist, as well as increased immigration due to political circumstances and the nomadic life of artists. What distinguishes dance from other art forms is the fact that women, such as Isadora Duncan, Loie Fuller, Mary Wigman, and Marta Graham, as well as Bronisława Niżyńska, Pola Nireńska, and Irena Prusicka (who were of Polish descent), were behind the early 20th-century avant-garde movement of it.
Referring to these traditions and to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Poland’s regained independence, in 2018 the Adam Mickiewicz Institute launched the Choreographic Territories – New Paths of the Avant Garde project. The project is focused on the artistic work and fascinating biographies of Pola Nireńska, Bronisława Niżyńska, Marie Rambert, and Yanka Rudzka – Polish artists who can still be a source of inspiration through a modern understanding of their choreographies. Each year the project is continued by young artists, focusing exclusively on one artist.
The Yanka Rudzka Project: A LEAVEN
The project to connect Polish and Brazilian dancers was created by Janusz Orlika and Joanna Leśnierowska, and its goal was to trace Rudzka’s personal story and analyse her body of work. Rudzka was a Polish dancer who moved to Salvador (Bahia, Brazil) in 1956 and was hired as the director of the UFBA's Dance School. She is as yet unknown in Poland but in Salvador she is considered the mother of contemporary dance. She was the first to merge together the modern dance tradition with local Afro-Brazilian culture. The project was continued in the performance the Yanka Rudzka Project: Polyphony, for which the artist invited dancers from throughout the Caucasus region. The performance was created by Brazilian, Georgian, Armenian, and Polish dancers and brought together Brazilian samba, Polish oberek, Armenian kochari, and Georgian perchuli.
Second Nature is the result of cooperation between Agata Siniarska and Karolina Grzywnowicz. It features a choreography created by Agata Siniaska and Katarzyna Wolińska which used the biography of dancer and choreographer Pola Nireńska as its starting point. Although Nireńska herself survived World War II, she lost her family in the death camps. The performance is based on the only preserved recordings of Pola Nireńska’s last work, the Holocaust Tetralogy.