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Order of Merit in Polish Culture

Saturday, November 9, 2002

New York, NY

The Polish Cultural Institute is pleased to announce that Allen Kuharski in recognition of his work in promoting cultural exchange in theater and dance between the U.S. and Poland, will be awarded the Order of Merit in Polish Culture (Zasluzony dla Kultury Polskiej), on Saturday, November 9, at 8 p.m. The award, the highest official honor in the arts given by the Polish government, will be presented by Pawel Potoroczyn, director of the Polish Cultural Institute, on behalf of Waldemar Dabrowski, Poland's Minister of Culture and National Heritage.

The award will be presented at the closing performance of the Silesian Dance Theatre's current run of Straight Into the Eyes at The Kitchen, 512 West 19th Street. Dr. Kuharski, who directs the theater studies program at Swarthmore College, worked closely with the internationally acclaimed dance troupe and its renowned director and choreographer, Jacek Luminski, to establish in Poland Swarthmore's study abroad program in theater and dance. He also helped arrange the troupe's visit to Swarthmore last fall to perform the North American premiere of Luminski's Diary of a Daydream, and helped organize a symposium, "Dancing History: Poland and Contemporary Dance Theatre," in honor of the choreographer and his company.Allen Kuharski, who is also an associate professor of English at Swarthmore, with a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, is a leading authority on twentieth-century Polish theater and drama, in particular the work of playwright Witold Gombrowicz. In the winter of 2001-2002 Kuharski helped organize the U.S. tour of the Polish theater group Teatr Prowizorium i Kompania Teatr, presenting its highly praised adaptation of Gombrowicz's Ferdydurke, adapted and dramatized by Allen Kuharski.

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