The Roots of Dance / Korzenie tańca is an international and multicultural artistic project addressed to young dancers and choreographers. It seeks to stimulate the artists’ imagination by looking for inspiration in local cultures in order to develop contemporary dance and enrich dance culture worldwide. The participating artists have just returned from another trip and summarized the workshop in Vancouver.

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The Roots of Dance / Korzenie tańca will continue through the end of 2022. The project will conclude with a documentary feature.

The workshop in Vancouver was led by dr hab. Aleksandra Dziurosz, Sebastian Wiertelak, and dr Jacek Łumiński.

At first, Vancouver seemed to me to be an orderly, finite, homogeneous and modern city, where life goes on slowly and quietly, at times even boringly, without major surprises, recounts dr hab. Aleksandra Dziurosz. However, once you get closer to the agglomeration, tune in to its sounds, smell its scents or explore its nooks and crannies beyond the downtown area, Vancouver’s fascinating diversity and energy becomes apparent. The city is extraordinary. I had similar impressions during the workshops. The first moments spent with the Canadian dancers seemed pleasant but at the same time they felt rather lukewarm than inspiring me spread my creative wings and ascend to the heavens. It was only in the course of the conversations, rehearsals and time spent with these fascinating people that I learned there were countless particles of extraordinary reflections and multithreaded experiences dormant in each of them, particles which, when combined into a whole, produced a captivating image. What was needed was time and an active creative process, opening their inner selves and memories. What was also needed were our discussions about Polish culture as an inspiring and personal area, and occasional conversations about the multicultural background of the project participants. We looked for similarities and differences. We looked for opportunities to express what is hidden inside, to discover what has not yet been discovered. Each of the people taking part in the workshops is a personality with different family and cultural roots, background and customs. By touching those layers and transforming them into an intimate stage statement danced by the participants themselves, I was moved as a spectator and even more convinced that we cannot judge anyone or anything too quickly and superficially, adds Dziurosz.

As an assistant, I was able to experience something completely new in an engagement that was completely different from my previous work with the dancers from Mexico, says Sebastian Wiertelak. In this case, the Roots of Dance workshop in Vancouver was attended by people who were primarily interested in dance, but were not professional dancers. The first day of the workshop was not easy, as each person struggled to understand where they should start their exploration. The following days, however, showed a great progress of the workshop participants, despite many difficulties, struggling with their own energy and concentration, and trying to understand the issues at hand. They managed to create short movement sequences, which made the participants aware of the new perspective on dance and body work. Each of them in their own way tried, with our help, to understand the discussed musical and movement concepts, such as rhythm, rubato, apocope. Next, the participants got to know the regions of Poland from which a given concept originated and which gave rise to the creation of Jacek Łumiński’s Polish Dance Technique. Based on the research conducted by Jacek in the course of his search for the Polish Roots, we encouraged the participants to try to find similarities, to find their own respective roots. The work was not easy, yet the results delivered – despite the short time – were more than interesting. I am glad that I could take part in the workshop and experience this kind of research work,

Until one actually participate and witness Roots of Dance it is quite impossible to appreciate the full impact and depth of the program. I was very impressed and touched by the transformation witnessed in the work of participating artists over the three intensive days of workshop in Vancouver, stated Mirna Zagar, director of The Dance Centre in Vancouver. The encouragement and also the indepth knowledge of the workshop facilitators inspired participants to push their own boundaries, explore in more depth their own cultural traditions and position these in light of more global, current context and also within their more personable experiences and practices. The intensive and extended program continues via zoom and the participants are eager and open to learn more on the example of Polish dances and music how they too can transpose own traditions and engage in intercultural dialogues. I cannot wait to see the outcomes as I continue to follow the works of Vancouver participants, but als o how the project evolves across the globe!

A show from Vancouver:

Talking to participants about the workshop:

Subsidized by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage as part of the “Inspiring Culture” Program.

Contact for media:

Agata Szymczak (agata.szymczak@nimit.pl, + 48 785 310 000)

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